Over the past year or so, I’ve written about the Providence, RI-based act Arc Iris, and as you may recall, the act initially formed as a rock musical octet but has gone through a series of lineup changes that have cemented the group’s current lineup — founding member Jocie Adams (vocals), formerly of The Low Anthem, with Tenor Miller (keyboards, samples) and Ray Belli (drums). With the release 2014’s self-titled debut and 2016’s sophomore effort Moon Saloon, the Rhode Island-based trio quickly received national and attention for shapeshifting grooves that drew comparisons to Hiatus Kaiyote and others. Adding to a growing profile, the members of Arc Iris have opened for St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Juana Molina, and have played at major festivals like Bonnaroo, End of the Road and the Rolling Stone Weekender. However, just as the band thought they had beaten the incredibly long odds of the contemporary music industry, the gigs and opportunities dried up.
While most bands would have been embittered and called it a day, the members of Arc Iris decided to reinvent themselves, self-releasing their sophomore effort in the US and adopting an ardent DIY approach to promotion, booking and management. Interestingly, as a result of their DIY approach, the band landed a tour opening for Kimbra and Gene Ween, performed a complete re-imagination of Joni Mitchell‘s Blue at The Kennedy Center and have seen a growing (and deeply dedicated) international fanbase.
Slated for an October 12, 2018 release through Ba Da Bing Records, Arc Iris’ third full-length album Icon of Ego was recored at Providence’s Columbus Theater, which during the 1920s hosted silent movies and vaudeville, and the album reportedly finds the band crafting vividly expressionistic material that draws from prog rock, art rock and synth pop while meshing wildly disparate styles and elements. Interestingly, Icon of Ego‘s first single “$GNMS” was a complete reworking and re-imagining of “Money Gnomes,” off their debut — and while the original version possessed a folksy sort of looseness, the remake leans towards Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, The Yes Album-era Yes, Bjork and sci fi. The album’s second and latest single “Turn It Up” will further cement the trio’s reputation for crafting shape-shifting and progressive pop centered with enormous and infectious hooks — in the case, the song is centered around thumping, boom-bap drums, shimmering and twinkling synths and Adams’ gorgeous yet sultry vocals and an unusual, dream-like song structure that recalls Sgt, Pepper-era Beatles and Bjork, complete with a stream of consciousness-like vibe.
Friday, the members of the renowned pop act will be embarking on a lengthy fall tour that will include a November 11, 2018 stop at Rough Trade. Check out the tour dates below. Also, you can preorder the new album here: https://grapefruitrecordclub.com/products?keywords=arc+iris