AM-FM - The Sky Is The New Ground (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


The Sky Is The New Ground (2002)


Ok, first of all, I usually not a fan of EPs. I am usually only going to buy an EP if I am really into a band, because, let's face it, it is like 2 bucks a song. And usually the songs are way different than what is on the band's full length. But when Scott handed me this EP, I decided to take a chance. And luckily I was pleasantly surprised.

"The Sky Is New Ground" EP is my first introduction to the indie rock duo of Brian Sokel and Michael Parsell, who exist together under the band name AM/FM. I characterize this band as indie rock, because, quite frankly, I don't know what the hell else to label them as–every song on this EP is unique, different, and moving. I don't think I can really classify them as anything. AM/FM is exceptional.

The cd starts off with an all instrumental song: a gutsy move, but AM/FM handles it just right. It is actually a poppy instrumental song, pleasant to listen to, unique because of it's many different layers and many different sounds. The first song bleeds into the second song… in fact, the whole cd almost runs together, and you almost don't even notice the track markings, unless you are trying to pay attention to them. The third track starts off poppy, but even here AM/FM does something to make the song stand out: the song comes and goes, almost like train of thought, sounding like it is starting and stopping several times. It turns into something much more than your average pop song, with intense layers of guitar, rhythm, and synth parts, but it all eventually returns to the simple and pleasant original pop melody. The last track on the EP is like a symphony of sound: a sweet melody built on top of ethereal vocals and strings, with beautiful and delicate swells of intensity. I can only think of this song as something lush and beautiful, overflowing with sound. (That means I really like it.) What a way to end a cd. I don't know what else to say except that every time I listen to that last song, I always want it to last longer, even though it is already over seven minutes long. By the end of this cd, I find myself anticipating the next time I will be able to hear this music again. The cd leaves me satisfied but also wanting more–just because it is so good.