Skull Kid and the Giants

Talking Bands | by Evan James Ceretti

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The birth of Skull Kid and the Giants might be one of the most cliche ways a band comes together. It’s the-co-worker-group-of-friends saying “hey, do you guys want to start a band?!”

Thankfully, the right group of people turn meetings like this into a blessing. Most of the band’s members had previously worked together at No Frills, where the idea of SK&TG took hold. They played their first show in March, 2017 and didn’t play again until last year, but over the last two years, the band has honed in on the direction in which it wants to move forward.

SK&TG are Josh Power (vocals, rhythm guitar), Lucas Manuel (lead guitar), Mitchell Gallant (drums), and Mike Parkman (bass). “The goal for us is to grow as a band, as musicians, and as friends,” said Manuel. The band wants to approach things in a more professional manner, as opposed to just simply going through the motions of being in a band, added Parkman.

Power is the band’s primary songwriter, creating vocal melodies and writing the lyrics, while Manuel writes the guitar melodies. However, the songs are always a collaboration with the whole group, with all members adding their own unique addition to the songs.

This past summer SK&TG were awarded a Music PEI grant through the Emerging Artists Program. The band used the funding to record two live songs and to create two conceptual music videos to make SK&TG more familiar and accessible. The aptly-titled first song, The Warmth, slowly creeps up on you as Manuel builds on a simple yet somewhat haunting guitar riff, before Power’s warm, powerhouse vocals kick in. It’s beautifully-flowing, vocally-rich, slow dance in sorrow that makes you brim with happiness at the same time.

The second song in the video series is titled Don’t Look Back. “It’s essentially about moving forward through hardships you might be going through in your life and trying to keep an optimistic look even when things are far from it at the time,” said Power. “Take a bad experience and make it into something positive.”

In other content, Power sings about the feeling of getting into a new relationship. “Kind of at that time where you don’t really know if it’s going to go anywhere, but you’re just happy to be taking part, regardless.” This particular song was written at a time when Manuel and Power were both in new relationships—one which is working to this day, and one which is not. “A lot of our lyrics tend to be reflective on transitioning from youth to adulthood,” said Power.

The band’s sound is varied, rooted in the Alt-rock, indie-rock, and folk genres, but also incorporating a flare of jazz and ambient. With growth at the forefront of the band’s course, you can truly hear the difference in their newer material compared to releases from a couple of years ago. “We rarely have one song that pulls from one type of sound,” said Power. Looking to stay true to their roots and evolve together, their newer material seems more grounded and purposeful, allowing the listener to hear the band take its own direction.

Demos for the new songs were recorded by Nathan Power and the videos were filmed by Ryan McCarvill and Oakar Myint, with Devon Ross on sound. Megan Handrahan and Hailey Hennessey helped with art. And the star of the videos is Power’s son, Julian, who is always around when the SK&TG are practicing.

With the release of the videos, the band is looking to landing better shows and playing festivals. Listen to them on Soundcloud, and find the new videos on Youtube this month.

Evan James CerettiTalking Bands
Evan James Ceretti

Evan Ceretti is a photographer and writer based in Charlottetown. He’s a proud vegan, guitar player in local band Ultrasvede, an ultimate frisbee and disc golf enthusiast, and lover of this Island’s endless beauty. One of his greatest passions is traveling, which has taken him to 6 continents while racking up 1100 days of international travel. A graduate of Holland College’s journalism program, and of UPEI’s print journalism program, Evan enjoys writing about the local food and music scene, and capturing the Island's essence in photos. He operates Evan Ceretti Photography, and you’ll most likely see him strolling around town, camera in hand. Check out his work on Instagram @evanontheroad.