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.
- 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
Skyler - Take You Away
2011, SkyHi Records
York, Maine singer/songwriter Skyler returns in 2011 with his sophomore EP, Take You Away
. The follow-up to 2010’s Long Gone
, which placed in Wildy’s World’s Top-10 albums of 2010, follows a similar path to success. Skyler’s brand of catchy pop music is ripe with memorable melodies and clever turns of phrase.
Skyler gets things started with melodic alternapop you can't get out of your head. "Empty Rooms" laments a life on the sidelines in a highly danceable folk/pop arrangement with strong guitar fills. Skyler has a fine voice that rings clear in the middle. "Hold On (Pray)" is an easy going number with a solid chorus. Skyler manages to build the song in intensity and accent with splendid vocal harmonies, while advising listeners to not be complacent but grab life by the horns. "Take You Away" looks forward at how things might be in a prospective relationship. The song is built on a strong hook, and is a great listen in spite of getting too repetitive for its own good at the end. "It Kills Me" is a circular, angst-filled rumination on unrequited love from a distance. Well written and mildly catchy, the song conveys hope that is compelling in its apparent hopelessness. Skyler closes with "Sentimental", one side of an argument over emotions and what is, and is not, real. The energy is great, and the chorus will get stuck and recur in your head. Skyler manages to sound like an affable cross between the Gin Blossoms and Dog's Eye View.
Skyler continues to finesse his considerable talent for crafting catchy folk/pop/rock numbers that make listeners want to get on their feet and dance. Take You Away
perhaps steps back a tad from last year's Long Gone
, but only in that Skyler is continuing to grow as an artist and expand his sonic territory. Skyler shows the same energy and zest as in the past, but is also exploring the edges of his sound to see where he might go next. The result is positive, and promises to bear much fruit down the road. For now, you could do worse than to let Skyler Take You Away
for a little while.Rating: 4 Stars
(Out of 5)
Skyler - Long Gone EP
Reviewed by: cavanaughpark09
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.
Recommended If You Likesinger-songwriters, a lot of guitar, a little bit country
"I love the way you look," Skyler sings, "when you're holding my hand."
The nineteen-year-old musician, who hales from Maine, is singing to his girlfriend, who makes him feel... in love, as his words describe it.
His start was in the third grade, opting for a performance on a makeshift stage over playing with his friends during recess. With an audience of fellow students and teachers around him, Skyler had the motivation to pursue his dreams. And that he did. Various instruments could be found in his hands by the seventh grade, and songs like Hold My Hand and Any Stupid Thing are what derived from Skyler's pen.
He, and band members Adam, Michael, and John have released a poignant and interpretive CD about love. To the girl who's already taken, and the one he'd swim the Rio Grande with in Stephanie, to falling into love in Any Stupid Thing, Skyler's infatuated. "You're my whole world," he tells the girl he's desperately fallen for, "my everything." The emotion Skyler lets out in this song is the perfect example of how many of us can feel when we're in love with someone who's either out of our reach, out of our league, or who doesn't even know we exist. If she would would only talk to him, he'd be a complete wreck.
Relationships go completely awry in It's Just The Night. One girl is pleading with her boyfriend to take her back and another is making love in the back of a pickup truck.
But worst of all, it's Nicky K. who doesn't realize they are not alone. 'Cause in his head, he's cheating on her with the girl he met at the bar last night. (He was gonna take her home/She was gonna get it right.)
Whoa... Skyler's treading the mirky waters of relationships gone way wrong... but in This Dream it's different.
No cheating. No lying. Nothing but pure love and infatuation is on Skyler's mind.
"A million nights of wanting to be back there by your side," he dreams. "You'll be there on your front porch with your arms open wide." He just wants to make it from Nashville to Boston, hoping it's pure and true.
This dream will carry him, and pull what's left of him back to his love.
It's carrying him, alright. To her, to music fans everywhere, and to magazines, television, and the radio. He's currently pursuing his dreams at Berklee College of Music. He's the owner of five full-length CDs, and with over 300 gigs already behind him, Skyler is going places.
At twenty, he now has a growing fanbase, and with his guitar, Skyler is well on his way to stardom. After listening to his EP Long Gone and interviewing him, I know he's got it. I really enjoy the vibe his music sends out; the mood is happy, energetic, and grabs your attention. Skyler is gluten free and prefers the guitar over drums because it woos the girls. He's unique, and that is difficult to find in today's industry.
With five beautiful songs full of relatable lyrics and that country sound I love so much, he has an amazing EP in his hands.
The talent. The voice. The instrumental skills. And that gorgeous smile.
He's got so much more to say, but for now, he's speechless.
Long Gone was recorded and produced by Jonathan Wyman (Halo Studios) and mastered by Adam Ayan (Gateway Mastering).
Skyler will be our featured Summer Artist in July 2011 on the Rising Stars Webshow, a network of the Radio Disney Club.
