Skyler has been selected as Rising Stars Webshow's July Featured Artist! Hear him talk about his first EP "Long Gone" and his follow up EP "Take You Away" in this special video feature.
If you’re looking for a solid, pop meets rock-and-roll with a dash of country album for your summer drive, Skyler’s Long Gone is for you. Not quite fitting in with the young punk-pop/rock-and-roll scene, yet still not classified as “good-old American” country, Skyler’s music blends both genres in a unique way that is quite refreshing.
The young musician from York, Maine opens his fifth album with “Hold My Hand.” Ten seconds in, you’re bopping your head whether country music is your cup of tea or not. Being one of the more poppy songs on the album, Skyler’s vocals are still reminiscent of a young country artist.
The following song, “This Dream (Nashville),” screams young country. Story-like lyrics with a up-tempo rhythm and strong chorus draw parallels with the Decemberists mixed with Ryan Cabrera and even a bit of Hanson. Continuing with the same country vibe, “Stephanie” is a mixture of cutesy, almost cliché lyrics with violin solos. It’s a more adolescent, youthful side of Long Gone. These two songs are definitely more for the country lovers.
Changing pace a bit, Long Gone’s next track’s rock-and-roll rhythm and catchy lyrics make “Any Stupid Thing” Long Gone’s biggest hit. A more mature Skyler, both musically and lyrically, is expressed in this track.
Closing the album with the same rock-and-roll flavor as “Any Stupid Thing,” with a bit of a more country take is “It’s Just the Night.” Not as solid as the previous track, “It’s Just the Night” still possesses the youthful country-pop style of Skyler.
The undeniable talent and vocals of Skyler are displayed in Long Gone. He embraces a youthful pop/country singer, however he has yet to solidify a style as far as his direction in music is going. Some songs are more pop, country, or rock and roll than others, but Skyler is still very young. He has plenty of time to grow and develop into a mature and confident artist.
Skyler - Take You Away
Record Label – Sky-Hi Records
Release – April 19th, 2011
Skyler’s perfecting mainstream pop-country music for the masses with their most recent release Take You Away. Though they’ve taken their country sound down a notch or two since 2010’s Long Gone, the band put forth another seemingly effortless pop-rock driven soundtrack, guaranteed to take hold of your stereo as well as that of any younger siblings who may be tagging around.
Take You Away makes its mark with five songs of hope, love, and longing. “Empty Rooms,” the EP’s opener, is upbeat and all too catchy in spite of its subject matter in which the lyrics regret sitting life out and not taking full advantage of the opportunities offer to you. The title track “Take You Away” is accented with pop-rock guitars and daydreams of a potential relationship and all of the things it could entail – making a home full of children and growing old – if only this girl will give the lovestruck boy a chance. “I might not be perfect,” the song states, “but I’m perfect for you.” Oh, my heart.
If you’re looking for something a bit softer, both “Hold On (Pray)” and “It Kills Me” offer tender, slower-paced alternatives to the melodic radio-friendly tunes that will so easily catch in your head. While “Hold On (Pray)” passes on the message to keep your head up in the more difficult of times, “It Kills Me” laments an unrequited love. Yet, both songs resonate with hope in spite of current situations.
Closing out with “Sentimental,” Skyler play to their rock roots and incorporate the emotional questionings of a relationship. It’s a strong finish that acknowledges there’s no use in dwelling on the sentiments of the past, though arguing that that there are great moments to still be appreciated in the present.
Don’t miss the boat on this one, ladies and gents. If it’s country-friendly pop-rock you’re after, Skyler is certainly ready to take you away for a little while.
Recommended If You Likepop-rock and a tad bit o’ country, Ryan Cabrera, Taylor Swift, Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers
Skyler, “Take You Away” (3.5/5)
In under a year, Skyler, a singer-songwriter from Maine, has managed to put out not one, but two releases. Take You Away, the follow up to 2010’s Long Gone, serves as literal proof that Skyler is a music making machine.
Opening with “Empty Rooms,” Skyler’s catchy melodies immediately caught me, and I knew he had found a hit with young teens with this bouncy track about loneliness. While it will most likely be stuck in my mind all day, I was still hoping for something with a little more depth from the boy who has been making music since elementary school. Given that, the drastic change between “Empty Rooms” and the much slower second track, “Hold On (Pray),” was exactly what this EP needed to show Skyler has much more in him than just appealing, sunshine-riddled hooks. “Take You Away,” the title track on the EP, then returned with vigor as a stand-out on the album, showing off pop-rock-with-distinct-fiddle that I daresay cannot be successfully achieved by most. My biggest complaint on the album is “It Kills Me,” which lacked the power necessary in the chorus to convey the lyrical message, making him sound more like a whiny teenager than someone who is truly torn up over unrequited love.
On his previous EP, Skyler seemed as if he wasn’t certain what direction his music was going to go in; you could see influence from a variety of genres, but nothing definite. Now, with the release of Take You Away, Skyler has developed as an artist and further honed in on his sound, settling on and sticking to pop rock with all his might, and providing listeners with music you just can’t help but sing along to.
Favorite Track: Take You Away
Reviewed by Cathy Wagner
How did you get started in music, when did you know it was the career you wanted to have?
I fell in love with music at a very young age. I remember listening to my mom’s Beatles records on my way to Kindergarten and thinking, “this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” A little strange for a five-year-old, I know…
How would you describe your music to others?
I mixture of pop, rock, and country. I’ve been called the “male version of Taylor Swift.”
You started in the music industry at a very young age, putting out four CD’s before you even graduated. How did you manage to balance that and a normal teenage life?
It wasn’t easy. Instead of going to parties and playing video games, I was in the studio and writing songs.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into the music industry?
Get ready to work, work, work!
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of the music industry?
Favorite: the fans. Least favorite: “hurry up and wait.”
What is your dream venue?
Madison Square Garden.
Any embarrassing moments on stage?
When I accidentally tripped over the power cable and turned the entire sound system off.
If Taylor Swift wrote a song about you what would it be titled?
Any hidden talents?
I remember random facts.
What’s your favorite song to perform?
Acoustic: Stephanie. Electric: It’s Just the Night.
Describe your ideal date.
A nice walk through Downtown Portsmouth, NH. Come back and make a homemade dinner. Watch a movie. Enjoy each other’s company.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
If you could be any flavor of ice cream what would it be?
Vanilla soft serve with gummy bears…..