Think ELO and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Think Flaming Lips and Can. Think Terry Riley and Talking Heads. Channeling a kindred spirit, New York City-based indie rock band Skidmore Fountain is a bit on the unconventional side, with fi ve-string electric cello (it's fi fth string acts as bass), guitar, drums and vocals making up the group. Skidmore Fountain brings the recording studio to the stage, with live string arrangements and ambient soundscapes looping through an Echoplex, vocals intensifi ed through analog delay pedals, and lushly orchestrated guitar lines, all sitting atop pounding, old-school R&B and dub rhythms. The four members of Skidmore Fountain work collaboratively, equally sharing in the songwriting and production. The band has been hard at work for the past year on their latest album, Cloudless Blue (Young Love Records), writing in a tiny (and nearly airless) Brooklyn basement. The band received a huge boost by winning the 2008 AirPlay Direct's "All Things Digital" songwriting contest, allowing Skidmore Fountain the luxury of a national promotional campaign and the chance to record in a haunted church on Elm Street. Originally meeting in Tucson, Ariz., the three founders - Randy, Topu and Steven - began performing together in avant-garde art-house happenings. Then, moving to Portland, Ore., they electrifi ed their sound, recording their fi rst album with Tape Op legend Larry Crane (Elliot Smith, Stephen Malkmus), which was picked as a CD Baby Staff Favorite. Next the gang crossed the continent, joining forces in NYC with drummer Dylan where, as AM New York reported, "the quartet is settling into the local scene nicely." In 2007, multiple-Grammy award-winning producer Ken Lewis (David Byrne, Beastie Boys) produced the band's 2007 11-track release, Break (Triple R Records). Break was recently picked as an iTunes favorite album; additionally, it charted on FMQB, and the title track appeared on MTV. "The gobs of catchy choruses seem destined for crowd shout-alongs," said CMJ New Music Report.