Skating Polly Bringing “Ugly Pop” to Salt Lake City

By Holly Vasic

The alt-rock band Skating Polly from Oklahoma City has just released a new EP and are touring around with one of their influences, L.A. punk rockers X, on their 40th Anniversary Tour, currently making its way to Salt Lake City.

In 2009, when stepsisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse were just 9 and 14 respectively, they formed the band Skating Polly after a Halloween Party. They recorded their first album, “Taking Over the World”, in their living room. When their parents got together the girls met and began to play around with different instruments their parents owned. Bighorse settled on playing guitar, Mayo playing basitar (a bass and guitar mixed into one which her father made for her), and they both took turns singing, playing drums and piano. Their music is simple for these self-taught sisters but catchy and their voices are easy to listen to, even when they scream. Influences for Mayo and Bighorse, other than X, include “Nirvana, Neutral Milk Hotel, Beat Happening, Bikini Kill, Velvet Underground, Beatles, Regina Spektor, Kimya Dawson, Elliott Smith,” according to their Facebook page, and you can hear that in their sound. Yet they still have their own uniqueness and describe their genre as “ugly pop” on their band page.

Exene Cervenka, singer of the band X, was touring on a solo project a few years back when the sisters of Skating Polly had the opportunity to show her their music via a cell phone. Cervenka became a fan and produced their second album, “Lost Wonderfuls,” released in 2013. This same album was mixed by Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock. After recording their third album, “Fuzz Steilacoom,” in Olympus, WA they hit the road to support the album. The girls toured in Europe with the all-girl punk rock band Babes in Toyland after their fourth album, The Big Fit, in 2015.

Their newest endeavor is “New Trick,” an EP of four tracks done with Louise Post and Nina Gordon of Veruca Salt.

”When mutual industry friends proposed the idea of a collaborative songwriting session, both bands jumped at the opportunity,” writer Jamie Ludwig said of the EP on the She Shreds website.

The 90’s rock band singers, Post and Gordon, mixed well with the indie, punk, alt-rock sound of Skating Polly, especially considering Bighorse and Mayo’s musical inspirations from the generation X era.

These two young women have been very busy making music, touring, and rocking out. In January of this year, they realized they needed another musician to reach their full potential and officially added their brother, Kurtis Mayo, to the group.

Skating Polly will be opening up for X Friday, Sept. 8, at The Complex, 536 W 100 S, Salt Lake City. Tickets can be purchased at any Smith Tix, Graywhale or at The Complex Box office, and doors open at 8 pm. For more tour dates and to check out their music visit or like their Facebook page, @SkatingPolly.