Arc Iris - Moon Saloon

Arc Iris – Moon Saloon

Rhode Island’s Arc Iris released their self-titled debut album way back in 2014 and have been on the rise ever since. Building a fan base through supporting artists such as St. Vincent on tour and working with producer David Wrench (who has worked with big names such as FKA Twigs and Jamie xx) isn’t doing them any harm either. However, it is second album Moon Saloon that will cement their status as a group to watch out for in the future.

It is very easy to realise whilst listening to each of the tracks on Moon Saloon that this is an album carefully crafted by seasoned professionals. The trio, compromising of Jocie Adams, Zach Tenorio-Miller and Ray Belli, have come together as experienced individual musicians and have created something explosive in Arc Iris.

The first single to be released, ‘Kaleidoscope,’ is just that. Rotating between colourful electronic sounds, the gorgeously breathy vocals of lead singer Adams and classical interludes from cellist Robin Ryczek (who features heavily on the album), ‘Kaleidoscope’ possesses a dreamlike quality that will no doubt make it an album highlight for most and rightfully so.

Another definite highlight is ‘Paint With The Sun,’ which sounds like it came straight from the seventies. Thanks to the beautifully whimsical sounds created by Tenorio-Miller and Belli, the track drifts through ethereal folk to upbeat retro-sounding rock without a hitch and never sounds anything other than harmonic and uplifting.

The supporting tracks all tell their own unique story and definitely hold the album up. Stand-out tracks include the bewitching ‘Johnny,’ which wouldn’t sound out of place on the Rocky Horror soundtrack – it’s old school and brilliantly funny. ‘Kingdom Come’ gives the listener tribal vibes, whereas the empowering ‘Lilly’ is low-key dramatic and has the potential to be an anthem for some.

Another track, ‘Pretending,’ is a combination of the retro theme Arc Iris have in many of their songs and an almost fairy tale-like, other-worldly quality. We see Arc Iris hit their experimental peak in ‘Rainy Days,’ which features vocals but no lyrics until two minutes, shifting from upbeat to almost solemn at some points in the track, and then straight back to impossibly elevating.

The final track, the titular ‘Moon Saloon,’ sounds almost like a lullaby, albeit as indie as one could get. Relaxed yet heartfelt, it very much serves as a showcase for Adams’ vocals and is a fittingly simple, peaceful ending to the journey Arc Iris have taken us on through each track on this album. It would be hard to sum up Moon Saloon as an album in just a few words, as there are no two tracks the same, but each one is excellent in its own respect.

Release Date – 19/08/2016 (Bella Union)
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Sasha Mossman

I'm a first year Multimedia Journalism student at MMU who is terrible at bios.