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National Skyline

Indie duo National Skyline hails from the notorious Champaign-Urbana, Illinois music scene, but they don't play emo or pop-punk. Surprise! Actually National Skyline is the side project of a couple of Midwest indie rockers, Jeff Garber of the decidedly emo Champaign band Castor, and Jeff Dimpsey of the droning, science-rock outfit Hum. National Skyline takes its cues more from the latter band, creating a cool, modern sound that nicely blends sterile, programmed beats, loops, and synth tones with more organic instrumentation. Their music reveals some late '90s influences -- Beck and Radiohead both come to mind at times -- but the duo really seems to pine for the dark, gothic, synth-pop that owned the airwaves during the early and mid '80s. They strip that style of its endearing but dated geekiness, making it less about personality and more about a whispery ambience that shapes their clean, chilly futuro-pop. Often breathily pretty, this is music about distance, empty space, and isolation.

National Skyline has recorded a pair of EPs, one self-titled on Hidden Agenda, the other Exit Wounds on File 13. The second title features "October."

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