Skyler - Long Gone EP Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: June 6, 2010
In today’s music scene it seems that pop is mixed with every existing genre, gaining larger audiences for artists, and new music for fans. While I normally wouldn’t give a country album a spin Skyler’s “Long Gone EP” was given to me by a friend whose musical tastes I trust, and after a few listens I’m glad that I do.
A Maine native, Skyler began his career on the playground during elementary school recess. Becoming a multi-instrumentalist by middle school, and with several original CDs under his belt before high school graduation it seems like this artist is poised for success. This release, produced and recorded by Jonathan Wyman, and mastered by Adam Ayan, readies the full band for a wider audience.
The EP opens with “Hold My Hand,” a song that if nothing else dates Skyler himself. The song screams high school, with lyrics like “can’t wait to read your words as they reach my phone,” which most of today’s youth can easily relate to. The song is simple with a sing-along feel provided by the backing vocals. It’s almost too simple. Despite the undoubtedly high school view of a relationship the entire sound is very clear and polished.
“This Daydream (Nashville)” is a huge step forward from the previous song. The song is less of a gang vocal, and more of Skyler’s voice. While the message of getting “back home to you” has been done before Skyler manages to put so much description into his verses that the song seems more like a story than most artists today are able to pull off.
With songs “Stephanie” and “Any Stupid Thing” Skyler continues the practice of descriptive songwriting, with small details that really make the songs stand out. “Stephanie” is probably the most country sounding song on the record, and is catchy and addictive. “Any Stupid Thing,” almost sounds like an extension of the previous song. . With lyrics like “I picked out the ring, ‘cause I’d say any stupid thing… you’re my whole world, you’re my everything” it sounds like the EP’s opener, definitely showing the artist with a very young view of relationships.
If any songs on this EP would make me a country fan it is easily the closing “It’s Just the Night.” Skyler’s descriptive songwriting is clearly going to be an asset in his future. The chorus, with the full band’s backing echo of “bring on the night, bring on the night” is infectious and will stay stuck with you for days. It is simply the song on the release that shows the most potential for the music this band is going to be recording in the future.
Skyler is clearly embracing both pop and country, and clearly makes both work for him because this album is definitely not a weak contender. I’m looking forward to seeing him play live and to hearing what kind of full-length he might release. However, a lot of bands seem to fall victim to writing to please a certain age group. Skyler, it seems, is right in the middle of two very different groups, but most of this music makes me sure that the next release is going to make me eat my words.