Audible - Sky Signal (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Sky Signal (2005)


The fact that it's on Polyvinyl should give you a clear inclination of what their overall sound is like and if you are going to like them or not. The following statement is slightly more specific: if you are expecting anything more than standard, solid, indie pop, then Audible is not for you. Not saying that that's a bad thing. I mean, who doesn't appreciate smooth indie pop from time to time?

Musically, I would say that the vocals are reminiscent of Elliott Smith, in the sense that they are breathy and light. Attitudinally (yes, it's a word), they are a bright, poppy band with positive feelings flowing through, yet the band still has a folk twinge to it, like Smith himself, though it would be wrong to categorize them as a non-depressed Elliott Smith. Regardless, comparisons to other groups are helpful to some, and despised by others, so I'll try to describe their sound a tad more specifically.

Generally, there is an acoustic guitar keeping a four chord pattern with the bass playing heavily on 1 and 3 and an electric guitar, piano, and other keys playing a riff over it. Layered, like on a Springsteen tune (oh crap, here come the comparisons again). Maybe you'd liken it to the shift the Promise Ring made to Wood/Water, or the Get Up Kids On A Wire. Both comparisons are valid and viable, yet for me Audible stands as something best suited for the background music at a small get-together. It's got parts distinct enough to stand out while being played in the background, but is soft enough to play loud and not be distracting. Maybe the conversation would be something like:

"Hey, what's up?"
"Not much, been a while since I've seen you."
"Yeah, got any beer?"
"Yep, in the fridge."
"Hey, what is this playing?"
"The new Audible record."
"It's nice."
"Yeah, I like it. It's not revolutionary, but it suits my mood."
"Yeah. Hey, should I grab one for you too?"
"Sure, man."

Songs like "October Song" and the title track "Sky Signal" keep you entertained while the "Born To Run" similar riff from "Sunday Bell" keeps my toe tapping. Semi-experimentalism shines through "Five Pirates" and "Chase The Kids Away," at times, seems like an Elliott Smith B-side. After a brief push away from the initial sound of the album, Audible brings it all back around with "Sound Makes a Circle" and "Finally Found."

Overall, not something I would purchase myself, but definitely something I could stand listening to a few times.