English rock combo Band of Skulls rose to prominence in the early 2010s, crafting bluesy and gritty slabs of atmospheric indie rock that echoed the work of contemporaries like the Kills, Duke Spirit, and the Black Keys. While their 2009 debut helped put them on the map, it was albums like Sweet Sour (2012) and Himalayan (2014) that earned them a widespread international following and a major-label contract for 2016's By Default.
Formed by Russell Marsden (guitar and vocals), Emma Richardson (bass and vocals), and Matt Hayward (drums) while attending college in the city of Southampton, the band (which was originally called Fleeing New York) recorded a buzz-worthy demo in 2008, which resulted in its full-length debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, in 2009 and an accompanying international tour. For their second album, the band decamped to Wales' Rockfield Studios to work with producer Ian Davenport (Supergrass, Badly Drawn Boy). The results of those sessions, Sweet Sour, was released in February 2012 and contained the crunchy single "The Devil Takes Care of His Own," which had been a minor hit in Canada the previous year. The first material from their next album, produced by Nick Launay, appeared in the form of the riff-based single "Asleep at the Wheel" in January 2014. Himalayan, the accompanying full-length, was issued that spring.
After signing with BMG, Band of Skulls issued the fiery single "So Good," which preceded the release of their fourth studio long-player By Default, which dropped in May 2016. It would prove to be their last release with Hayward, who left the band in early 2017. Marsden and Richardson carried on as a duo using session drummers, then returned to the studio with producer Richard X (Goldfrapp, Pet Shop Boys) to record 2019's Love Is All You Love. ~ James Christopher Monger & James Wilkinson