Sky Lover is a music duo consisting of Kevin Calvillo and Nicholas Piwonka from Houston, Texas. Influenced by such wide-ranging artists as Pink Floyd, Gorillaz, Beach Boys, and Frank Ocean, Sky Lover are working towards mixing dream pop, synthwave, and house music on their upcoming EP which should be released in August. In the meantime the duo have dropped their single “Pipe Dreams”. The problem with most bands with brains is that when the lyrics get too heady the band comes off sounding musically forced and impersonal. Sky Lover avoids all that and makes it work without the feel of contrivance. What the track may lack in rock indulgence it makes up in pure nervous tension.
A perfect blend of moody dreamy music, smart lyrics and spot on production, “Pipe Dreams” is, in parts, brilliant. For a single it’s a complex and complete musical effort, nicely expanding its luscious melodic structures which start out slowly before building its way to a crescendo of rhythm and sound.
Most dream-pop bands have never had much of a reputation for occupying the more ambitious corners of the indie market, and that’s usually for good reason. Whether it’s a half-stoned spring picnic or just a stare at your bedroom ceiling, you’re going to want to reach for something unobtrusive and, well, dreamlike.
But unlike a good many of their peers resigned to resting on their very pretty yet often stagnant soundscapes, Sky Lover actively polishes and diversifies the dream pop palette without sacrificing what make this music so appealing in the first place.
The duo isn’t changing the game here or anything, but they are throwing out some superfluous dream pop rules that would have otherwise unnecessarily sterilized this slyly enthusiastic effort.
Especially in the second half of the song when it moves into synth rock overdrive and the Pink Floyd-ish influences creep in – in both the steady rhythm and building tension as well as the style of vocal delivery.
In the beginning its is a full and warm crossover dream-pop song that pulls you in with a wistful, loving despair – like the extended hand of a forlorn friend seeking to meld, with just a hint of brittle, celestial fragility.
The second half becomes gorgeous, gently gripping, rhythmic music that begs for your immersion; an open-armed invitation to wallow in its ecstasy.
Every so often there are bands that take popular sounds and twist it, really hitting it out of the park. But like most music of any genre, there are loads of other bands that get it wrong and are obviously faking it, and then there’s a select few that just plain get it, whatever they are attempting to do. Sky Lover get it!