London four-piece, The Skints, have clawed their way up from the depths of an underground punk/ska scene to a unique fixture on a global reggae stage.
Drawing influences as wide as soul, pop, grime and hardcore, their original brand of “tropical punk” has seen them evolve in to one of the hardest working and most respected bands in UK music.
The band’s new single ‘Learning to Swim’, released 18th January via Mr Bongo globally and Easy Star in North America, fuses the tenderness of lovers rock, the catchiness of pop with the urgency of hardcore punk, to create a unique sound that promises future stardom.
Few British bands blend different genres of music with such freedom, fun and invention while singer Marcia Richards’ philosophical and personal lyrics strike an emotional chord.
“For those who have lost a loved one, it’s not unusual to find comfort in the fact that you’ve spent more of your life with them than without. After 13 years of using this small comfort to keep afloat, 2019 will be the first year that the number of years without my sister Roanna will exceed the years she was around.
As I became increasingly aware of this date approaching and my life raft sinking, I wrote ‘Learning to Swim’, a song that musically flips through time and space,” she says.
“The chorus has no words, but flips to an era of punk and pop music that my sister was deeply into. Just as my mind gets wrenched back to that precious time so often, the song does too.” She adds, “The feeling as the years go on that it becomes more difficult to picture their face, to hear their voice. The rest of your life without them stretches ahead of you like a vast sea – it’s time for Swimming Lessons.”
Formed while at school in 2007, The Skints hail from the Waltham Forest and Redbridge boroughs of North East London, and they cut their teeth in London’s underground punk scene before venturing out of the M25 to play their first self-booked DIY venture and embark on a heaving touring regime across the nation’s “toilet venue” circuit.
Debut album ‘Live, Breathe, Build, Believe’, released at the end of 2009, received late night/specialist rotation across radio including BBC Radio 1’s Punk Show, whilst 2012’s ‘Part & Parcel’, was the second full-length album by the band and further built their fan base and opened doors to heavy touring, festivals and markets outside of the UK and across Europe.
The follow-up album, the critically-acclaimed ‘FM’, released in 2015, reached number 5 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and number 7 on the Independent Albums Chart in the UK and saw The Skints tour relentlessly across the USA, Canada and Japan.
Since the band’s inception, The Skints have toured extensively across the globe, playing hundreds of shows and festivals including Summerjam (Germany), Dour Festival (Belgium), California Roots (US) and ReggaeSunSka (France).
In the UK, The Skints sold-out their most recent 10-date UK tour including Shepherd’s Bush Empire and have performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, Bestival, Glastonbury and Boomtown Festival, performing to 15,000 fans.
In addition, the band have supported bands that include NOFX, Less Than Jake, Mariachi El Bronx, Gym Class Heroes, Protoje, You Me At Six, Sublime with Rome and Easy Star All Stars.
Supporters of The Skints include BBC Radio 2’s Jonathan Ross, Robert Elms on BBC Radio London, Steve Lamaq and Craig Charles on BBC Radio 6 Music and David Rodigan on BBC Radio 1Xtra.
Mr Bongo is a Brighton based independent record label and home to Hollie Cook, Protoje, Seu Jorge, Prince Fatty, Incredible Bongo Band, Jorge Ben and more.