Written by: Dave Cantrell
So, I forgot to remember how much I love Arrica Rose’s voice. A supple instrument that welds contrasts into a single thread – vulnerability with toughness, longing with determination, mystery with certainty – it is, in a phrase, tremulously firm, often lilting but always grounded. When matched with (and this I hadn’t forgotten since the …’s’ virtuosic 2015 album WAVEFUNCTION) a supremely-honed trawl through the length and breadth of solid American songcraft a gem should be expected and a gem we have in Low as the Moon. So, granted, “solid American songcraft” may indeed seem a bit slippery of a descriptor to quantify but we’d argue it’s one of those hunch-like things where one knows it when one hears it, and one hears it flowing through this record front to back.
Mixed and produced by Dan Garcia, whose talent for creating a palpable, deeply present warmth should now be considered peerless, highlights include “Almost Summer Days,” a tender brittle ballad of regret and aching wisdom, the darkly lovely “Molecules in Bloom” whose glistening night-dew vibe walks an atmospheric tightrope between sultry and sad, “Bobby” with its lovingly knowing winks at classic teenage studio pop – the sneakily vague Spectoresque drum strikes, that lush chorded finish – and “So Many Ways to Die” that suggests a Mary Gauthier track that’s been given a lurking noir makeover, Rose’s vocal so immersed in character it could rightly be referred to as method actor singing. But the most seductive may well be “Whole Lotta Lows,” where, in the purring rumble of its bass-fronted groove and the easy gleam of guitar that accompanies it, echoes of Rumours swirl and pulse and hypnotise.
A bit ago, taking a break in the midst of writing this, I muttered to myself while removing headphones ‘This is really good. As usual.’ A little too succinct, of course, to count as a thumbnail review but no less true regardless. By this point it’s not certain that future albums from Arrica Rose & the …’s – and please, say “Dot Dot Dots” – even need a review. Just, y’know, buy them.