Helen Ballentine releases her self titled EP "Skullcrusher". Her songs were written during a time of uncertainty and trying to make sense of an obscure future. "I wrote these songs in my room while unemployed", she writes on her bandcamp. Her opening song "Places/Plans" she sings, "Do you think I'm going places?" This is a question that young people ask themselves in an internal dialogue, Ballentine shares that inner voice with her audience.
Warm and raw acoustic instruments help paint a pictures of serenity and Ballentine's voice has an airy quality that hovers over the instrumentation. Even though the space Skullcrusher has created is serene, the content is messy, often like she is trying to figure her thoughts out in the song and allows for confusion and going backwards. Ballentine writes about first loves burdened by discomfort and paralyzing uncertainty. On the brief “Two Weeks in December,” she sings about a first encounter with a romantic interest that eventually turned sour. “I looked cool rolling cigarettes/You were fooled by my jokes/I was too/I didn’t know you,” she sings sadly.
At 15 minutes long, this EP is Ballentine just scratching the surface of her musical journey. The four songs showcase that she is not afraid to make the deep dive into a realm of longing and curiosity. Just like Ballentine wants more and is unsure how to achieve that, the listener is hanging on to every word and is eagerly anticipating her next release.