NYCS First Impression: Skyline Motel ‘After Dark’
It’s been over five years since Skyline Motel’s self-titled debut EP. Sarah Buxton, Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian, and Kate York are four singer-songwriter-producers/best friends who come together every few years to create music not intended for commercial success. Simply put, they create art that’s meant to heal others and bring joy to people’s ears.
After Dark consists of five songs, all written and produced by the group. The opening is the airy, bright “Fields of Knowing” sung primarily by Buxton and York. If a song sounded like a Sunday drive, this would be it. The guitar and drum combo feels like sunshine, and their voices blend perfectly together. Lyrically and sonically, it feels like the light at the end of a tunnel. “The moon is in our house tonight/I wanna swim in your high tide/You and I, we will run/Through the fields knowing/That our love could never die/Like a wave rolling/You and I, we are one/Don’t it feel golden?”
“Fields of Knowing” is the most acoustic moment on the project, with songs like the Buxton-led “Danger” and the previously released Tashian-led “Do You Want Me” airing on the more indie/electronica side. “Danger” is 80s sounding and moody, with tasteful harmonies over Buxton’s sweet voice. “Do You Want Me” is a confessional and introspective song that feels very meditative. “One Night” and “Kiss And Tell” are the grooviest numbers. “One Night” has bossa nova undertones to it, and York’s soothing vocals match the mood perfectly. “Kiss And Tell” borrows sounds spanning from hip hop and reggae to make a smooth country jam.
The constant thread running through all five songs are the universal lyrics, stunning harmonies, and Fitchuk’s signature drums. Despite being a less singer-songwriter/triple-A sounding record than their last, they have a distinctive sound that is much needed now.
So what has the band been doing for the last five years? Besides creating this new collection of songs, Fitchuk and Tashian went on to produce the GRAMMY-winning Golden Hour for Kacey Musgraves, Buxton released new music for the first time in nine years and scored a #1 for writing Chris Lane’s “Fix”, and York released an array of stunning EPs and won several awards for “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)”, a song featured in the movie Wild Rose. All in all, the foursome has been busy.
In a world divided and scared, and unsure what life will look like in the future, Skyline Motel is a beacon of light in a dark time. Their music is effortless and calming, and they prove that there is a magic floating around out there somewhere; we just have to be patient.
NYCS Staff Picks:
Fields of Knowing
Kiss And Tell
To keep up with Skyline Motel, you can follow the band members on Instagram: Sarah Buxton, Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian, and Kate York.
After Dark is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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