Tonight Sky is the new project from Seattle producer Jason Holstrom. Jason, a core member of Seattle standouts Wonderful and U.S.E released his 2007 solo debut album as the island-adventure treasure, The Thieves of Kailua.
Tonight Sky was crafted from the ground up in Holstrom's home studio, The Cabana, and features a wide palette of synths, samplers, studio effects and even a homemade synth that he built for the recording. Using software, textures and phrases were sculpted, chopped, rearranged, focused, and finally formed into the 15 atmospheric tracks heard on the record.
Inspired by stargazing along the expansive Pacific coastline at his childhood home away from home, Cannon Beach, Tonight Sky is an electronic gem. The album exudes an underlying warmth, molded from mesmerizing layers of melodic loops, richly arranged swells of vocal harmonies, haunting synth leads, environmental field recordings, and percolating beats. The record's pastoral ambient sound is nonetheless based on a pop foundation, with hooks that alternate between drifting patiently back along the waves, and washing to shore, front and center. Album tracks weave together seamlessly, creating an evolving mood. Pulsing synths and wordless harmony vocals in opening piece "Solstice" scan the horizon, before sweeping into the ebullient melodies of "Bonfire." Later, the mantra at the end of shoreline meditation "Deep Blue & Green" melts into "Flight of the Falling Star," a propulsive moment of space-pop featuring a soaring unison synth and vocal refrain. The rhythmic, lyrical urgency to "hit the ground running" at the coda of "Size of Paradize" gives way to the lush yearning of "Floating Lonely," before fading into the finalizing swells of "The Cold & Clear."
Tonight Sky is an album that ponders the mystery of the infinite cosmos and our place in it, while simultaneously celebrating its sheer wonder. Where Thieves of Kailua was a view of the island shore bathed in sun, Tonight Sky is a view from the beach hours past dark, gazing up and into the infinite, during the sublime moments after the bonfire's waning embers have long since subsided.
Bonfire burning on the edge of the Earth and I wanna come around, wanna push it ‘round, wanna watch it burning down.
And there’s a bonfire burning on the edge of the Earth and I wanna come around, wanna push it ‘round, wanna watch it burning down.
Forever tonight sky, forever better beyond. Keep it in the light.
To those who seek light; who seek views through the night.
The fire on earth glows orange and it glows bright.
Picture these embers exponentially large;
A mass of great masses, the star that is ours.
Track Name: Deep Blue & Green
Over the sea. Sea birds and me.
Deep blue & Green. Emerald Sheen.
Constantly flows. Permanent flows.
Nowhere it goes. Ever it shows.
Under the sea. No one but me.
All I can see. Deep blue & green.
Crystaline scene. Deep blue & green.
Feeling serene. Deep blue & green.
Oh, ocean ocean, way out ocean my home under the sun.
Where surf is rolling, slowly pulling me to where I begun.
Ocean ocean, way out ocean, my home under the sun.
Where surf is rolling, slowly pulling me to where I am one.
Ah, ocean ocean, only ocean, my home under the sun.
(Deeper we sink. Take it in, drink.)
Where surf is rolling, slowly pulling me to where I come from.
Track Name: Flight of the Falling Star
Could it be that our star is falling?
Did it here us calling? Calling loud.
Does it go out?
Does it cry and scream out?
Should we run? Should we shout?
Is it proud?
What does this mean?
Can’t explain the feeling.
Is he up there watching?
Does he care?
Is it true that we go on forever?
Will we shine together in the air?
Track Name: Under the Moonlight & Over the Wind
Every night I write you a song, wrap it with love and send it along.
Then fall asleep and meet you in my dreams.
Sending a note to tuck you right in, under the moonlight & over the wind.
Cuz dreams are sweet, lights are out, we’re in.
At day’s end I’m posting all my love; drifting off to visions up above.
Oh, where do we go to? Where do we go at night?
Other worlds that wait for us inside. Blues and greens an d images divide.
Oh where do they come from, where do they go first light?
Every night I’ll send you a tune.
Warm as the sunrise and blue as the moon.
I’m all alone and we’re together soon.
Dreaming of dreams of becoming one.
Time to be setting to follow the sun.
Day’s getting old and the night is young.
When the moon is pulling me to bed,
Open spaces deep inside my head.
Oh, flying and falling, where do we go from here.
Pools of love and oceans made of light,
Glowing trees and mountains come to life.
Oh where do they come from, where do they go first light?
Track Name: Starscade
I see starscade.
Lost it all. Give up? I won’t settle.
But I will try. But I will try. But I will try.
Ain’t they floating down, down to the ground.
I see starscade.
Track Name: The Night Sky
Oh, all I see is clearer.
But now here I am, feet on ground.
Here I go. Lift up go.
Now I know we will fall to dust and...
Don’t be slow now, all we have is right now.
All we are is somehow dust of stars explode.
The night sky couldn’t look better.
Often it’s lost in the weather.
All is clear everything and all is here.
The night sky couldn’t shine brighter.
New view: deeper and lighter.
All so near, peering through the atmosphere.
Could I be lost?
Could I be found?
Will I come down?
Far beyond the hard ground.
Should it come out? Let it out.
Will it be good? Yes it should.
Will I go on? Far beyond.
I know you’ve seen it on the rooftop shinin’ and..
The deep and dark above can be quite blinding.
Have no fear, gaze into the cold and clear.
The light we see’s been travellin’ for some time and…
She blows it out and still we see her shining.
Have no fear gaze out through the atmosphere.
Sandy feet standing on solid ground,
Starry eyes: Windows to new found place in time.
Space is mine, a find divine.
The night sky. All is clear.
Track Name: Always Forever
Never say never. Never say die.
Always forever. Forever we’ll try.
Track Name: Fiery Ascension
Please don’t slow or be afraid of the height.
Find ascension by follow the light.
Don’t look back cuz forever is near.
Off to heaven we rise without fear.
Track Name: Size of Paradize
And I walked out and I looked up and I saw us spinning round.
Being inside of the ocean breeze I couldn’t believe what I saw till I see.
And it opened and it showed me the size of paradise.
And all I knew was now I could see with a new-found site.
Upside down, upright; there is no down, no day or night.
Earth spins round and round pulling us down, keeping us right.
Floating. Heaven ain’t a place in the sky.
Maybe heaven’s in your eye.
I say heaven ain’t a place in the clouds.
Maybe heaven’s on the ground.
Even carry on the side that you’re on.
Even carry on the side. Carry on, carry on.
Ever since then when I’m beginning to feel the other side,
I remember all the things that I’ve seen, deep into universe summer to spring.
I can feel it. I believe it, but it shakes me to the bone.
I would be nothing without my home and I’m nothing alone.
Let me sing it right. There is no reason why to say goodbye.
Now’s the place, the time; this will all end and begin in time.
”Hey buddy got a hard time comin’.
You’re gettin’ lost in the chords you’re strummin’.
Everybody tells ya that you oughta get running.
Pick up your bootstraps, hit the ground running.”
Track Name: Floating Lonely
If you hear me crying out…
If you catch me laughing out…
If you’ve got the voice to shout, tell me so I know I’m real
And I’ll try to be cool, play no sad fool,
make the right moves and I’ll make my own rules.
Out there floating lonely waitin’ on a trail to travel on.
Everything you’ve known is gone.
Up there in the garden; all is right, all is outta site.
Finally pulled me to the light.
Never thought you’d find me here out inside the cold and clear.
Angel put me by your side. Heaven only knows the time was right.
Day after day. Grey upon grey. Pick myself up and remember to play.
Day after day. Grey upon grey. Pick myself up and remember to pray.