Weekend Intermission is our regular feature where we look at an artist or band not from the Nordic countries, just to mix things up a bit.
I’ve waited a long time to feature Arc Iris.
The New Englanders managed to perform their multimedia presentation ’iTMRW: A Sci-Fi Ballet’ (a robot/android love story but I don’t think anyone remembers what it means any longer, possibly ‘I Tomorrow’) just three times, in that home region, before the pandemic closed it down and then later in the year they went west to the warmer climes of Los Angeles, to settle there.
They were unable to perform live again until September of last year, in LA. Now they are releasing their first new music since the ‘Icon of Ego’ album in 2018.
Arc Iris is now Josie Adams, who started the band initially as a solo project (vocals, guitars, keys), Zach Tenorio Miller (keys) and Ray Belli (drums) and they’ve shed various other collaborators along the way, having peaked at seven.
The latter two have been working together for many years, have supported top draw artists and are respected as virtuoso musicians; Tenorio Miller for his keyboard wizardry (he’s one of very few musicians I can think of who could play Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman in a biopic) and Belli for his extraordinarily light touch around the kit.
Meanwhile, Adams is one of the most imaginative songwriters around while having one of the most seductive voices you’ll hear.
They are renowned for their complex arrangements, in a style of their own which sits uneasily somewhere between dream pop and prog rock, with a dash of cabaret thrown in.
Having given them the big build up I have to say that think this new and seemingly autobiographical song, ‘We found home’ may take some time to grow on me. As usual it’s presented in unusual time signatures, with little guitar and keyboard flourishes interjecting from stage left throughout, together with assorted and indistinguishable noises off.
And how do you explain lines like:
“What’s love doing at my door/ It’s like I bought it at the store.”
If you can imagine a musical version of The Stepford Wives – which if I remember correctly was set in New England – then this song might well fit its soundtrack.
It’s good to have them back and I hope we might see them in the UK before too long; it has been at least five years now. Their full stage act, if they perform it, is a visual feast. Find time to check out this extraordinary performance from a few years back.
Find them on: