Ever since White Arrows released its Fireworks of the Sea EP this spring, the quintet’s full-length debut has been on my radar. The L.A.-based five-piece created its own brand of electro pop, incorporating calypso and tropical beats with soaring synthesizers and catchy lyrics, and its unique sound hooked me instantly.
With all this anticipation built up, I was ecstatic to give the album, entitled Dry Land Is Not A Myth, a first listen. I went on a walk and gave it a spin. Sadly, I was a little disappointed. The LP included the three tracks from the EP (“Coming Or Going,” “Fireworks Of The Sea,” and “Get Gone,”), and because I had heard (and loved) these tunes so much, the record’s seven other tracks fell short.
But that was just on first listen. The more I played the album, the more it grew on me. The textures and brightness White Arrows conveys are incredible. The electro-pop outfit’s music is meant to be heard outside. It’s colorful and sunny, making its June release ideal.
But even though White Arrows creates kaleidoscope-like soundscapes, its singer, Mickey Church, was born without sight, seeing the world as an impressionistic smear. His vision was corrected at age 11, but that didn’t stop Church’s imagination from running wild. The young musician now possesses the gift of translating this surreal view of the world into music.
The album’s true vibrancy shines on tracks like “Golden.” The tune begins with minimal percussion and chirping keys that make you want to sit in the sand, clutching a strong mai tai. The intro only lasts a few measures, before a rolling drumbeat introduces Church’s hazy vocals. With heavy reverb, he sings, “I want to go see the night, and you want to skip into the light, but it’s golden under the moon,” while guitar, bass, and synthesizers join the mix.
And though the majority of Dry Land Is Not A Myth consists of sparkling psychotropical tracks, a few songs showcase White Arrows’ grittier garage rock sound. Namely, “Settle Down.” Contrasted to “Golden,” this song is more brash and rigid. Church begins the track with vocals and a staccato guitar riff. The instrumentation is minimalistic, keeping the focus on guitar, bass, drums and vocals, only calling to the keyboard during the chorus.
Because this record attempts to convey an array of sounds and moods, it may not hook its listener the first time around. White Arrows needs to hone in on its style, and will hopefully nail it down on its sophomore effort. That being said, although the album clocks in at a meager 34 minutes, don’t be surprised if you’re humming the songs long after the needle has stopped spinning.Like us on Facebook at BestNewBands.com and KatrinaNattress and follow us on Twitter at @BestNewBandscom and @KatrinaNattress