Review: Skyler “Take You Away” [EP]
There are a whole lot of people – especially musicians - who would scoff at the idea that they could learn something from a 19 year old “kid”. But Maine’s pop rock sensation, Skyler, could really take them to school. Since third grade, Skyler has been working to make his musical dreams come true. By sixth grade he was a multi-instrumentalist, and just one year later had converted his bedroom into a recording studio. By ninth grade, he released his debut full-length album, followed by four more prior to graduation. He’s played 250 gigs to date and even found time to excel at Berklee College of Music for a year.
His latest EP, “Take You Away”, which arrived this April, is poised to catapult this young man into superstardom. With a voice and vibe that just makes you feel fuzzy and warm all over,Skyler is the tonic for troubled times. The EP begins with the shimmering “Empty Rooms”, a nifty little anthem that impresses with a memorable chorus and lyrics that demonstrate Skylercan write to universal appeal despite his young age. The mood grows sober with the acoustic picking at the beginning of “Hold On (Pray)”, but this song of encouragement swells with lucidity by the time the sparkling chorus rolls around. With uplifting strings and an infectious backbeat, the title track – quite the serenade - is guaranteed to win over the heart of any girl. The proper ballad is “It Kills Me”, complete with dazzling backing vocals during the guitar solo, which comes straight out of the 80s power ballad songbook. The party ends too soon with “Sentimental”, a worthy upbeat closer with breezy verses sandwiching yet another catchy chorus.
Skyler’s music is modern pop rock at its best – “Take You Away” will appeal to fans of Ryan Cabrera (whom he’s opened for), Lifehouse, and Michelle Branch.
“This Dream” is a young love tale set to a very fast paced music, it is very catchy, and it is by far the best song on this record. Every song is full of catchy beats. “It’s Just the Night” is a rockin little number, that shows Skyler’s wonderful sense of humor.
(April 2011 Issue)
Skyler - Long Gone
Reviewed by: alienantidote
- Long Gone
Record Label – Sky-Hi Records
Release – June 16th, 2010Author's Rating
Vocals 9.25Musicianship 8.75Lyrics 9Production 9.25Creativity 8.5Lasting Value 8.75Reviewer Tilt 9.5Final Verdict: 90%I think I just fell in love.
Maybe it’s like the chick flick genre of the music scene, but whatever it is, Skyler know what they’re doing. This five-track gem is fun, it’s poppy, it’s upbeat, and it says all the right things for a girl’s smitten heart.
“I love the way you look when you’re holding my hand,” the opening track, oh so aptly titled “Hold My Hand” has worked its way into my head. Um, I’m never even met this kid, but I’m pretty sure I would adore holding his hand right about now. This is fairytale storytelling through music and a focus on the little things in life.
Flip over to “Stephanie” for desires of roadtripping to Mexico and swimming the Rio Grande. The track is a little bit slower and a little more country (Is that a fiddle I hear in the background?), but provides a perfect complement to the faster-paced openers.
Starting up in third grade most certainly provides this five-piece band with more than enough practice. What were you doing in third grade? Playing hopscotch? Maybe trading Pokemon cards or walking the dog with your yo-yo? Simply put, these guys have the experience and they know what they’re doing.
Let’s say this is Taylor Swift in guy form. Hell yes, this is so sweet that I feel I may need to shelter Long Gone
from the inevitable Disney-oriented audiences that are going to swarm this EP. Skyler’s got guilty pleasure written all over them in all the best of ways.
Recommended If You Likesugary sweet perfection with a hint of country, Ryan Cabrera, Taylor Swift, Jonas Brothers
This youngster from Maine may be the male answer to artists like Taylor Swift. He has no problem with attracting a female fan base, yet he's not out on stage worrying as much about his dance routine as his singing either, so male music fans shouldn't have a problem with him either.
To me Skyler kind of has the John Mellencamp vibe, he's not quite country, but kind of on the verge of it, yet still rocking enough to keep mainstream listeners happy. His writing is very honest and relatable and his voice is clean, but with a bit of an edge to it. The EP is a very nice preview of what's to come soon from Skyler. -Brandon LemonsWe hear of lots of artists who grew up in L.A., Nashville, Austin, New York, or Seattle. It's kind of rare to hear about someone from Maine, what was the music scene like growing up there?
There wasn't much of a music scene in Maine that I was aware of. It wasn't until late in my musical development that I discovered that there were a bunch of famous and "almost famous" artists from Maine. Howie Day, Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones (Arista), Jeremiah Freed (Universal Republic), As Fast As (Octone), etc. In fact, members of Rustic Overtones, Jeremiah Freed, and As Fast As all graduated from York High School (my Alma Mater).Your sound is kind of reminiscent of the '90s. Did bands in the '90s have a lot of influence on you?
I was born in 1991, so my earliest years of listening to the radio were the '90s. There's no doubt it had a subconscious impact on me.Is This Dream (Nashville) a true story?
To a certain extent, yes.Since you are a multi instrumentalist, how many instruments do you actually play?
I sing, play guitar, bass, drums, and piano. Those are the only ones I play well. Everything else I just mess around on.Who's getting heavy play on your iPod right now?
The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty are always getting heavy play on my iPod. On top of that, I'm listening to a lot of Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and the soundtrack from Country Strong. I never used to listen to Country music, but it seems like that is where all of the great songwriting is now.