Superfonica by Arcadian ChildRelease date: November 28, 2018
Label: Rogue Wave Records
Greece (and / or Cyprus) seems to be a bit of a hotbed for psych at the moment, and leading that charge have been the excellent Arcadian Child. Hot off the heels of their debut album, Afterglow, they now return with their sophomore effort, Superfonica, and the burgeoning of a much more mature sound.
In some respects, the gung-ho spirit of the debut album was what made Arcadian Child such a delightful prospect, and whilst they may head down more calmer routes this time, they still retain that initial glee. Tempered with an urge to develop their sound out of the sub-60’s rattle, they take a step into much more psychedelic territory as they stretch their music into new realms.
The 60’s jangle looms large on opener ‘Bain Marie’, a triumphant start as gears rev into place, it’s when the laconic drawl of the vocals turns up the heat that we see the band take flight. This is big music, full of heart, but always with one ear on keeping things toned down so as not to seem to bombastic. In a split second they can shift from full on indie rock into a tripped out wonderland, often in the same song, like on second track ‘Twist Your Spirit’.
After a rather glorious start where Arcadian Child up the ante from their debut with some fine riffs and trips, they do have a tendency to plod a bit, especially during the middle section of Superfonica. ‘Brothers’ may ride by on its catchy refrain of “it’s just the fuck up”, but ultimately it falls short. Much the same with ‘Constellations” although that song does end with a wonderful little melody.
Best is the epic “Painting” which demonstrates a band who are on the verge of doing something quite special with their music, and it’s through sheer good will that find yourself hoping that they really do cut the mustard and break out. By the time the fast paced “She Flows” kicks in, you are with them once again on that ride to wherever they want to go next. It’s that great Greek hospitality served in music form.
‘The March’ leaves us on the precipice of something much darker, drawing a line under some of the more rudimentary rock and roll stylings that muffled the middle section. It’s a great end to what could have been a difficult second album, and leaves us waiting with anticipation for what they will do next. Arcadian Child are destined to go much further, and on the basis of Superfonica, they are likely to drag more than a few fans with them. Great stuff.