[NEW RELEASE] ARC IRIS
Label: Bella Union
Genre: Alternative pop, rock
The songs on “Moon Saloon” are prone to frequent, unpredictable changes in the meter, tempo, tune and instruments, leading to music that’s herky-jerky and always quirky.
Fetching but fleeting melodies ride a wave of guitars, horns, strings, keyboards, banjo, pedal steel, layered wordless vocals and electronic whooshes and bleeps.
The whole thing could have been a disaster, but Arc Iris pulls it off.
It helps that singer Jocie Adams, a former member of the Low Anthem, is a versatile soprano who sounds like Bjork, Kat Edmonson, Kristin Chenoweth and Linda Ronstadt, but never for more than a few measures at a time. The album’s flood of ideas is such that Adams sometimes runs out of breath before the end of a phrase.
There are beautiful moments, however, such as the way the music blossoms when the melody climbs on “She Arose.” The title cut closes the set with an unusually sparse but lovely arrangement, pausing at times to make effective use of yet another instrument: silence.