Sky Furrows - Reflect and Oppose

LP Co-Release with Cardinal Fuzz (UK)


Albany, New York’s Sky Furrows—guitarist Mike Grifin, bassist Eric Hardiman, drummer

Phil Donnelly and poet/vocalist Karen Schoemer—release their second album, Relect and

Oppose (Cardinal Fuzz/Feeding Tube) on November 24, 2023. Recorded in 2022 with Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab Studios and Pete Donnelly at Katonah Sound, the album’s eight songs crush and crunch, agitate and sprawl. All songs were written by Schoemer/Grifin and arranged by Sky Furrows, except for “Koba Grozny,” with music by Grifin and words adapted by Schoemer from Martin Amis’s 2002 book Koba the Dread.

Sky Furrows formed in 2016 and released their self-titled debut album in 2020 on Tape Drift/Skell/Philthy Rex Records, but band members had been crossing each other’s paths for decades. Schoemer and Hardiman overlapped in the late ‘80s at WCWM, a college radio station in Virginia. In the late ‘80s and ‘90s, Donnelly used to trek from his home in Saratoga Springs to Hoboken, New Jersey to see shows at the legendary club Maxwell’s, where Schoemer was a regular. By the mid 2000’s all four were living upstate. Grifin, Hardiman and Donnelly have roots in the local experimental scene and are longtime members of Albany psych band Burnt Hills.

Schoemer, a former music critic for the New York Times, was developing her craft as a poet and began contributing to music projects around 2013. She has an MFA in creative writing from The Writer’s Foundry in Brooklyn, NY and collaborates with Mike Watt in the bassvoice duo Jaded Azurites and with Oli Heffernan and his rotating cast of free-jazzers in Ivan the Tolerable. Grifin records and performs as Parashi and with the band Valley of Weights; Hardiman operates solo as Rambutan and plays in Century Plants and Spiral Wave Nomads. Sky Furrows’ aggregated knowledge of, dedication to, and participation in postpunk, psych and experimental music scenes is vast and deep.

This institutional commitment infuses every moment of Relect and Oppose. Grifin’s razor shred and calamitous distortion ind a foil in Schoemer’s semi-spoken delivery and onslaught of observations and images. In “Shopping Bags” a woman doesn’t realize the loneliness she’s carrying around, while “No Cause for Concern” relentlessly builds into a mental and physical breakdown. Hang on the words or cruise on waves of sound—Relect and Oppose melds both, forcefully.