Material: Emmett Skyy has a sound that doesn’t fit into one genre. The songs mirror his diverse inspirations—sometimes too closely—and tell stories of love, hardship and truth. “To Be A Man,” a syncopated song that weaves vocal and guitar patterns, sounds like he’s trying to be Ben Harper. Skyy should strive to let his individuality and rich storytelling paint the musical backdrop. “Who Am I” best represents an indie, singer/songwriter vibe and is a notch above, structurally and musically, his other songs.
Musicianship: Skyy has incredible voice control. He effortlessly transitions from a lower register into a soft falsetto and knows what notes to pick when he ventures into his higher register. Seefried is a solid rhythm guitarist, but is more confident as a backup singer. Meade’s graceful playing emotes with the lyrics and often sets the mood for songs. Flaugher is a master of his instrument and is not bashful about it, often playing over-complicated bass lines for otherwise simple chord progressions.
Performance: Skyy set a romantic tone, taking the intimate audience on a journey. While some singers struggle to engage with the audience, Skyy was at ease and maintained a friendly rapport. The set began with the soft, acoustic “Now,” which showcased the deep, rich sound of Flaugher’s upright bass, and proceeded to elevate the mood with “Fun House,” which the audience grooved to.
Skyy’s vocals sounded tired and slightly whiny by the end, but more practice will build endurance. Seefried’s backup vocals, however, enriched the choruses and gave them body. Singing harmonies on other verses could improve the material. Skyy closed the set with “Who Am I,” which took the audience on a winding road of emotion.
Summary: Having diverse musical influences is admirable, but being musically different from those influences will make Skyy a better and more credible musician. Writing songs in the vein of “Who Am I” and “Fun House” will gain Skyy traction and distinguish him from other artists.
The Players: Emmett Skyy, vocals, guitar; Chris Seefried, guitar; Jonny Flaugher, bass; Megan Meade, keyboards.
Photo By Vincent Stevens
Venue: Hotel Café
City: Hollywood, CA
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