Sky Flying By- What’s the Farthest You Can See? (2011)

Posted: March 1, 2012 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: ,

If I had all the words to say, I would have said them months ago.

Sky Flying By is my band, or rather, I am Sky Flying By. I’m not being literal, of course; I am nowhere near as talented as the man who produces the music for Sky Flying By. However, I have never felt a closer connection to life than when listening to his music. It’s scary how similar we are as people: straight edge, post-rock and hardcore punk fans, fighting against the current of life and our mental conditions in major cities in the northeast of the United States. Sure, he’s rather quiet and modest, I’m loud and chaotic, but the music he produces taps into something inside me I’ve yet to understand. This is my disclaimer to anyone who feels this review is biased: when you’ve listened to an album 20 times before writing a review, you see through the eyes of the creator.

What’s the Farthest You Can See? is just outright beautiful. For being a solo act, Sky Flying By is a pretty impressive feat. This time with cello and light vocals, this album is an improvement from Do They Still Make Lighthouses? (which, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know I loved). Even from the first song, What’s The Farthest You Can See? draws you in with a sound that just feels so genuine. In addition to all of the fantastic attributes of this album, they feature bass prominently, something I feel many post-rock bands of today lack. The cello is magical, and I feel not enough instrumental outfits feature them as well. Final comment on the vocals, and you know I hate vocals, but as far as I could tell, they didn’t even have lyrics; they were literally used as just another instrument, which was just fantastic. There was something I believed to be a steel drum, but later found out was a hang drum. I fell in love with steel drums in post-rock after hearing “The Catcher Elsewhere” by Arms and Sleepers, and I was DYING for another band to include something similar in their work. When played in the right way, they create this tranquil feel that gives me goosebumps every time.

The list of things I didn’t like about this album is a short one. Firstly, it felt like every song had a similar tempo. Throughout all 7 tracks, minus the introduction, there were no exceptionally slow or fast tracks. This truly wasn’t a big deal, however, because each song was unique enough to distinguish itself from the others, not allowing the album to become just one big song. The only other problem I found with What’s the Farthest You Can See? was a slight fake-out, if you will, towards the back end of the album. When I listen to instrumental music, I expect only a few small things. One is some sort of talent (which this has, without a question), the other is a feel of completion. I once butchered a review because I listened to the album in the wrong order (A Troop of Echos [made me like it more, not enough to change my grade]). In track #6, “More Questions Than Answers”, the end fades off after an explosion of sound, and I was overly confident it was the end of the album. Then “The Conservation of Momentum” came on, and I was slightly taken back. When you expect an ending, and it ends up not being an ending, it kind of throws off the balance of an album.

Rating: Despite my criticisms looking larger than my complements, I cannot express what this album meant to me. I’ve literally listened to What’s the Farthest You Can See? about 30 times since I received it (which was mid-December), and I just couldn’t put my emotions to words. This is about my 10th time writing this review, and all I can say is that it moved me in a way few albums have. Much in the vein of Hammock and Balmorhea, Sky Flying By creates incredible listening experience, only incredibly underrated due to a lack of exposure. This album deserves a 4.5/5 kegs, and What’s the Farthest You Can See? should be Sky Flying By’s leap into recognition.

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Author’s note: D.P., the man behind Sky Flying By, is a contributor and patron of Is This Revolutionary?, as well as a core member of our Family? here. This review is a review of his musical work, and has not been influenced by any other outside factors. 

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