Connect with us

Featured

Silent Skies Forge A Dark Pop Path With 3rd Full-Length “Dormant” 

Life, whether it runs eighty minutes or years, is a series of one turning point after another. We live in a constant state of becoming – becoming what we are and aren’t meant to be, becoming young, middle-aged, and eventually old if we’re lucky. The song lyrics for Silent Skies’ Dormant are full of those turning points. Tom Englund’s voice and words probe every corner of his life and psyche trying to identify where and who he’s been, where he’s going, and how he’s reached this place in his life. He honors listeners by sharing that journey.

His musical partner Vikram Shankar supplies the soundtrack for these meditations. His considered touch on piano, keyboards, and synthesizers color each mile of Englund’s inner voyage with melancholic shades. Even the album’s most hopeful moments, and they are ample, are alight with an undimmed sense of brittle victories.

Advertisement

Construct” begins the collection. It sounds unvarnished and natural despite the synthesizers and keyboards. It has, as well, a strong sense of direction, but Silent Skies unfolds it at its own speed. You won’t hear any parallels with their contemporaries. Tom S. Englund’s vocal chops are the song’s heart and he conveys clearly thought-out sentiments with poetic grace that never over-reaches.

If “Construct” doesn’t make you an immediate believer, “New Life” will. It rips away any resistance you may have to the music following its opener thanks, in no small part, to Shankar’s emotionally piercing piano. It’s a beautiful, almost ornate blade that cuts through your defenses and skepticism. “Churches” has the same allure, though manifested in a different way. Englund’s voice reaches its fullest bloom yet with this performance.

“Just Above the Clouds” lives up to its ambitious title. This composition lifts listeners higher than any of its predecessors without relying on a single note of gimmickry or any pretentiousness. There’s a deeper focus on the vocals than previous tracks, but Shankar’s instrumental instincts are as sharp as ever.

Advertisement

The tandem dig even deeper with “Tides”. It is impossible to not be left a little slack-jawed by Englund’s writing skills and his ability to merge his ruminations with such an unusual musical backing. You will likely come away from Dormant a bit awe-struck by the emotional variety he achieves with his voice. It’s operating in a different realm here.

There are other nominal love songs included on the album, but by far the best track in this vein is “Light Up the Dark”. Englund writes about the source of his affection and devotion with clear eyes, never falling prey to hoary love song cliches, and crafts a masterpiece in miniature that you’ll want to return to again and again. He grounds it in the real world, as well, rather than some sappy romantic twaddle.

Advertisement

“The Last on Earth” has a haunted tone and the gravitas you’d expect for the album’s closer number, excepting the bonus tracks. It sounds written with a final curtain well in mind but doesn’t suffer in light of that. There’s no straining for profundity. Each of the three bonus tracks, all of them covers, are electrifying re-interpretations of the originals. “The Trooper”, however, is a stunning reformulation of the Iron Maiden classic that will leave you groping for superlatives. Silent Skies work like that. They comprehend the significance of our time on this earth, in this life, with artistry that few other acts can match.

Skyler Voss

Advertisement

 

Advertisement

Artist Spotlight

Reese Weil released an EP, “Beatwave”

Reese Weil

Reese Weil is a Bay Area musician who recently released an EP called “Beatwave.” This EP is a mix of hip-hop, rap, and rock that has been very popular among listeners. You can find it on all major streaming platforms.

Advertisement

The EP was released on February 14th, 2024, featuring other famous artists such as Nef the Pharaoh and Scando the Darklord. Each song on the EP is unique and showcases the talents of its collaborators. The EP is an excellent representation of the Bay Area’s music scene.

“Beatwave” is a great EP that has something for everyone. From catchy rhythms to meaningful lyrics, it will keep you entertained. Some of the best tracks on the EP are “Day Drinkin’,” “Night Ain’t Over,” and “Summer Love.” These songs showcase Reese Weil’s great melodies and guitar skills. Other tracks like “Wild Side” and “Airplanes” highlight the tremendous rap skills of Nef the Pharaoh and Scando the Darklord.

Advertisement

The EP is about 19 minutes long, and it’s a celebration of creativity and unity. It’s a great example of how different genres can come together to create something amazing. “Beatwave” will make waves in the music industry and establish Reese Weil as a great artist to watch out for.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Featured

Luanne Hunt Paints a Vivid Picture of Addiction on “The Vice”

Luanne Hunt’s “The Vice” is a hauntingly beautiful exploration of the highs and lows of a gambler’s life. With its rich imagery and introspective lyrics, the song captures the essence of addiction and the isolation that often comes with it.

Hunt’s vocals are the perfect vehicle for this emotional journey, delivering raw vulnerability and warmth with every line. Her voice is melodic and captivating, drawing the listener in and immersing them in the story of the protagonist.

Advertisement

The instrumentation of “The Vice” is minimalistic yet impactful. The piano and violin blend seamlessly to create a rich and textured sound, mirroring the emotional depth of the lyrics. There is a sense of intimacy in the arrangement, as if the listener is sitting in a quiet corner of a dimly lit lounge, enveloped by the melancholic strains of the music.

The lyrics depict the life of a seasoned gambler, referred to as the “king of clubs,” who thrives on the adrenaline rush of gambling. His life is a series of solitary journeys from one gambling haven to another, with the casinos of Vegas, Reno, and Jean being his mainstays. Despite his successes and the reputation that precedes him, the gambler experiences profound loneliness, hinted at by his solitary drinking habit and the mention of fleeting romantic encounters. The recurring refrain, “He’s in paradise with a pair of dice,” encapsulates the gambler’s dual existence in moments of ecstasy and isolation.

Advertisement

Through “The Vice,” Hunt masterfully explores the seductive and destructive nature of vices. She paints a vivid picture of a man consumed by his addiction, finding fleeting moments of euphoria in the midst of profound loneliness.

For those interested in exploring similar themes through music, Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” and Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” offer nuanced takes on life’s gambles, both literal and metaphorical. In literature, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Gambler” provides a profound psychological exploration of gambling addiction. Visually, the paintings of Paul Cézanne, particularly his card player series, capture the tension and concentration of gamblers in a different medium.

Advertisement

Overall, “The Vice” is a poignant and introspective piece that showcases Hunt’s talent as a songwriter and storyteller. With its relatable themes and haunting melody, this song is sure to resonate with listeners and leave a lasting impression.

–Toby Jenkins

Advertisement

 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Video Of The Week

Trending