Arthur & Yu – In Camera

Arthur & Yu
In Camera

Using their childhood nicknames as their band name, the Seattle duo of Sonya Westcott and Grant Olsen delve into a musical style that is not easily classifiable. By blending 60’s style folk-rock, painted with a bit of that era’s psychedelic hue, with modern acoustic singer/songwriter fare and dousing the whole thing in cloud of reverb, it sounds like something you could call new-age folk.

Although the majority of songs on In Camera, the band’s debut and the first ever Hardly Art release, include some nice jangling guitar strumming reminiscent of 60’s psychedelic pop, they lack the edge and freshness of their heritage. Acoustic guitar-based folk melodies and harmonized boy/girl voices are merged with heavily reverbed jangle pop, as flashes of melancholic pop permeate through the haze on occasion, creating a soothing psychedelic ambience.

But even when these ingredients are combined in the proper proportions the tunes remain listless since the arrangements are too bare and most of the songs don’t have enough quaint peculiarities to make them flavorful. The exception being “There Are Too Many Birds” with it’s catchy refrain and lots of cool instrumental effects floating around the charming melody.

Arthur & Yu’s inconsistently brewed blend of neo-psychedelic indie-folk is definitely an acquired taste and the home-recorded, lo-fi production along with uninspired songwriting renders In Camera incapable of being a worthwhile investment of your listening time.

Recommended Track: “There Are Too Many Birds”