Scroll down Gayle Skidmore’s Bandcamp profile and you’ll find a total of 25 releases. Several are individual tracks, some are EPs featuring three to six songs each, and a few are live recordings, remixes and other fun stuff.
Three are full-length albums — each of which comes with an adult coloring book. And Skidmore’s most recent release — a seven-track collection called “Hiraethean Echoes” — came out just last week.
In other words, the Netherlands-based, San Diego-rooted singer-songwriter is nothing if not prolific. And it turns out the music on Bandcamp is just the tip of Skidmore’s artistic iceberg.
“I have about 2,500 songs in various stages, so I still have a lot I want to get out there,” Skidmore said in a recent telephone interview from a tour stop in Vancouver, Canada. Her Gills & Wings Tour visits Silver Moon Brewing in Bend on Thursday.
Songs pile up when you start playing piano at age 4 and composing at age 8, it seems. Raised in a musical family, Skidmore has been turning her life experience into music for as long as she can remember, racking up awards and placements in TV shows and traveling all over the world to play her well-crafted indie-pop for people.
She was an active and integral part of the San Diego scene before moving to The Netherlands five years ago. If music is the universal language, Skidmore’s two homes hear her songs very differently, she said.
“In The Netherlands, they consider me pretty alternative,” she said, “which is interesting because I won some ‘best pop’ awards in San Diego. So it’s been different, for sure.”
The truth is, Skidmore’s songs skirt the lines between pop and alternative, and folk, too. The tie that binds them is her instrumental acumen — she can play a couple dozen instruments, she said — and her penchant for orchestral flourishes and baroque arrangements, which give her songs a sumptuous feel.
“I started playing the piano before I even took lessons, so when I was really little, I’d pick out tunes before I knew how to play,” she said. “I’ve always kind of heard songs and different parts in my head, and I’ve also worked hard to develop that skill. I’m still working on it.”
Meanwhile, the songs keep coming. Skidmore is “constantly trying different genres,” she said, and just wrote her first jazz-pop song. It started out as a commission for a beer commercial, and when the beer company opted to go in a different direction, she decided to finish it and keep it for herself.
Now, she’s got yet another musical path to explore. There isn’t much that excites Skidmore more than a new direction.
“I think it’s good to stretch yourself like that,” she said. “I mean, it might turn out terrible, you know? But it’s good to try it and see if it leads somewhere interesting.”