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Arc Iris — Arc Iris [2014]

 Arc Iris — Arc Iris [March 31st, 2014]

 USA Flag Arc Iris — Arc Iris

♣   Arc Iris are a genre–blurring New England ensemble led and fronted by former Low Anthem member Jocie Adams.
Formed: 2012 in Boston, MA
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Album release: March 31st, 2014
Record Label: Anti– Records (North America) // Bella Union (World)
Duration:     49:58
01. Money Gnomes      (3:43)
02. Lost On Me      (4:24)
03. Whiskey Man      (3:03)
04. Canadian Cowboy      (6:37)
05. Singing So Sweetly      (3:52)
06. Ditch      (4:23)
07. Honor Of The Rainbows I      (2:58)
08. Honor Of The Rainbows II      (6:23)
09. Powder Train      (4:13)
10. Might I Deserve To Have A Dream      (4:49)
11. Swimming      (5:32)
•   Jocie Adams  Clarinet, Composer, Design, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
•   Arc Iris  Primary Artist
•   Andrew Barr  Drums, Percussion
•   Raymond Belli  Concept
•   Dan Cardinal  Engineer, Mixing
•   Laura Cortese  Vocals
•   Nicole Darling  Design
•   Layton Guenther  Vocals
•   Martha Guenther  Vocals
•   Max Johnson  Bass (Electric), Bass (Upright)
•   Mike Irwin  Trumpet, Vocals
•   Mark Römisch  Photography
•   Charlie Rose  Banjo, Guitar (Electric), Pedal Steel, Trombone, Vocals
•   Robin Ryczek  Cello, Composer
•   Alan Silverman  Mastering
•   Kavie Erin Smith  Monoprint
•   Zachary Tenorio–Miller  Glockenspiel, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
Review by Thom Jurek;  Score: ****
•   Arc Iris is the band singer, composer, arranger, and multi–instrumentalist Jocie Adams established after leaving the Low Anthem. This self–titled debut album is nearly impossible to categorize. Though this bracing, fresh, nearly seamless meld of cabaret, folk traditions, country, rock, classical, cabaret, and jazz is eclectic and ranging, it's accessible to listeners of many stripes. The anti–materialist opener "Money Gnomes" commences as a bluegrass–inspired rocker with acoustic guitars, banjo, and snare drum before the bridge becomes a Stephen Foster–esque parlor waltz with lilting cellos, tinkling pianos, and three–part female vocal harmony. Then it shifts back as pedal steel, brass, and reeds join in, carrying it out riotously. In the intro to "Whiskey Man," a lone cello plays a melody informed by Celtic tradition. It's underscored by acoustic guitar before Adams and a small vocal chorus deliver a tome of profound loneliness and unrelenting heartache that fuels a slide toward alcoholism. Its lilting melody and bittersweet vocals are painted by banjo, upright bass, and a rumbling kick drum. The song's spirit recalls 19th century Americana, but its arrangement and presentation are contemporary. "Canadian Cowboy," with its cascading pianos and strings, recalls Jimmy Webb's Mirage period, as intricately woven, lush, instrumental textures are tempered by dynamic restraint. "Singing So Sweetly" is a saloon song. Prohibition–era jazz and blues are framed inside cabaret music, quirkily tilted as punchy electric pianos assert themselves among reeds, brass, upright bass, and drum kit. "Ditch," a broken love song, evokes early rock & roll–with–a–doo wop–chorus, colored by B–3, pedal steel, and horns. Adams' singing is vulnerable and free of artifice yet steely in its honesty. "Powder Train" weds swinging honky tonk to funky R&B. Electric pianos, pedal steel, clarinet, and a killer trumpet break insert jazzy pop that's completed by a singalong chorus. "Swimming" employs progressive jazz, Spanish and Eastern European folk tropes, cabaret, doo wop, carnival music, and indie rock. "Might I Deserve to Have a Dream" is a slow, poignant, spiritual, its voices buoyed by distorted guitars, cello, and clarinet. The longing in Adams' voice is framed by music that illuminates rather than illustrates her understated but emotionally charged lyrics. Adams' words employ a poetic economy rather than a strict storytelling narrative, yet they invite the listener in with melodies and charts that punctuate them with imagination and drama. Each song stands alone, but is made larger by being placed in an album whose soundworld is a fantasia: here, the interplay of past and present is fluid, organic, immediate. Arc Iris is an auspicious debut. This band's disciplined, sensitive unity expresses Adams' fresh, expansive musical vision with elegance and grit, humor and pathos, tenderness and sensuality. (www.allmusic.com)
Artist Biography by Thom Jurek
•   Arc Iris is a wildly adventurous, genre–blurring band founded in Massachusetts by frontwoman, songwriter, and multi–instrumentalist Jocie Adams, formerly of the Low Anthem. Her bandmembers include the seasoned rhythm section of bassist Max Johnson, pianist and multi–instrumentalist Zachary Tenorio–Miller, and drummer Raymond Belli, with cellist Robin Ryczek and trumpeter Mike Irwin.
Adams, a formally trained classical composer (as well as a former NASA researcher) formed the band as a wide–ranging ensemble informed by everything from the sophisticated 1970s pop, folk, country, cabaret, jazz and classical music, and more contemporary sources such as Grizzly Bear.
•   The band established themselves as a touring ensemble with Calexico, CocoRosie, Marco Benevento, Menomena, and Justin Townes Earle, to name a few, and were signed to Anti in 2013. Their self–titled debut album, recorded and mixed by Dan Cardinal (with Andrew Barr on drums), and a large cast of musical collaborators was released on April 1, 2014.
•   "Arc Iris is the orchestral pop project of Jocie Adams, a former core member of The Low Anthem. The singer and multi–instrumentalist formed the collective to present her ambitious new songs. The band includes a collective of 4 musicians plus Jocie with additional players frequently joining to expand the sound further, to create their wild exploration of all kinds of musical styles — jazz, prog rock, blues, country, folk, and classical styles.Bob Boilen of NPR All Songs Considered calls the music “somewhat cabaret, somewhat orchestral folk, a bit of show tune and jazz band, ” while The Deli Magazine writes, the five-piece group had everything you could want in a live performance — intense energy, appreciation for performing and incredible talent…they are something akin to a soul/folk/jazz amalgamation.”
In french:
•   Un premier album de bonne augure, au contenu varié, rafraîchissant et élégant, bref, recommandable.
Website: http://arciris.net/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/arcirismusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arcirismusic
Press: KristaWilliams@Sacks& Co (USA): Krista@sacksco.com // Duncan Jordan@BellaUnion (UK):Duncan@Bellaunion.com
Agent: US: Mike Leahy (mike@concertedefforts.com) // EU: James Alderman (jamesa@freetradeagency.co.uk)


Arc Iris — Arc Iris [2014]



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