Drums, the growl of reverb, and then the soft cut of butter knife guitar through the once rumbling air, Alyeska singer-songwriter Alaska Reid may be “just trying to rip off the Replacements,” but her attempt is appreciated. “Sister Buckskin” possesses an airy, sparkling, yet combustible quality to it. Just lean back and sip it in.
Grey skies with purple clouds appear atop what must be a beautiful, yet longing view from a rooftop, and we have little doubt that Champagne must be involved because that’s what “Sister Buckskin” is, some bubbly for the ears – served from a bottle you somehow passed over. Few things have similar qualities to fine Champagne, light yet rich, round yet agile, explosive yet cooling, but this track boasts all of them. Not the kind that’s boasted about in rap videos, covered in diamonds, rather the stuff that is enjoyed outside of a cafe near Épernay where the ground is dusty and the table uneven. Alyeska’s cloud-like instrumentation combines effortlessly with Reid’s airy voice creating something like the last day of summer.
On “Sister Buckskin”, Alaska presents the sexiness and heart of Karen O circa “Maps”, and if that’s any indication this may only be the beginning of Aleyska’s story. Nonetheless, as origin stories go, it is a good one. Their new EP, Crush, was the last record to be recorded at the legendary New York recording studio The Magic Shop which closed its doors last year. The studio has previously recorded David Bowie’s Blackstar, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, Sonic Youth’s Dirty, and many others. And it seems that it had one last bit of sorcery left for Crush.
The band may come from Montana, be based in Los Angeles, made this record in New York, and have a singer-songwriter named Alaska, and it’s the type of music that anyone anywhere can sit back and appreciate.
For it’s round mouthfeel, rich pear tones, and subtle yet powerful effervescence, we give Alyeska – “Sister Buckskin” 17.5 out of 20 on the traditional wine rating scale.
HURRY – LISTEN – ALYESKA