Sunday, January 17, 2010
Last Spring Chicago's Skybox released a new track, "In a Dream," for free online to build some buzz for Morning After Cuts, their new sophomore LP out this Tuesday. That track was an irresistible dose of musical sunshine so good that during the many months waiting to hear the rest of the record I feared nothing on it could be half as good. I shouldn't have worried. Morning After Cuts is a wonderful alt-pop record that's a joy to listen to all the way through, showcasing a band that's developed a stronger sense of self and a new-found emphasis on melody since their 2006 debut, Arco Iris.
"In a Dream" remains the strongest and most immediate cut (someone should tap this for an iTunes commercial), but there's not a dud to be found among the other eight tunes. The breezy, hopeful vibe and clever lyrics of the title track add up to another instant winner, and the upbeat quirkiness of songs such as "Light," "Buckets" and "Fences" offers up indie pop gems that are nearly as infectious as "In a Dream." "Slipping" and "Trout" are slower, more gentle and reflective, serving as a nice balance to the sugar-high throughout the rest of the record. Sean O'Keefe's effervescent production and the distinctive falsetto vocals of singer-songwriter Tim Ellis complete the picture - both work perfectly with the material. This is downright fun, memorable stuff that has the potential to attract a huge audience.
To download "In a Dream" for free and sample other tracks from Morning After Cuts, head to skyboxmusic.com. The band will play Schubas tonight, January 17, as part of Tomorrow Never Knows fest (more info and tickets here).