Album of the Day: Skyway Man, “Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye”

“Someday, you’ll wake up from a dream,” singer James Wallace croons on “Someday,” the first track from his recent LP as Skyway Man. This album, Seen Comin’ From A Mighty Eye, has a hazy quality, and if the aforementioned quote is meant to instruct, Wallace doesn’t plan to follow along.

Shrouded in thick effects, Wallace’s voice flutters throughout Seen Comin’ in a half-falsetto, the sort of sound pioneered by folk luminaries Jeremy Earl of Woods and the members of Akron/Family. In a good way, Seen Comin’ exudes a laid-back tone that favors nuance and consistency over standout singles, centering the album around Wallace’s atmospheric one-liners. Seen Comin’ is rooted in Wallace’s fascination with UFOs, and this otherworldly focus permeates the entire record. “Someday we’ll meet on terrestrial shore,” he longingly repeats towards the end of “Terre, 9999,” as if Earth is slowly fading in the distance.

Wallace’s side gig is as a member of Nashville band Promised Land Sound, and that group’s scuzzy psychedelia makes itself apparent on Seen Comin’‘s furthest reaching moments, like on the nine-minute opus “Wires (Donny Angel and the Opening Wide).” And while Skyway Man is Wallace’s project—singularly attached to his persona—Seen Comin’ is a family affair, boasting a 20-person credit list affiliated with the recording sessions.

As a whole, Seen Comin’ From A Mighty Eye is a moving portrait of a man taking control of his own peace, unbothered by worldly concerns. Wallace may be preoccupied by the mystery of night skies, but at least he’s making damn fine music while he’s stuck here.

Will Schube

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