[19 August 2014]
Fusing the best elements of contemporary indie folk troubadours and well-loved practitioners of the rootsier side of classic rock, Denver’s Ark Life have, with The Dream of You & Me crafted an utterly timeless and wholly enjoyable debut. While guitarist Jesse Elliott handles the lion’s share of the lead vocal duties here, it’s the gorgeous backing harmonies of Lindsay Giles, Anna Morsett and Natalie Tate (keys, bass and guitar, respectively) that lift The Dream of You & Me to its euphoric heights, effortlessly imbuing each track with a lived in quality that lends an air of staying power to this relatively young group.
This communal tone lends Ark Life a greater feel of authenticity lacking in similar contemporary artists like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, who seem to play up the notion of being a musical community more than actually functioning as one. Having played well over 100 shows during its brief existence, Ark Life has the well earned, road-tested feel of a musical community along the lines of the Band or Leon Russell’s traveling shows. Effortlessly emulating the sound and feel of their legendary forbearers, Ark Life here have crafted ten songs that could easily stand alongside the best of those storied groups. Hopefully The Dream of You & Me is merely the beginning of even greater things to come.