“Sky Is Blue” by mUmbo is a masterpiece of retro, psychedelic dream pop. With a unique, recognizable vocalist and a smattering of different textures, timbres, effects, and motifs, this track will certainly put you in a trance. It’s hard to even describe the cool, sultry energy this song manifests. It’s just musically and atmospherically curated to get in your brain.
It begins in the most unusual yet delightful way–with a single strum, undulating with a touch of the whammy bar. Quiet, anticipatory hi-hats and an arpeggiated guitar line soon follow. “Sky is blue / It’s all waiting for you / Breathe the air and don’t even care,” the singer croons with her signature, bright, nasal tone. At the beginning of each phrase, we get a wash of a chord, held out over measures in this hesitant, restrained manner. It’s mostly the same minor chord, peppered with small departures, and allows the vocal line to control the tonality. The singer carves out beautifully diverse shapes atop it. As it continues on, the instrumentation gets busier, namely the drums and background vocals, which effectively heightens the tension. We even get a guitar solo and a ‘scat’ solo, both of which peek through a downpour of modulation. You feel like you’re in the 70s and the 90s all at once–swimming in equal parts spacey, dreamy goodness and undeniable grit.
Give mUmbo a listen! You’ll fall in love with the wonderfully strange idiosyncrasies of their artistry. “Sky Is Blue” is exemplary of great songwriting and atmosphere-building.
Written by Alyce Lindberg