ARTIST NAME: Karl Sky
SONG TITLE: I’m Always Here You Know
ALBUM TITLE: Stranger To This Place
RELEASE DATE: 5/1/19
GENRE: Alternative Folk
Discuss your music process and recording in full detail.
My songs usually come to me as simple melodies at any given moment.
It’s always when I’m doing something non-musical that they seem to appear out of thin air.
So it’s mostly music first then words, but I have been trying to write lyrics without any thought for music, so it helps with the creative process.
When it comes to recording I love having at least one instrument being played while I do a vocal, so most of the time I’m playing guitar and doing the vocal at the same time onto separate tracks. From there it is building the song with each track.
Most of the time; I do not have a clear picture in my head as to how it should sound, so I experiment with the different tracks, play them back to see how it sounds.
Discuss how you get involved in music.
I started out playing guitar at about the age of 13. I had done some singing before that, usually to The Beach Boys’ records, picking out harmonies.
It all evolved into coming up with my own tunes once I learned how to play and sing at the same time. It just felt like a natural way to express myself.
Elaborate on the secret to success.
We all have this different idea of what success is. Is it money? I don’t believe so; I mean if you are doing music strictly for the money, there are plenty of other ways to earn a lot in a short amount of time for less effort.
Success to me is having an idea, executing it, and finishing it -Doesn’t matter how big or small.
When I finish writing a song, to me that’s this tiny little bit of success I can add to the roster in my life.
Finishing an album worth of songs, a little bigger bit of success – Just stay focused, don’t get distracted, and be disciplined and you’ll be successful.
Discuss how you distribute your music.
Right now I have my music available for download directly through my website and through CD Baby, which they of course distribute through several streaming services, such as iTunes/Amazon/Spotify/etc.
Describe your vocal ability.
There are times I feel like a million bucks and other times I want to say, shut that song off already. I feel I can convey the feeling of the song I am singing and that’s all that matters.
Tell us how you develop the instrumentation for this song.
It started out many years ago as a simple guitar/vocal folk song and nothing else…pretty naked, but I decided to add a different rhythm altogether. Implementing percussion, synth, and harmonies to the song, but not too much – I did not want it to sound overproduced or too busy.
Go into detail on how you create your song.
Well, first I sit and hone the lyrics to the best possible feel to the music as possible.
Some words don’t always have the best cadence to the melody, so that’s what I try to fix first.
Then I run through the chord progression and try different approaches, to see how it blends with the melody. I would 80% of the time; the 1st mental sound that I had for a song is basically how it ends up.
With the ones that I keep – So I usually just have this gut feeling about the melody that makes me feel good, so I stick with it.
Discuss your musical ability.
I’m a bad judge of my own abilities. I look at all the musicians out there and I get jealous.
I feel that I’m talented enough to be dangerous. I think there’s articulation in playing and then there’s feeling.
I think I’m pretty good at the feeling part of it and somewhat fair at the articulation.
I will let my listeners decide what they like and don’t like.
Elaborate on the lyrics of the song.
This song, as I remember was written in late winter, as the song’s lyrics begin.
I was struggling with the length of the season and yearning for spring…the green of life. So that’s the primary theme of the song, but buried in there are similarities that occur in relationships. Wanting to help those you love, hoping their particular “season” they are going through can also change and that you are always there for them to lean on and confide in.
Discuss the structure of the song.
It is pretty basic 1st verse, 2nd verse then refrain, but I consider the refrain more of a “bridge” element to the song.
The title lies at the end of the refrain, like, “here is the last thing I need to say before I leave you…” So I view it as a Bob Dylan or Gordon Lightfoot-type folk song structure.
Discuss your performance.
The performance for this song was vocal and guitar, played at the same time I’m recording – The only way for me to feel and convey the words are to play at the same time.
Tell us how you prepare for a show or recording session.
I’m a very spontaneous musician/singer. I have practiced the song over and over until it’s time to record, and then sometimes after the 1st take, I change everything.
Because listening to something played back to you is different than just playing for somebody.
I experiment with sounds regularly. I use anything for a percussive device. I try different amplifiers on the guitars, I add harmonies in areas that I never thought of until I start recording.
I think the songs undergo a metamorphosis when you decide to record them. It naturally becomes a little something extra than what you anticipated.
Tell us how you coordinate other musicians or how you relate with your producer in bringing the best out of your song.
Well for this album, I did it all, so I only argued with myself. It’s difficult doing these things by oneself.
You need other ears that can help relate your story. I definitely will be utilizing other musicians on my next project. It is healthy to have the extra input.
Tell us how you entice the listeners with your music.
