Local band Skybound released its debut full-length album almost one year ago, so we decided to re-release our review so that all you beautiful readers can consider purchasing or streaming it.
Originally Released June 12th 2018
The album features 10 songs including Void and Bipolar Bear. The Album will be coming out on June 15th. Tiago was kind enough to give us here at The Ottawa Sound an early look at the album. The album is a concept album that follows a young fighter pilot that has crashed his plane during the second world war and finds a mysterious island. Each song is a journal entry from the perspective of the pilot. I’m willing to admit that before I listened to this album I was not a huge fan of instrumental music, but this album has thoroughly changed my mind.
Song 1: Void
This song is about the pilot crashing his plane and how he feels hopeless. The song starts with a lamenting vocal line that brings across the despair and hopelessness that the pilot must feel. Then the music erupts and you start to sense his determination to survive. Skybound is a seriously talented group of musicians and this song goes to show it.
Song 2: The Peach Arbor
This song follows the pilot as he discovers a bunch of fruit trees. When the song starts you can really sense the feeling of wonder and excitement the pilot has at discovering the fruit. This song has one of my favourite guitar riffs on the album and the drums and guitar just mesh perfectly together. The bass line that comes in around halfway also meshes beautifully with instrumentation of the guitar and drums. The build-up and fall at the end is an amazing way to end the song and flows perfectly into the next song, Moonflower.
Song 3: Moonflower
Moonflower follows the pilot as his first day on the island ends. Mysterious flowers start glowing at his feet. The song starts with instrumentation that brings across the sense of wonder, confusion and amazement at the flowers. When I listen to the song I can picture the pilot running through a field of these glowing flowers with the sense of wonder and abandon of a child. Again a song with a perfectly paired guitar riff and drum pattern. The transitions from part to part are perfectly executed and the tapping riff about halfway through is simply amazing. This song also has an amazing buildup and fall that is a great transition from one song to the next. The drumming in this song is absolutely amazing.
Song 4: Please Come Home
This song follows the pilot as he meets a group of people and starts to feel a sense of belonging. The opening guitar riff is so good and is a great gateway to the near perfection that follows it up. The main riff of the song is seriously good and gets stuck in my head every time I listen to it, a hallmark of an amazing riff. Also, the transition from fast to slow, with a perfectly executed fade out and fade in really adds to the song, with another sick tapping riff.
Song 5: Time Tessellates
This song starts with a wonderfully beautiful guitar riff mixed in with some light strings faded into the background. It follows the pilot about a week after he lands on the island. The use of harmonics on the guitar right before the build-up made me smile as that technique is not often heard being used by younger guitarists as it can be difficult to execute. Also, the riffs in this song are absolutely mind-boggling and the drumming seriously adds a layer to the song that is hard to describe. This is probably my favourite song on the album and I love the synths that were added as they seriously change the feel of the song for the better, they add a feeling of fun to the song. Time Tessellates feels like it would be in the soundtrack to a movie.
Song 6: Nova
This song is about a girl the pilot starts falling in love with, named Nova. Its one of the shortest songs on the album and it features a nice synth line, and once again everything meshes perfectly. The ending riff is so so so good too.
Song 7: The Tempest
This one starts with a bang. Energetic, bouncing and fun. Beautiful transitions again and more beautiful guitar riffs. This song is about the pilot surviving a storm that blew the camp apart. You can definitely feel the ferociousness of the storm in the music, and the sense of being lost while the pilot struggles to find his way back to his new friends.
Song 8: Bipolar Bear
This song follows the pilot as he struggles to get across the island. You can definitely feel his sense of longing and determination to get to where he needs to go. More epic riffs and perfection in meshing of instrumental elements. Skybound strikes again with the mind boggling transitions and time changes. Also, the random sax solo in the middle of the song took me by surprise at first but it adds a nice layer to the music.
Song 9: Lemon Lime
The pilot is almost at his destination, he takes a break and can feel the grass between his toes. Lemon Lime had me bobbing my head and tapping my foot the whole time I was listening. Executed perfection. More perfect transitions, time changes, tempo changes, great use of dynamics, a great bass line that doesn’t overpower the guitar but at the same time doesn’t get buried either. Very well mixed.
Song 10: The Secret Life Of Birds
The final song on the album. Over a month has passed since the storm destroyed the camp. The pilot finally arrives at the other side of the island. The song starts with birds, and a nice string part, that gives me a sense of foreboding but at the same time relief. The piano comes in and builds on the relief. I feel at ease listening to the start of the song. The guitar kicks in, a nice fingerpicking acoustic guitar part. Synth just lightly in the back. Then, boom. Another perfectly executed transition. The song features a well-rounded mix of acoustic and electric guitar parts, clean and distorted guitar and then an epic transition part way through with a sick drum fill. The last part of the song has a beautiful ukulele and piano part, with what sounds like a harp and some nice soothing strings. A perfect finish for a near perfect album.
- Void: 9/10
- The Peach Arbor: 9/10
- Moonflower: 9.5/10
- Please Come Home: 9.5/10
- Time Tessellates: 10/10
- Nova: 9.5/10
- The Tempest: 9/10
- Bipolar bear: 9/10
- Lemon Lime: 10/10
- The Secret Life Of Birds: 10
- Overall: 94.5/100