The Key Studio Sessions: Arches
There’s no denying it: Arches is a product of the Age Of Reverb. You hear it in the mellow ebb-and-flow of the music and the twinkling (but tricky-to-nail) vocal harmonies. It’s there in the reverb, obviously, and the overall vibe of a ’50s slow dance being held in a vast cavern. (To be fair, the band’s songs refreshingly buck the Phil Spector approach favored by trendy pop revivalists in favor of a breezier Roy Orbison pace.) But what impresses most about the Philly-via-South-Jersey four-piece is how naturally this sound comes to them. The Key Studio session it recorded late last month seems very stylized, but required a bare minimum of effects– just some dampening of the vocals and we were good to go. These guys know what to do, how to play, what amp settings and drumsticks will make rooms work to their advantage. Arches’ 2010 self-titled EP was recorded in a choir practice space in St. Petersburg, Florida, where founding members Julien Rossow Greenberg and Tom Herman Jr. attended college; its full length-debut Wide Awake (which is having its vinyl release celebrated at Johnny Brenda’s on July 16) achieved the same lofty sound in a basement in the Garden State. Tune in to the new Key Studio Sessions Hour on XPN2 tomorrow, July 7, at 7 p.m., to hear a full playback of the session, as well as a chat with the band about its astonishingly easygoing approach, or the absence of madness in its method.