Brad Skistimas, the 24-year-old Dallasite who operates under the sweeping moniker Five Times August, recently released his second full-length effort, Brighter Side.
And for a local, he has been doing well on the national stage. MTV and Fox Reality have broadcast some of his wispy, sandy tunes on their run-of-the-mill shows about Middle-American ennui. Compared to most local bands, Five Times August sticks to the center of the road. The instrumentation is solid but forgettable. Every slow guitar lick and been-done drumbeat exists only to complement Skistimas’ voice. Sweet in the way a mother would love, the twentysomething’s chordal progressions never approach desperation or jubilation. Instead, the mall-dressed Skistimas offers an unapologetic recollection of his hopeful and mundane experiences in 21st-century suburbia.
Though he has major tweener-radio star potential, Skistimas insists on doing everything himself. He reportedly booked every show on his recent 43-state tour and routinely brushes off queries from major-record labels.
Unassuming and pure, Five Times August focuses on the concept suggested in the album title. Hearts will be broken, Skistmas says, and bad choices will be made, but all is copacetic when viewed from a Brighter Side. The singer-songwriter addresses his own aversion to grandiosity in “Overrated.” In typical soft-rock form he croons, “It’s hard to be original when everyone’s so typical / Maybe I’m just living it, too.” There is beauty, after all, in the ordinary. — Caroline Collier