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Track-by-Track: The Skinny Limbs Sounds Off on Their ‘Mozart for Martians’ EP

Grand Rapids, Michigan indie band The Skinny Limbs, join us today for a special track-by-track rundown of their new EP ‘Mozart for Martians.’



The Skinny Limbs in 2024
The Skinny Limbs in 2024

Indie pop is a fairly expansive genre of music and The Skinny Limbs are showing you a different side of it with their new EP Mozart for Martians. The album features five new songs from this innovative collection of young musicians. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, they are a surfy, indie pop quartet that likes to follow their intuition when recording new music. They employ what they enjoy, which you hear in these five new tracks. There is a certain lo-fi influence, along with Japanese pop and more vintage college rock from the 1980s. The band is led by the Knoth brothers, Max, Jake, and Nate. Keyboardist Mitch Garcia and guitarist Andrew Deters join them.

You hear this a lot when artists are releasing new music, but this is certainly The Skinny Limbs’ most personal recording. It’s not sad sounding, but much of it was influenced by heartbreak, regret, and rejuvenation. A lot of that comes from changes in the life of lead singer and guitarist Max Knoth. A couple of summers ago, he came to the end of a long-term relationship, which was coupled with transitioning to a new job and then relocating to Nashville, Tennessee. You hear a lot about these experiences within the songs’ relatable lyrics. There are emotional moments, but it’s certainly not a total downer. The melodies are comforting, and the rhythms are optimistic-sounding.

Joining us today for a special track-by-track rundown of Mozart for Martians is The Skinny Limbs’ Max Knoth. He takes us through each song on the EP, touching on their origins and the developmental process.

1. “To The Limit”

“This track is was the last completed track for this EP. We really wanted to pack an extra edge and grit into it. These songs all deal with change, longing, and letdown in their own way, but I wanted to make this one the most visceral, and I tried to convey that in the lyrics. Lines like, ‘All the things she’s done to me, will make you want to pray for me’ and ‘All my friends think that you’re acting whack, but I’m so blind to it’ really push home how I was feeling about the end of my relationship.

“We tracked this song with a different bass than I usually do. It was our buddy (and cousin of our producer Connor) Satchel’s Ernie Ball bass I believe. It has a more biting tone than my normal jazz bass does.”

2. “Monday”

“This song was entirely influenced by my obsession with lo-fi music in 2021 and 2022. I was working at a coffee shop at that time and always had that kind of music on as it helped bring a relaxing mood to the cafe, and helped me battle being over-caffeinated! I wanted to write a song about the night I broke up with my last partner (it was on a Monday), but I also wanted to bring a lo-fi vibe into this song and combine it with high-flying choruses for a super dynamic and powerful song.”

The Skinny Limbs ‘Mozart for Martians’ album artwork

The Skinny Limbs ‘Mozart for Martians’ album artwork

3. “Too Little Too Late”

“This one just captures the ‘you’ve missed your flight’ (or boat, or train) vibe in my mind. I wanted to ask questions to myself in song form about whether I could be whole again after exiting a long-term relationship, and whether I was wasting my time trying to find love at all. I wrote this song in the doldrums of self-doubt and depression that followed the end of that relationship. I’d wanted to write about how I was feeling and what questions I was asking myself at that time. It’s one of my favourites to play live because it gets everyone moving, and it just has a nice drive to it!”

4. “I Know That You Care”

“This song was not recorded with Connor Robertson (as the other four were). It was recorded with Jake Rye at Social Recording Company, who also produced the track. This is the first song I wrote off this EP, dating back to 2020. It’s a song dedicated to my parents, who I know want the best for me and my siblings. But at the same time, we know they have to take a step back and let life happen. We have to find our own way in life a lot of times, and I hoped to convey that in this tune, and setting it to a slower tempo ballad felt like the right move.”

5. “For So Long!”

“The funkiest track on the EP! At the time, I was listening to a lot of Men I Trust when I wrote this song. I think it shows a bit in the final work. I really wanted to have fun with a song and put a solo in a TSL song (finally), and that’s how we arrived at ‘For So Long!’ Whereas ‘Too Little Too Late’ deals with some self-doubt, this song complements it by throwing some confidence into the mix. I wrote this as I was starting to heal from my breakup. And I realized maybe life wasn’t doomed, even if ‘clarity continues to elude me,’ as is stated in the second verse.”

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