Skating Polly’s Peyton Bighorse on Chaos County Line: “I really think it’s the best music we’ve ever written…” (7/7 at KFN)

Just yesterday, one of our favorite bands, Skating Polly, debuted a music video for recent single, “Tiger At The Drugstore,” directed by our very favorite singer/songwriter, Kate Nash.  The...

Just yesterday, one of our favorite bands, Skating Polly, debuted a music video for recent single, “Tiger At The Drugstore,” directed by our very favorite singer/songwriter, Kate Nash.  The self-branded “ugly pop” trio — comprised of step-sisters Peyton Bighorse and Kelli Mayo (who started the band when they were just 13 and 9), in addition Kelli’s brother, Kurtis Mayo, who joined the group in 2017 – have been friends with the “Foundations” singer/songwriter ever since opening for her on her 2013 tour, which included Skating Polly’s first-ever Philthy show that November at Union Transfer.

Since then, the band has headlined Kung Fu Necktie in 2017 and 2018 (in addition to supporting THICK there just last year), and played supporting slots at Underground Arts for both X (who became friends and mentors of the band after meeting Exene Cervenka in 2010) and Together Pangea, whom Peyton tells me during a phone chat have become part of her daily routine: “I try to go out for a little walk every morning, and whenever I go out for my walk, I listen to Together Pangea, because it’s so warm and fun… or, at least warm sounding [laughs].”

The last we spoke with Skating Polly was May of 2017, just after having released the New Trick EP, written and recorded with Louise Post and Nina Gordon of Veruca Salt (They do have a lot of legendary friends, but their merit is certainly all their own.)  However, last week Skating Polly released Chaos County Line, their sixth studio album (and first full-length since 2018’s The Make It All Show), courtesy of El Camino Media.  The 18-track double album — produced by Brad Wood, most famous for his production work on the first three Liz Phair records, who also produced The Make It All Show – features the most comprehensive collection of the band’s musical interests yet, including garage punk, riot grrrl, power-pop, grunge, experimental rock, and even piano-pop (Noise rock icon David Yow even appears on “Man Out There,” and went on to perform the song with the band at their recent LA show.)  “I really think it’s the best music we’ve ever written and made.  We’ve had it forever, so I’m so happy to finally get it out.  Every single song is so special to me,” Peyton tells me during our recent one-on-one convo.

Skating Polly have been on the road for much of the year, playing across both the US and Europe, which Peyton says is her favorite way to experience fan reactions to new music: “To be in person, and have people show how much they love the songs, it really warms my heart!”  However, she does admit that the band has gotten one particular reaction to their latest single that they have especially enjoyed: “A few people have said that the chorus of ‘Tiger At The Drugstore,’ sounds like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ which I think is so cool!”

Last Thursday Skating Polly kicked off their latest batch of headlining dates in Minneapolis, which Peyton says has a special place in her heart: “We love playing 7th St Entry, which is one of our favorite venues in the whole country, so it was a great place to kick off the tour.”  And next Friday, July 7th, the band will be returning to Kung Fu Necktie, which Peyton implies is her ideal kind of live setting: “My favorite type of place to play is to just small, dingy venues.  That’s where we started!”

Joining Skating Polly for these dates are indie rock outfits bugsy and Jacklen Ro, of whom Peyton tells me Skating Polly are great friends and big fans: “They’re with our friends in great bands!  We love touring with other bands, especially when they’re cool, and these bands are very cool!”  She also tells me that longtime fans of Skating Polly can expect to not only hear new songs on this run, but also some instrumentation they haven’t done in quite some time: “We are doing piano songs for the first time in 7-8 years.  We’re playing a bunch of new stuff, a lot of new stuff.  We’ve been switching it up every night, but it’ll be very Chaos County Line-heavy.”

Like PHILTHY phriends Stars and Laura Stevenson, Peyton says that Skating Polly has really enjoyed utilizing Patreon to connect with their fans, as of recently: “We’ve been doing a Patreon, and releasing a cover every month through there.  It’s home recorded and lo-fi, but I have a lot of fun doing it.”  But she adds that the band is also hoping and aiming to connect with a lot more fans in person: “The biggest goal is getting our music out there as much as possible, playing some bigger shows, just playing it for as many people as possible.”  Although she tells me that listeners may not have to wait too long for new music, either: “I know that we are hoping for more touring, which I’m sure will happen, but even though we just put an album out, we’re constantly working on new music, as well.”

Get your copy of Chaos County Line from the El Camino Media store (And pick up a “LOUISE FUCKING POST” shirt or tote, while you’re at it!), and get your tickets for Skating Polly’s 7/7 show at Kung Fu Necktie below.  In the meantime, check out the Kate Nash-directed video for “Tiger At The Drugstore,” in addition to Skating Polly’s previous video, for recent single “I’m Sorry For Always Apologizing,” which was directed by Christian Papierniak, and Peyton tells me was largely inspired by French cinema (See how many references to Godard’s New Wave period you can spot!  If you can get a bunch, I just might make you my +1 for the show at Kung Fu Necktie!)

*Get your tickets here.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.