Skypiper: Live on 89.3 KZUM | Hear Nebraska FM

photo by Bridget McQuillan

by Chance Solem-Pfeifer

It’s been five months since Skypiper released their most recent EP, Troubledoer, and five years since they released their debut album, Lay Low and Pretty.

Five months and five years. What do the time increments mean? Let’s look to Skypiper’s new song “Five Years of Copper” for answers. At the opening of this pop song from Troubledoer, Skypiper singer Graham Burkum belts:

“Well, I'm never looking back on five years of copper / after staring at five months of gold. And I hope all your troubles find their way out the door / So you can dream your little dream while you get old.”

On first listen, it comes off as a song about relationships. But turn the lyrics back on the band and we might find some parallel seeds of change being sown. For five years, the Omaha band primarily worked in the folk rock aesthetic across a pair of full-lengths albums that walked some hard and earthy roads. Skypiper even recorded its sparser sophomore self-titled album in a 1950s-era church sanctuary.

Let’s not discredit the time. Copper, after all, is something tough and ductile and valuable.

But Skypiper’s golden five months began in May with the release of Troubledoer. Right here on this power pop-leaning record is some optimistic advice for the ramblers and rovers:

“Leave your ballads all behind, all you troubadours of modern times. Trade in your strings, for louder things, more amplified.”

And on the EP we find the band following its own carpe diem advice, plugged in, grinning and sounding more like a band of its own necessity than ever before. Even if trouble is wrought, the band now pipes a little more joyfully for itself than some distant horizon.

This week, Skypiper kicks off its upcoming No Coast Tour with The Kickback. But right now, kick back, tune in and enjoy live music from Skypiper on Hear Nebraska FM. Gentlemen, take it away:

Chance Solem-Pfeifer is the host of Hear Nebraska FM. Next week, he'll be joined on the program by A Wasted Effort. Reach Chance at