It was the year 2005 Anno Domini when a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky and smashed down mightily into the barren desert landscape of Phoenix, Arizona, leaving in its red hot embers the colorful spectre of the eclectic pop band that would be known as Skybox. That cosmic genesis would portend great things for the young quintet. Their debut LP Arco Iris was recorded by Jamie Woolford (The Stereo, Let Go) and mastered by Jason Livermore (The Ataris, Rise Against, MxPx) . It immediately won over critics and fans alike with its mix of spacey indie-pop melodies and darker, Radiohead-esque moodiness. Their wide-ranging appeal has strangers mumbling comparisons to The Flaming Lips from dimly-lit corners of coffee shops and brothels. Thats what it sounds like, at least...its tough to be sure about such things. After a years worth of buzz-building live appearances with bands like The Honorary Title, The Format, Dios (Malos), Jacks Mannequin, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and Communique, the spaceship demanded a larger landing pad.
Packing their gear and some vacuum packed Mexican food, the band set off post haste for the larger stage of Chicago. Perplexed by the savage cold and apparent lack of available sunlight, the band still managed in a few short months to catch the eye of the collective Chicago music scene. They have shared the stage with heavyweights like The Figurines and Head of Femur and have been invited to play industry showcases at The Midwest Music Summit and the CMJ Music Marathon in November. In late fall the band will be setting out on their third national tour in support of Arco Iris. Keep your eyes on the skies, folks: Skybox is on the way.
What Leading Scientists Are Saying About Skybox:
"Perhaps best described as rock’n’roll for the A.D.D. set, Skybox packs an immeasurable amount of energy and musicianship into its short, wily tracks. The Chicago-by-way-of-Phoenix quintet—fronted by 23 year old Tim Ellis—self-released it’s first album “Arco Iris” last year. The fast-paced set weaves dark lyrical nuances through its mostly bouncy songs: check the weird pop of “Don’t Get Spin Spin” or the tinkling piano keys of “Various Kitchen Utensils.” One moment Skybox’s music calls to mind neo-folkie Devendra Bahhart, while at the next it sounds like the atmospheric rock of Muse.” Billboard Magazine
"But it was Skybox that impressed us most of all, early in the eve at West Village basement R&R, so please -- somebody sign them. Best described as "ADD rock," the band was wily, tight and funner than an open bar on the moon. That's right, we said funner." Billboard Magazine, CMJ Review on their Jaded Insider blog.
One of the best albums Ive heard this year is Arco Iris by this obscure quintet which relocated to Chicago a bit over a month ago. Aside from having some of the best cover art Ive seen in a while, the album is interesting from post to wire, a wildly diverse journey through musical styles.--Chicago Innerview Magazine
An album of incredibly rich profundity and beauty. 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. --The Phoenix New Times.
Check this band out, they could be your next favorite band.--Leakmob
Tim Ellis' lead vocals and active stage persona was thoroughly entertaining and engaging. He touched on vocal notes that call to mind Devendra Banhart and Julian Casablancas, especially on Various Kitchen Utensils, a hodge podge of Tom Waits piano tickled to life by Christian Fields, and sprinkled with wooden box beats and other burlesque textures by Anthony Hornyak.--Radio Free Chicago