arco – Alien CD Single

Alien CD Single

It’s only the middle of July, and I already feel as if the summer is dragging on. Not that I want it to go too quickly, mind you, but it’s settled comfortably into the period of long days and short, hot nights. There’s nothing quite like sitting on your porch or in your living room with the windows wide open just as night finally falls, feeling a cooling breeze waft through, the lights off, and playing something that perfectly sums up the quiet and peaceful mood. Arco, with their brand of quiet longing and subtle desperation, fits that bill perfectly.

“Alien” was taken from the band’s debut full-length, Coming to Terms, one of the best slow-core albums to be released in recent memory. This song has a delicious, quiet sense of desperation and dissatisfaction, and you get the sense that singer Chris Healey really does feel alienated as he sings, “Why I feel like an alien / not part of the human race / when my heart wants to burst / at the sight of your face. / I feel like I’m suffering / from a beautiful disease / when your sad pretty smile / brings me down to my knees.” Soft and lovely, it’s one of the highlights from that album.

Then we have the two unreleased tracks. “Lie” is a far quieter track, extremely sparse and subtle. Healey’s vocals are occasionally the only thing heard, although soft guitar and keyboards are heard in the background. I recommend turning up the volume, because the band does a brilliant job mixing their songs, and there’s a very full, deep, rich sound here. But it is extremely quiet, while “Someone Else” is a less so. Using what sounds like an accordion (most likely keyboards) to start, it has some very lovely, crisp guitar, soft drums, and a much more moving melody. The vocals aren’t quite as bare here, although they retain the quiet, lovely quality. It’s nice to hear the band doing something that’s not quite as desperately soft, and this one maintains something of a Nick Drake approach, soft yet gently flowing.

As far as a slow-core band, few manage to be quite as lovely and dreamy as Arco. Peaceful, subtle, sparse, yet always possessing a delicate and deliberate flow, these three songs build off their full-length for a wonderful group of summertime night songs. It’s just a single with only two new tracks here, but I highly recommend fans of this style get their full-length and then hunt down these songs as well.