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LIFE AFTER MORCHEEBA

Set free from the group, Skye stands on her own two feet

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Dismissal from a band isn’t always a dramatic Hollywood-type scene complete with shouting, shoving and/or expletives.

Sometimes it happens via an ordinary phone call, which is how it went for ex-Morcheeba singer Syke Edwards, now a surname-less solo artist.

In August 2003, she received word not from the eclectic band’s co-founders, Paul and Ross Godfrey, but from the manager that her services were no longer needed.

“I was on a holiday and I got a phone call that they wanted to end it [with me], but they were going to continue as Morcheeba,” she explains. “I kind of saw it coming. We were all working on individual side projects at the time anyway. They also wanted to buy my share of the Morcheeba studios, so it was in the cards.”

The seeds for Skye‘s solo career were planted when Morcheeba was in the final stages of recording 2002’s Charango. Around that time, Skye recalls, Paul announced he wanted to take a five-year break from the band, “so from that point I picked up the guitar and got a bunch of songs together and thought I would do a side project while he’s taking this five-year break.” (Morcheeba — the Godfrey brothers, plus a new singer — actually returned in 2005 with The Antidote.)

By spring 2004, Skye had written more than 30 songs. Her search for a producer led to Pat Leonard, and they would go on to write about 12 more.

“Each day he’d sit at the keyboard and ask me what kind of mood I was in, what kind of song I’d like to write, and we’d work it out together,” recalls Skye.

She cites “Tell Me About Your Day” as a real turning point in the creation of her sensual, textured 11-song solo debut, the Leonard-produced Mind How You Go, released this year via Cordless Recordings. After she expressed concern that none of the lyrics rhymed and therefore she didn’t think it could be a song, Leonard made a trip to Amoeba Records in Los Angeles and returned with copies of Bob Dylan‘s Oh Mercy and Joni Mitchell‘s Hejira.

“He said, ‘Go ahead and listen to these, then tell me that songs don’t rhyme,’ ” Skye remembers. “It’s not like I learned how to write after listening [to them], but it was just a lesson in that songs didn’t have to rhyme.”

Although her days with Morcheeba are behind her, Skye, who has been on the road since mid-November with Ziggy Marley, hasn’t closed the door on performing the group’s songs during her solo shows.

“It’s actually quite nice to do them in a different way,” she says.

— By Chris M. Junior

Skye on tour with Ziggy Marley (schedule subject to change):

* Dec. 1: La Zona Rosa — Austin, Texas
* Dec. 2: Ridglea Theater — Fort Worth, Texas
* Dec. 4: Sunshine Theatre — Albuquerque, N.M.
* Dec. 5: Rialto Theatre — Tucson, Ariz.
* Dec. 7: 4th & B — San Diego
* Dec. 8: Avalon Hollywood — Los Angeles