And he should know.
The chart-topping indie legend, whose own band hits include top 10 singles In The Morning and Pass It On, produced The Sherlocks’ latest album at the legendary Parr Street studios in Liverpool.
In an exclusive chat - watch the video here - sat at the control deck where he worked his magic on the album, we asked the unspeakable – could it even go to number one?
It’s not an easy question, with many variables, not just retail sales and downloads these days, but a complex streaming points system, based on free and paid for subscriptions and of course other new releases.
Skelly, drawn to the project by the band’s trademark layered guitars, catchy choruses and hooks, says despite indie music being ‘unfashionable’: “I don't see why not.”
BUY THE ALBUM: New album Under Your Sky is out now on digital, streaming, CD, vinyl and cassette formats, plus limited editions. Get it now at thesherlocks.lnk.to/SkyTW
INSTORE ACOUSTIC GIGS: The Sherlocks, who performed an exclusive intimate Iive stream gig for us in front of 200 invited guests and competition winners at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena - watch here – will also be playing live sets and sign albums in store. Full details below. It includes four Yorkshire dates, with The Wardrobe w/Crash Records, Leeds, on Monday, October 7, 7.30pm, and three in South Yorkshire on Wednesday, October 9, at Electric Theatre, Barnsley, 1pm; HMV Sheffield Meadowhall, 5pm and Sheffield, Bear Tree Records, 7pm.
BUY TICKETS: They have also announced a 23 date headliner tour, details below, include Yorkshire homecoming shows at Leeds O2 Academy on Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2. For tickets visit www.gigsandtours.com/tour/the-sherlocks.
Parr Street is the hits factory where everyone from Coldplay to Justin Bieber have recorded and Skelly has produced hits there in for the likes of Blossoms, She Drew The Gun, Cut Glass Kings and The Sundowners.
Now it’s the turn of Bolton On Dearne’s two sets of brothers, Kiaran Crook, lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and Brandon, drums, Josh Davidson, vocals and lead guitar, and Andy, backing vocals and bass guitar.
Their debut, Live For The Moment, saw them chart at number six two years ago.
With a bigger fan base and growing reputation, as the band continue to work hard with live gigs around the country, Europe, USA and Japan, including guest supporting the likes of Liam Gallagher and Kings Of Leon, there are expectations for Under Your Sky, released on Infectious Music.
Under Your Sky is already getting rave reviews including four stars from the Guardian, describing ’the 11 highly anthemic songs all have arena-sized choruses, which deserve to be widely heard and loudly sung”.
Skelly points out what partly attracted him to the project was how indie music is ’not the most fashionable’.\
The Sherlocks though are key contenders in a new wave of British bands keeping alt-rock and indie vital for a new generation of fans.
After hearing album track demos he agreed to produce it.
The indie star says their new material is a step up and he can relate to them as a young, northern band. He says he wanted the album to embody the communal sing-along sound of their live gigs.
In the end his role became mainly editing the songs to get more quickly to those memorable choruses.
If the unspoken did happen, it would almost be like history repeating itself for Skelly after The Coral peaked at five with their debut but then topped the album charts with their own number one follow up, Magic and Medicine.
So could Under Your Sky go all the way?
“I hope so,” he says.
He adds: “It depends on the week you release it.
“There’s definitely a hunger for people to have this communal sing-along at gigs isn't there? So, if that can catch on, with the fan base and if they hit at the right time, I don’t see why not.
“They’ve got the choruses.
“With these lads I see it as they are working class lads and they want to be massive.
“They want whole arenas singing their songs back at them, singing our tunes, a communal experience.
“They should be like, we want everyone singing our tunes, to be like a communal experience of that sing-a-long.
“It's not the most fashionable music is it, to be in a northern indie band? Which is kind of what made me do it in a way. I like stuff that isn’t that fashionable.
“I got asked to do the album. The demos that I heard of the songs on the album are what made me think I could do something with this.
“I thought they had good choruses, good hooks. It’s definitely a step up from their other stuff.
“They are a young northern band and I can relate to that.
