The new album from Nashville modern funk collective, Sky Hi, is a testament to
the group's longevity. Nearing their tenth year, the band has weathered every
manner of line up changes and reinvented themselves more than a few times.
But the current line up, as it stands, brings something very special to the table.
A slew of different styles and influences converge to create something
palpable and unique. It has the grit and the raw essence of old school hard
soul but also liberal splashes of modernity.
After nearly two years in production, Sky Hi feels they've let "Testify" marinate
long enough. From the frenetic energy of the album's title track to the rolling
soul of "Walk Through That Door", Sky Hi has earned their spot in the pantheon
of the Southern Soul tradition. And yet it's songs like "Do Not Want" with it's
quasi-reggae lean or "Fell Short" , which feels like it could fit in at any modern
RnB station, that show Sky Hi isn't afraid to step away from their idea of soul
music and experiment with other genres. The band makes great use of an
ever expanding palette of musical textures and songwriting dexterity. A four
piece horn section roars over fluttering organ melodies while prodigious guitar
licks nip around a rock steady rhythm section. And all of this is anchored by
DeRobert "Dee" Adams powerful vocals, thereby making this band an
unequivocal monster in the rhythm and blues department. For proof of this,
listen to "Love Is Real": a soulful power ballad of sorts that will floor you with it
To say Sky Hi has come full circle is an understatement. From their heady early
years as a pseudo funk/jam band, to their foray into straight up soul and RnB,
Sky Hi has reached the moment where their musical message has grown to
the point that they must testify to it's expansiveness. By far, "Testify" is their
strongest offering to date, but we don't think they are anywhere near a stopping
point. The musical machine that is Sky Hi will continue turning, and with each
passing revolution, it's get stronger and more interesting.
Available on iTunes, Emusic, Bandcamp, and wherever MP3s are sold.
Sky Hi - Testify
|Sky Hi - GED-1004