New Record From Arcadia Will Drop Tonight
Bethan Shuff || September 3rd
Arcadia are back with a second, bigger and better EP, Canopy, just 6 months after their debut EP The Shore was released. For the past 6 months the lads have gigged relentlessly both locally and out of town in venues such as O2 Academy 3 in Birmingham and Manchester’s Night and Day Cafe; supporting the likes of Billy Bibby (ex Catfish and The Bottlemen) and The Hunna. Arcadia are on the bill to support the one and only Bez from Happy Mondays in October, too. Despite being on stage most weekends and losing a guitarist just weeks before recording, Arcadia have been busy at Riff Factory writing some filthy riffs and playing around with some original sounds. They headed over to Lower Lane Studios in August where Sam Bloor recorded Canopy for them.
Tropic opens the EP with James Whitehurst’s rolling drums and a bouncy summer bass from Seb Clarke. Jake Ward’s soft vocals lace through Jake Ferchal’s delayed guitar riffs. The Peace-esque chorus is so chilled and tranquil with upbeat, spirally guitar and psychedelic synth; it makes you wish you could ‘set sail’ and get yourself on a beach somewhere hot with an ice-cold cocktail. Jake Ward has really grown as a frontman since The Shore as his vocal techniques have really developed and become more explorative, it’s given Arcadia a more refined sound as they’ve grown into themselves as a band.
The next track on Canopy is the darker, bass-driven Cabin. Meaty kick drums and haunting vocals echo through the verse, becoming louder and heavier in the chorus where Jake Ferchal’s powerful guitar roars through the speakers with Ward’s gritty voice before sinking back to the solitary bass line. James’ drums add to Seb’s bass with some airy ‘oooh’s before erupting into Jake Ferchal’s dirty breakdown solo.
Another intricate bass-line begins Waste, followed by sullen vocals; ‘dig your own grave with the hand that feeds’. Waste the heaviest track on the EP vocally due to Jake’s gritty screams behind the Ferchal’s angsty guitar. It’s a total contrast to previous works such as Realisation and The Shore from their The Shore EP, and even Tropic from this one; Arcadia don’t want to be labelled with a ‘sound’. ‘When I sit down to write something, I don’t think ‘I want it to sound like this or that’ I just play something that I feel like and if it works, it works’, Jake Ferchal tells me. Whitehurst’s drums in the instrumental for Waste are another level as he flutters between snare and floor tom before a final snare roll building up to another roaring chorus.
’95 closes the EP; they save the best till last, in my opinion. ’95 is a rollercoaster from start to finish, with a 30 second build up flowing into a gorgeous climax of crashing cymbals and psychedelic riffs before slowing right back down again for Jake’s relatively soothing lyrics. Another breakdown of crazy fast drum lines takes us into a deep bass line with some Stone Roses worthy effects crackling in the background. A final instrumental explodes before Jake’s ghostly lyrics fade out with a final guitar strum.
‘95 doesn’t just finish Canopy though, it will conclude their headline set at The Sugarmill, this evening (Saturday 3rd) for their EP launch. The Sugarmill is one of Stoke’s biggest venues, there the likes of Foals, Peace, Jaws and Catfish and the Bottlemen have headlined; all of which Arcadia pride themselves on taking influence from, ‘to set foot on the stage that they [said bands] set foot on as the main act is a great feeling.’ Arcadia will be selling physical copies of Canopy for just £3 and it will be available on all major platforms tonight at 10:30pm.
Listen to the debut EP from Arcadia below.