Sunday, 11 October 2015

The Arcs- Yours,Dreamily

Yours,Dreamily is the debut album from The Arc's featuring the always prolific Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. Joining him are Menahan Street Band member Leon Michels, former Shins bassist Richard Swift and Nick Movshon and Homer Steinwess both Daptone Records stalwarts. With this lineup you would expect a large slab of twisted funky grooves and into that mix Auerbach throws in his bag of psychedelia laden soul. It's a refreshing album because all those elements work this is a band that is not going to play it safe, so whilst there are tight grooves there is a layered density to each song. Whether it be the drowsy slightly bent out of shape horns on Everything You Do to the Impressions style Chicago soul of Stay In My Corner with Auerbach displaying a Curtis like falsetto.

You would struggle to find a better or more suitable intro than Once We Begin which sounds like a warped late night Carny tune. The ominous Outta My Mind has the Menahan deep groove, syncopated and bouncy and then Dan adds those juicy repetitive synth sounds that he made a hallmark of his production sound on Dr John's Locked Down. The song spells a warning about the darkness that can come from success.

I heard I lost my self control
But everything I did just went and turned to gold
I love the pictures on the wall
Reminding me of what I lost to get it all

Put A Flower In Your Pocket takes that late 60's sweet Chicago soul and adds a psychedelic context with overlapping synths and a jagged afro beat. Pistol Made Of Bones sounds like it should be the theme for a spaghetti western Ennio Morricone style. Stay In My Corner was inspired by the recent Floyd Mayweather V Manny Pacquio bout and the guitar intro is classic Curtis Mayfield that sweet sparse guitar sound that he had.

I won't always be a winner babe
In fact, I'm bound to burn
All these bumps in the road, dear
They're just lessons we learned.

Cold Companion has more of that Menahan Band stamp that funky percussive groove that they strip back and on this occasion Auerbach doesn't add too many textured lines to it. The Arc is Dan's turn to channel The Black Keys with that wicked distorted blues guitar, Dan's songwriting has a more literal bent often engaging characters who are on the run,

Rollin out of Richmond
With a load of dusty gold
It shines
I gotta get a little more time
To shine

Yours, Dreamily as with almost anything Dan Auerbach works on is a great album, full of soul and some funk with a dose of venom, all the while retaining that spaced out dreamy feel that is a feature of his side projects.

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