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Arizona

Fameseeker and the Mono

(self released; US: 10 Jul 2007; UK: Available as import)

Arizona, a relatively new, up-and-coming band from (where else?) Brooklyn (but also Asheville, North Carolina), have followed up their low-key 2006 full-length Welcome Back, Dear Children with a substantial EP and, if rumors are true, a new full length album not too far off.  The prodigious output’s well appreciated—there’s enough innovation in the quintet’s psych-folk outlook to produce something quite special.  The group’s not quite there yet—their EP Fameseeker and the Mono‘s a good case in point—but there’s obvious potential.  This EP sees the band putting slightly more psych in their psych-folk, though the majority of the seven tracks continue in the same sweet, only moderately warped style of their previous work.  “Thimble”, the opening track, nicely demonstrates the band’s songwriting maturity: building from a simple repetitive vocal hook to a full, wide texture guitar/strings/synth, it’s wraps melody in a careful shroud.  The upbeat songs are most immediately catching—the refrain from “Life is Great” would be popular in a commercial for insurance, or something—but for the main, the group is interested in folk’s sweetness tinged with melancholy.  The approach isn’t groundbreaking, but as time goes on the execution’s only getting better.  The band deserves a bigger audience—hopefully the slight uptick in web-based attention for the band will pique the interest of one of the more adventurous labels.  Here’s looking to a bright, kaleidoscopic-and-mushroomed future…

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Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.


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