Music cognoscenti everywhere will probably agree that 2005 was the year of "New American Weird." From Sufjan Stevens to Iron & Wine, nu-Americana, folktronica or whatever you call it is fast becoming the new American sound, at least among the mop-top and Puma set. Tempe-based Skybox's new release, Arco Iris, stakes a concrete claim in the genre with an album of incredibly rich profundity and beauty. From cackling Tom Waits piano to a Muse-like knack for orchestral arrangement, holy falsetto harmonies dance over soothing synthesizers on "It's a Bumpy Ride on the Back of a Camel," and the band downshifts into a mesmerizing Brian Eno mood on "Gravity Can't Keep Us Down." A live Skybox show is nothing short of an event: scented themes, pirates and cupcakes. Perhaps whoever coined the New American Weird moniker was listening to Skybox; if not, they will be.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.