By: Kyle Rutherford
With the excitement of summer festival season engulfing the minds of music lovers everywhere, musicians are stepping up their game, producing music to tantalize the ears of festivalgoers. One of those bands is Fort Collins, CO based progressive electronic rock group Skydyed. This trio, consisting of Andrew Slattery on bass/synths, Max Doucette on guitar/synths, and Shane Eagen on drums recently released its debut full length, entitled A Quantum Dream.
Skydyed’s debut release definitely shows off the band’s chemistry, creativity and composition quality. Their combination of electronica, rock, jam and jazz creates a mesmerizing sound due to the trio’s appreciation of music’s transcendent language. A Quantum Dream is a phenomenal representation of the band’s musical appreciation and prowess, perfect to listen to in any environment or mindset.
The album begins with the initial orchestral intro of “Grow.” The power of the song grows, with progressive, arpeggiated electronics and smooth bass sounds. As the full band sound comes through, you begin to hear a powerful sound comparable to that of STS9, with melodic guitar riffing akin to Chris Houser of The Werks. As it breaks into an epic, downtempo breakdown, it makes you want to be elsewhere, such as headbanging on festival stage’s barricade. It’s a powerful opener and makes you thirst for more.
Even with the downtempo nature of some of their tunes, that relaxed spirit doesn’t detract from the power of their sound. The Middle Eastern vibes of “Endless Space” alludes to their dynamic production capabilities, while the angelic vs. dubstep call and respond structure of “Saving Daylight” gives way to the band’s transitional capabilities between light and heavy.
On “To Give It All,” the band really did give it their all. The deep, electronic sounds give it the feeling of the psychedelic bass music being produced recently, while the complex double time elements and bass guitar driven half time parts give way to a more powerful Papadosio parallel.
While “The Long Way Back” could be considered a relaxed piece due to the sweeping background soundscapes, the strong arpeggiated synth patterns give the tune massive amounts of energy. The song does progressively grow in sound strength, with more jam rock influenced guitar riffing and a closing wall of sound that is just plain gnarly.
Now as an overall music love, cliché song titles tend to irk me. Skydyed didn’t do that with two of their songs. “Dreamcatcher” does seem like the soundtrack of your brain shooting through the dreaming realm. It’s short and sweet, with a beautiful, tranquil feeling. Even its heavy, oscillating synths don’t take away from the chilled out nature. With “Mind’s Eye,” the combination of light, arpeggiated synth patterns matched up with shredding guitar work gives the composition a strong transcendent sensation.
“Hindsight” brings us back to the relaxed nature of Skydyed’s sound. While the guitar sounds of this one are great, the synth melody is definitely the shining star, especially the way it’s stacked over the heavy drum beat. The piano outro is also gorgeous.
“Simplify” is anything but simple, as it shows off the group’s technicality, especially with their use of digital audio workstations. The opening percussion beat sounds like it was made with an old school Roland 808, while the back and forth between filthy bass synths and expert guitar riffing is pretty groovy. Finally, the heavy percussion, riffing and gritty synths makes for a pretty nasty outro.
To end the release, Skydyed went for a cute closer. “Mushroom” goes back to a sound similar to that of Papadosio, with equal emphasis on angelic guitar sounds and heavy, yet clean oscillated swaying synths. The woodwind samples at the end kind of gives way to letting the listener know the album has ceased, but in your mind you really only want to hear more.
If you aren’t hip to Skydyed yet, do yourself a favor and listen to A Quantum Dream over and over again. After you listen to it a few dozen times, catch their electrifying live show at Euphoria Music Festival in Texas, Beanstalk Music Fest, Arise Music Fest & Sonic Bloom in Colorado, and Backwoods Music Fest in Oklahoma.
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