I really try to keep elements of my songs real; I’m not trying to sell plastic bananas and apples to my listeners.
I know that the thoughts I’ve implemented into my music are relatable to everyone on the planet.
Sooner or later, the lyrics sink in and the song means a little more than just a catchy melody and cute words.
Discuss how you promote your music.
Well, I’m a kind of a newbie at promoting. It’s been a while since my last project and so much has changed.
I focus on getting industry feedback via reviews/blogs to aid in complementing my music so that the public not only hears it, in as many streaming venues as possible but will see the reviews and comments, establishing it as something worth having.
It’s really the hardest part of this gig and it takes so much time… I’m dying to get back to recording some new material.
Tell us how you ensure your vocal is in harmony with the instrumentation.
I don’t even think about it. I feel it just comes naturally. I never use autotune nor would I think about it. It’s not in the cards.
I’ll do 50 takes on a vocal harmony before I use a machine to fake it.
I want everything to sound as natural and organic as I can. Sometimes, that isn’t complete perfection.
There’s always a little something here or there in the song that isn’t maybe “the best”, but again, I’m not selling plastic fruit, something seemingly real, yet indigestible.
Tell us how you build your vocal melody.
To be honest I get a pretty good vibe about how it should be and leave it alone. If I’m dissatisfied with it after a few times of playing it, I will tweak it to see if it flows better. If the melody sounds somewhat familiar to the ears, yet new (not a carbon copy) then I roll with it.
Elaborate on the song.
The song is about hanging in there for others and having a solid relationship with those who need comfort, as well as helping each other cope through their difficulties.
Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.
Karl Sky is technically my real name except that I shortened my last name due to its length!
The title of the album is “Stranger To This Place”, there is a title track of the same name and it embodies the idea of how, as a people, we can be in completely familiar surroundings, day after day, yet feel isolated as the person we really are or who we want to be.
I think there are minor themes in all the other songs on the album that touch on that subject and that is why I chose it as the title.
Share your press release and review with us.
Singer/Songwriter Karl Sky has been penning melodic, catchy Folk Rock/Alternative songs for several years. Karl’s latest album “Stranger To This Place” is now available for purchase – A collection of 10 poignant/introspective songs that touch so much on the human condition.
In 2000 Mr. Sky formed a beneficial relationship with Nashville producer Scotty Turner (Songwriter/Lead guitarist for Tommy Sands & The Raiders/Executive Producer of Liberty/Imperial Records – Writer/Producer for A&M Records).
Mr. Turners’ songs were recorded by such greats as Roy Clark, Slim Whitman, Nilsson, Mac Davis, to name a few.
That mentorship Scotty provided, enabled Karl to become a better writer both lyrically and musically.
Captain Kidd Music/BMI; owned by Scotty Turner, signed Mr. Sky’s “Warm Kentucky Wind” as well as Karl’s 1st collection/album of music, “Guess It’s Time” back in 2000.
Karl has had several positive reviews, past and present, which are all included on his website.
Karl’s music resembles the styles of early singer/songwriters in the 70’s such as James Taylor, Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, Elton John, and John Denver.
On his latest album, Karl is releasing entitled, “Stranger To This Place” – Many tracks will be slated for release as singles, beginning with “Free” and other notables would include, “I’m Always Here You Know”, “Tired Of The Sun”, “Life Will Begin” and the title track “Stranger To This Place.”
The album will soon be released on all major streaming platforms soon!
KARL SKY REVIEWS:
Indie Spoonful has this to say about Karl…
“Karl pens thoughtful and intelligent lyrics, painting emotion and story, in a poetic manner.”
“I’m Always Here You Know” captures the fragility of our human experience and our need for connection with great tenderness and sophistication, both lyrically and musically.”
Please Pass The Indie says…
“There’s a certain Americana-Rock feel reminiscent of Springsteen and Morrison that fans of folk-rock will love. Like Springsteen, Sky’s story-telling is very down-to-earth; he paints everyday people with everyday struggles. In Sky’s lyrics, you will find heartfelt slices of life that explore the complexities of relationships; he keeps it real and honest.”
“Free is well-crafted through and through.”
“Singer-Songwriter Karl Sky writes songs that stand the test of time.”
Muse’s Muse stated on Karl’s earlier releases…
“This is a songwriter first and foremost. Karl likes the sound of the guitar and keeps trying to think of other ways of making the strings sings. Focusing on the acoustic, kneading in the folk, writing like a pop star, Karl brings all the components together like a well-oiled demo screaming for attention. He’ll get it. Sky is headed for that horizon.”
Mike Aydelott – Music Reviewer had this to say about Sky,
“Well realized songs from a seasoned and skilled songwriter.”