Technically, there's a fine line between a "supergroup" and a "collaboration," mostly boiling down to marketing. But in practice, the latter is almost always more interesting. Rather than trying to jam the biggest stars in the scene into a mishmash configuration, hoping to find some interesting reaction like a laboratory experiment, the best collaborations come from chance fusions where like-minded musicians come together, taking the varying perspectives that their considerable musical histories have created and generating something that actually feels like more than the sum of its parts. Yawning Sons is one such instance: though it also classifies as a supergroup (consisting of members of legendary acts Yawning Man and Sons of Alpha Centauri), it's a one-of-a-kind multiplication of both groups' talents. After a full-length and a split a decade ago, the experimental desert rock offering is back with a second full-length Sky Island. Listen to the album in full below and float away—it's hard not to.

...

...

Sky Island represents a maturation of desert rock's potential, a genre which was fittingly founded in the American desert during the early 1990s by Yawning Man and their contemporaries. It proves that, even mixed in with a host of psychedelic rock and post-rock elements as seen here, there's an unmistakable character to the genre that doesn't just stem from the loud, fuzzy riffs most often attributed to it. Carefully tone-crafted and luxuriously sculpted, even when it's whisper-quiet, Sky Island simmers with white-hot heat.

At the same time, the added complexities and textures that exist beyond desert rock are just as important. The multidisciplinary sound of this album varies from track-to-track in interesting ways, always innovating: it's a shifting, evolving, mind-bending interpretation of a potent rock core. The witty lyrics, delivered by a frankly ridiculous cast of guest vocalists (including Scott Reeder!), are decidedly more worth listening to than what rock usually has to offer.

Perhaps most impressively, though it holds an immense amount of swirling psychedelic elements and no shortage of delightful secrets for the knowledgeable, Sky Island is also an engaging rock record that can be shown to uninitiated friends without having to explain three different genres beforehand (though it might send them down the rabbit hole that is the Palm Desert scene). No matter your familiarity with the history, Sky Island is an album that you can get lost in, and one that creates its own plane of existence for you to experience it in.

...

Sky Island releases March 26th via Ripple Music.