Since the band’s formation in 2012, Bootblacks has stomped on to become an interesting blend of genres that can be enjoyed by fans of synthpop, post-punk, goth/rock, and a plethora of others. Now, with three albums and a handful of EPs and singles behind them, Thin Skies helps present a matured Bootblacks – a musical force that’s been able to refine its formula into a smoky, dark blend that’s set to become the soundtrack to many memories and life events for anyone with the fortune to tune in. Produced by Jason Corbett of ACTORS, Thin Skies is a lovingly crafted assemblage of hit songs as each track seems catchier than the last. Corbett demonstrated a penchant for producing great songs and melodies with ACTORS’ debut album; with his influence added to the Bootblacks brew comes a record that’s as elegant and addictive as it is refreshing and pleasant. From the subtle walls of sound that serve as the dark sky backdrop for the crooning vocals of Panther Almqvist in “The Jealous Star,” to the pulse-pumping tempo of “Hidden Things,” where the talents of Alli Gorman, Barrett Hiatt, and Larry Gorman, all blend together to present a beautiful amalgamation of musical components in harmony, each instrument feels so acutely tuned and in sync that the album seems to jump out of the speakers. The songs work to build upon the splendor of the one the precedes it, all before culminating in the thundering echoes of “Inextinguishable.” Each track manages to retain a feeling of distinctiveness so that the album consumed as a whole never begins to feel boring. Clocking in at just over half an hour, the time spent with the album is a pleasant ride from start to finish that leaves a yearning for more, of which there is as the back catalog of Bootblacks releases are also splendid and provide examples of the band’s maturation into a sonic force that shouldn’t be missed. Thin Skies is one of the best records released in 2020 – one of the few bright spots in a dark year.