January 25th, 2012 | Album reviews


Let Alone Sea

pOprOck Records

It’s rare to come across a recording that has synced the three pillars of memorable modern popular music—song, style, and personae. Arrica Rose and her band, the …’s, new record Let Alone Sea is as close as I’ve heard in ages. It’s winning as a piece of song-craft. Melodies that soar and poetry that conveys real emotion. Songs you can sing and share knowing the hooks will do their work. But this isn’t a mere singer-songwriter exercise: it’s the recordings that are the magic here. Rose and her producer Dan Garcia have built airy soundscapes with an eclectic blend of instrumentation that falls on the ear as an evolution in folk music. “When The Clouds Hang This Low” is a fine example. Violins and cello drift in and out of the fog. Arrica’s voice is a whisper. Harmonies ring in the background. It’s like being in an impressionist painting.  Stirring stuff. Arrica brings powerful personae to the work as well with snippets of Patti Smith, Fiest, Catpower, Karen Carpenter and the range to do much more. It is Indie Rock by strict definition, but she’s sanded off the edges and set the whole show in a 1970’s Topanga Canyon dream. The music has a perspective and while she nods to different styles Americana, Pop, and Indie Rock…she’s always coming from her place. Let Alone Sea isn’t flawless certainly, but the misses are minor. Hand claps might be a gratuitous overreach, but you’re going to be thrilled you bought this record.

-Grant Langston