October 30, 2017

TEST SPIN: Kyra Skye — Summer Nights

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Kyra Skye is a student in Ithaca College, bassist for the band Izzy True and, now, a solo artist. Her EP, Summer Nights, represents memories, dedication and affection. Skye worked on Summer Nights for a month, recording, producing and mastering all five songs on her own. Skye plays and sings everything on the EP, excluding the drums on the tracks “Room 217” and “Suffocate.” Not only is her music touching and personal, but the music is well-arranged and coherent.

The first track, “Room 217,” introduces the theme of the EP. “Summer is my favorite season and the night time during the summer is my favorite time of the year. The sky gradually dims and the stars peek out through the clouds, but it’s still warm enough to sit outside in your flip flops and watch fireflies flutter around you. It’s beautiful. I wanted my first EP to capture that — to be that raw, beautiful feeling that I love about summer nights,” Skye explained. “Room 217” captures the soft glow of a summer evening with tender and exposed guitar chords and descriptive lyrics and builds up to the chorus, which flourishes with harmonies.

The second track, “If You Don’t Love Yourself,” deals with loving oneself before loving anyone else, which may sound generic and overused, but Skye’s powerful vocals drive the message home in a unique, haunting way. Bright guitar sounds open the song, along with Kyra’s voice. She builds up harmonies as the chorus comes up, along with the most powerful lines: “I love you means nothing at all / And you’ll scream and you’ll plead on your knees / but you can’t love me if you don’t love yourself.” After this chorus, she begins to build back up to the next chorus.

“Ego Death,” written a month before all the other songs, features a thick layer of harmonies and is the track that best highlights Skye’s voice, especially since it’s the only song in which there are no drums. The haunting, driving song brings the track’s title to life with full, swelling melodies that almost seem to sound like a tide.

Similarly, “Suffocate” is a less optimistic song and is about putting oneself first before others. The heavy use of guitar captures this tension and conflicting emotions, diverging from the soft folk chords of the rest of the EP. Additionally, there is a notable difference in the drum style on this track as opposed to the previous ones. In “Suffocate,” the drums are played in a heavier style that leans more toward rock, which helps depict the conflict the song aims for.

The last track of the EP, “Dancing in the Rain,” is an emotional and tender song dedicated to one of Skye’s closest friends. The song starts out a lot like “Room 217,” with folk guitar sounds. The lyrics are heartfelt and are truly capable of giving a close friend a loving reminder: “I hope she knows the strength within / She’s dancing in the rain again.” The backup harmonies, combined with the constant guitar create the image of a rainy summer sunset, which appears to be exactly what Skye wished to create. The loving melody finished out the EP on a warm, positive note.

Overall, Summer Nights captures the sentiments Skye wanted. While she is still trying to find a balance between school, Izzy True and her solo career, Skye has created something beautiful and personal. Summer Nights is not only a love letter, but a symbol of the dedication and passion that artists must have to create meaningful music.

Viri Garcia is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]