Wedding Ring, the second single off Skinny Dipper’s debut album, is a beautiful track. It’s a collaboration and joint production with artist TOLEDO. Interestingly enough, this track was mixed by Jay Som – her song Pirouette was a favorite of mine in 2018.
Wedding Ring is a slow, understated track. It’s nostalgic, and listening to it seems akin to slow dancing or embracing. The album art similarly evokes this feeling. Wedding Ring has a steady beat and a steady build. The guitar and percussion is distinctive, and it’s compositionally sound. This track is about unrequited love, and this is evident from the get go.
The lyrics are human and vulnerable. Lyrically, there’s a good balance in allowing listeners to self-project onto the situation, and providing enough specificity. Wedding Ring’s lyrics are uniformly clever and enjoyable, such as “can’t say I love you so I’m looking for a synonym.” Another particularly attention-grabbing line was “it’s hard to notice what you can’t comprehend.” Phrases like “summer skin” slip off the tongue.
The imagery present in the track is intriguing, with lines such as “hold my head inside your hands.” This gives a feeling of control, like a more intellectualized version of holding a heart inside one’s hands. Some more subtle messages are conveyed through weather imagery, as there’s a contrast with “sun poured in” and “we all surrender to the rain.”
The outro does feel like a surrender of sorts – it’s a little abrupt, but in a good way. There’s a crunchiness and edge to the guitar. The sound isn’t too polished, tending more to the gritty and emotive. This track is more complex than sheer melancholy, as it also feels wonderfully self-indulgent. Inevitability is stressed, as well as longing and possibility, seen in the early line “we could see what we could be.”
Skinny Dippers reminds me of Alex G in its fuzzy indie sound, which is melancholy with a bit of edge. There’s a bit more clarity on these vocals in comparison to Alex G’s though. I like both styles. Lyrically, the track is reminiscent of the Shins, speaking to its sophistication.
By Fiona Irving-Beck