“They are good lads. Pretty easy to work with. Kiaran is a bit of a perfectionist but I enjoyed it. It pushes you when someone wants it to be really good.
“I’ve done more by just taking things out of the songs, where it seemed too long or it didn’t need it.
“For me there fan base would just want them to get straight to the point. Just every tune you could sing along to and get to the chorus as quick as you can.”
They have also just released title track, Under Your Sky, as the fourth single from the album following Waiting, NYC (Sing It Loud) and Magic Man.
Kiaran admits he took inspiration for his characters and situations from home writing the the album’s heartbroken, epic finale Under Your Sky.
“It might be the people in my village,” he explains, “or I might just look at someone who lives near me and make a story up or imagine what they’re thinking.
“The thing that links it all together is where I’m from. Some are personal, where I know the people, and some are observational.
“There’s always an element of sadness behind it because, with a sad song, there’s always a lot more truth in it. Under Your Sky might feel slightly sad but there’s always a bit of hope in it.”
While Live For The Moment remains a scintillating insight into the hedonism and heartbreak of youth, Under Your Sky finds frontman Kiaran writing songs which bridge the exuberance of youth with the reflection and maturity of young adulthood.
The songs are largely born from experiences, often specific to Kiaran in circumstance but largely universal in emotion.
The driving I Want It All reminisces over a gloriously stormy festival weekend in Wales, along with other memorable moments Kiaran has spent with a special someone. Then the Springsteen-tinged Time To Go celebrates the more casual romantic encounter.
Whether despairing over the ambitions lost to people doing McJobs on Dreams or dissecting the various stages of relationships on Waiting, it’s a collection that leans towards the melancholy, but vitally there’s hope for better times ahead too.
The result is tighter, brighter and ultra-modern, benefiting from Skelly’s knack for focusing on a killer chorus and smattered with stylistic swerves into new wave, ‘80s textures and all-out feedback.
It’s as much The Killers or The Cars as it is Catfish - a real 21st century rock record with stadiums in its sights.
“The first album was us four in a room,” Kiaran summarises.
“We wanted to make it really raw like the Arctic Monkeys’ first album or Kings Of Leon’s. We wanted to capture the live sound and polish it up a bit. With this one we’ve taken it a step further and made it slightly smoother and put more keyboards in. Rather than having the guitars thrashing all the time we’ve tried being a bit sweeter with it. It sounds more contemporary, I can hear it on Radio 1.”UNDER YOUR SKY TRACK LISTING
I Want It All
NYC (Sing It Loud)
Time To Go
Give It All Up
Now And Then
Under Your Sky
Acoustic in-store gigs;
4th– London, Banquet - SOLD OUT
5th– Manchester, HMV, 5.30pm.
7th– Leeds, The Wardrobe w/Crash Records, 7.30pm
8th– Preston, Action Records, 7pm
9th - Electric Theatre, Barnsley 1pm
9th - HMV Sheffield Meadowhall, 5pm.
9th– Sheffield, Bear Tree Records, 7pm
10th– Birningham, HMV, 5.30pm
11th– Huddersfield, Vinyl Tap, 6pm
4th – Dublin, Academy 2
5th – Belfast, Oh Yeah Centre
21st – Cardiff, Tramshed
22nd – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town
23rd – Nottingham, Rock City
24th – Newcastle, Boiler Shop
25th – Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
27th – Bristol, SWX
28th – Southampton, Engine Rooms
29th – Brighton, Concorde 2
31st – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
1st – Leeds, O2 Academy
2nd – Sheffield, O2 Academy
3rd – Birmingham, O2 Institute 2
14th – Antwerp, Kavka
15th – Cologne, Helios 37
16th – Munich, Folks
17th – Zurich, Exil
19th – Vienna, Chelsea
20th – Prague, Café v Lese
21st – Berlin, Cassiopeia
22nd – Hamburg, Molotov
23rd – Amsterdam, BitterZoet
25th – Paris, SuperSonic
THE SHERLOCKS LINKS
Apple Music itunes.apple.com