[From Excellent Reception : Episode 4]
The debut album by The Arcs, titled “Yours, Dreamily”, was one of the hidden gems of 2015. During some downtime, Dan Auerbach, singer/guitarist of The Black Keys, pulled together a group of long time acquaintances and fellow musicians for two weeks of recording sessions to create this amazing side project.
The unique group of musicians playing on this album are what makes “Yours, Dreamily” stand out. First you have Dan, who comes to the table with all of the rock and roll sensibility he earned from being part of The Black Keys, as well as, the production chops he gained from working with everyone from Lana Del Ray to Dr. John. The album is co-produced by Leon Michels of Truth and Soul Records, who along with fellow bandmates Homer Steinweiss and Nick Movshon are all know for making modern vintage soul with artists like Lee Fields, Sharon Jones, and The Menahan Street Band. Rounding out the core membership is Richard Swift, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer who is also a keyboard player with The Shins.
On over half the album, The Arcs are joined by New York’s all female mariachi band Flor De Toloache. They add their own special twist to the instrumentation, as well as provide hauntingly beautiful background vocals.
One of the tracks that captures the best of what these musicians bring to the table is “Rosie (La La La)”. You can hear a wide range of influences seeping into the sound, everything from Phil Spector era songwriting to chicano rock style guitar solos. With it’s moody piano and hard breakbeat style drums bleeding through a thick layer of guitar fuzz, this song almost sounds as if it could have been sampled for an old Wu-Tang album.
This is an excerpt from the Excellent Reception podcast. Each episode our host, lil’dave, talks about the stories and influences around a group of carefully selected songs. Subscribe to the podcast now via iTunes.