Record Reviews

The Skygreen Leopards | Gorgeous Johnny

Jagjaguwar Records

When you settle into the rhythm of a long car ride you don’t want bumps. You want smooth, chilled out conditions, no hassles, just the landscape passing through your idyll.

And that’s just what you get listening to the Skygreen Leopards. Gorgeous Johnny, their latest, serves up nostalgic grooves and the omnipresence of Johnny, their eponymous muse with his own theme song (the tuneful instrumental, Johnny’s Theme).

San Francisco fixtures Glenn Donaldson and Donovan Quinn, the band’s nucleus, host friends from other bands as they have on past projects; Jason Quever of the Papercuts is a notable mention here.

During my first listen, a friend dropped by and asked if I was watching a Thomas Campbell surf flick. I wasn’t, but it was a well-aimed question. Anyone who has visited the Sunset district’s Mollusk Surf Shop is familiar with the neo-retro vibe in that pocket of the universe—you’ll find it in this album as well. Whispery pop-psychedelia and jingle-jangle Norcal folk are heavy in the mix. Goodnight Anna is the album’s high water mark and reason enough to buy the whole slab of vinyl (Tell me you pressed some vinyl!).

I suspect the Leopard’s friend Johnny has made a carefree life of slacking because this album has one gorgeous speed, brother: mellow.

-Matthew Monte


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