One of my favorite albums, not too country, or pop-ish, just perfectly balanced. Sky and The Ocean is a brilliant track.
Though previous releases certainly offered worthwhile pleasures, the Volebeats hit their songwriting stride with their third full-length, Sky and the Ocean, which has been cited as a treasure of bittersweet country music for people who don't particularly care for the genre. It's more old-school country-rock than alt-country, conjuring the reverb-heavy production values of the '60s while showcasing the group's straight-ahead arrangements and Motor City twang. Singer Jeff Oakes and lead guitarist Matthew Smith wrote most of the material, but guitarist Robert McCreedy seemed to bloom, contributing two of the album's strongest cuts: the celluloid Western atmospheres of the title track, and the prairie love croon "Two Seconds." The three harmonize their heartache over engaging, melancholy folk-rock jangles that strongly recall the Byrds, especially on "Somewhere in My Heart" — though the rockabilly verve of "Warm Weather" sounds closer to the country-rock efforts of ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith. The Volebeats would shift gears for their next album, the widely praised Solitude, leaving the peaceful, easy feeling of Sky and the Ocean and pointing their twanging reverb and lonesome melodies toward world music, surf and cinematic instrumentals.