With a group name longer than most and a band membership smaller than most, Skylines and Archives’s very indie, very emo music is coming out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, to enter the world. (That was a lame close to a potentially incredibly awesome sentence, wasn’t it?)
Skylines and Archives is Nathan Walker and himself. Currently, the group consists only of Nathan, on guitar and vocals, but I’m sure he’ll probably get a full band one of these days. Not that he needs it, but everyone seems to do that.
His music reminds me of John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Bebo Norman, and other similar artists, but he’s not just copying what they’re doing. His lyrics are really good and insightful, mostly sad but well-written nonetheless.
In an interview with Wrecked for the Ordinary here, Nathan Walker of Skylines and Archives said about himself and his life with God:
I’m a 21-yr-old Minnesota native with dreams of again seeing the US through the window of a van. I came to realize a while ago that while I grew up with the idea of God all over the place, I had yet to scratch the surface on who God is beyond the misconceived ideas. About two years ago I came to a place where I was fed up with Christianity. The ironic part was that at the time, I was a full-time missionary playing music across the US and other parts of the world. During one of the breaks, I was working in a warehouse packing boxes with Target supplies.
Through those mindless hours, I was able to get to know a girl whose life was truly in shambles. She told me about how her boyfriend had left her the fall before when she’d become pregnant with twins and wouldn’t abort them. Then, she lost those twins on Christmas morning. Someone at her job had sexually harassed her and when she reported them, they turned it around and slapped the sexual harassment suit on her. Finding work was nigh-impossible. She went on to tell me that she was Catholic and when I asked why, she said she could do whatever she wanted and all she had to do was say she was sorry and she would get into Heaven. Having high-and-mightily judged this girl as a lost cause, I told her I didn’t buy into the whole religion thing any more.
I explained in righteous detail why my life sucked and the cynical reasons I had that Christianity was to blame for all of it. She stopped me in mid-sentence and said, “You’re so Emo.” Then she mocked me: “Everybody hates me. I’m mad at the world. This is so not fair.” Stunned, I just looked at her and kind of mumbled, “That’s not…true…” The person who had all the right in the world to complain about everything was telling me to suck it up. She got me.
A few weeks later I was discussing life and religion with a dear friend of mine and I had just shared the “You’re so Emo” story with her. “It’s true!” I finished, “But I feel like I’ve done so many bad things in life that even if I wanted Him to, God could never forgive me.” She just looked me in the eye and said, “Nathan, you know that’s not true.” And she was right! Having grown up knowing the truth the whole time, I had yet to believe it. There was something freeing about having someone tell me, personally, that I could be forgiven if I wanted. So I did want it. I’ve become a very different person from the little Emo kid I was back then. I feel now. And not just when I play music.
The Catholic girl obviously didn’t have her theology in order, but I still think it’s cool how God used her to bring Nathan to new life in Him. Read the rest of the interview if you want some more insightful thoughts on music, emo, and himself.
You can download 2 studio recordings or the entire 10-track “Unplugged” album for free on his MySpace page, or get two of the live “Unplugged” recordings below:
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