Skyward Story Making a Mark with Release of Smile

Photo by Roy Cox

On December 8, Skyward Story released their new single, “Smile.” Originating from Baltimore, Md., this band is one to keep tabs on in the upcoming year as they are bringing back a sound non-prevalent in the pop-punk/pop rock genre in recent years.

When this group originally formed as 3PM, the sound was more pop-punk, reminiscent of an early All Time Low (ATL). While the group still proves to have some influence from ATL (posting a cover of All Time Low’s recent single “Good Times” in November), their latest music is more pop rock than pop punk. While a shift in sound is often 50/50 on whether it will turn out well, this is far from a bad thing for this group.

Think back to ‘00s teen movies, such as “John Tucker Must Die” and “Sky High.” Nostalgic, right? Maybe a tad cliché. While a bit different in genre, these movies had one thing in common: having at least one light-hearted pop punk/rock song on their soundtracks (“Just The Girl” by The Click Five in “John Tucker Must Die” and “I Melt With You” cover by Bowling for Soup in “Sky High”). How does this relate to Skyward Story? The band’s music would perfectly fit alongside either of these bands into either of these movies’ soundtracks or end credits.

Seeing as they have the potential to be alongside on the soundtracks’ catalogs, Skyward Story’s uplifting sound also compares to Bowling for Soup’s and The Click Five’s music. Skyward Story’s other single, “Hey!” that the band released in May, compares to Bowling for Soup for the enlivening guitar riffs and slightly-angst pop lyrics. They compare to The Click Five by having that same uplifting vibe in instrumentals and lyrics.

Upon listening to Skyward Story’s latest single, “Smile,” the band The Starting Line immediately comes to mind. Skyward Story’s lead singer, Aaron O’Connor, brings high notes similar to that of The Starting Line’s lead singer, Kenny Vasoli. Not to mention, the song’s instrumentals have an upbeat rhythm like some of The Starting Line’s songs, such as one of their best-known songs, “The Best of Me.” The pre-choruses in “Smile” also take on a spoken-song tone similar to The Starting Line’s well-known hit.

While the band’s sound may not be in favor to any heavier rock/pop punk music lovers, it is definitely for those who are into the light-hearted side of the pop punk genre. This sound has disappeared within recent years, so it’s awesome that Skyward Story is helping it make a comeback.

Check out Skyward Story’s new single “Smile,” single “Hey,” and other music/news on their website skywardstory.com. Their songs are available for download and streaming. Also, check out the “Smile” lyric video on their YouTube page here.