Arcane Roots have had a busy touring schedule in recent years and it seems they’ve been on loads of tours and festivals but it’s been a while since the band released anything (nearly four years to be exact!) The three-piece are finally back in all their glory with their new record Melancholia Hymns.
Melancholia Hymns is a sonic journey, from the atmospheric opening track ‘Before Me’ to closing track ‘Half The World’, the record floats through an experimentation of sound. Though they have the power to stand on their own, when put together the 10-tracks on the album paint a complete picture, venturing through the many faces of the Kingston trio. ‘Matter’ is the album’s latest single, and what begins as a dramatic crooner quickly shifts through increased frenzy as the track progresses. With an experimentation with electronics thrown in there, the band create a spew of sounds from all directions that it becomes easy to forget there are just three people in the band.
To show off their versatility this is followed by the beautifully haunting ‘Indigo’. There isn’t quite a sense of urgency as there is on the other tracks but it easily stands out, with its delicate rhythms and enchanting deliverance. ‘Arp’ is the perfect synopsis of the band’s essence, basking in airy synths before a crescendo transforms it into something completely different from what it started out as.
Arcane Roots demonstrate how easily they can create ambiance with their intricate sounds, and then they hit us with ‘Everything (All At Once)’ which is a massive alt rock tune if we’ve ever heard one. With a nod towards the band’s earlier sound that we’ve familiarised ourselved with, the powerful track serves as a reminder of growth and progression. They’ve made it evident that the band’s sound is far from one-dimensional, but there’s just something about the familiarity of the song’s controlled chaos.
Though the diverse Melancholia Hymns are filled with tracks that almost seem like they could very easily stand on their own – and while they can, this is an album that’s not been created simply as a collection of songs but rather one big listening experience. Flowing beautifully into one another, the album is one of the most effortlessly cohesive releases we’ve heard all year. If there ever were a time to give Arcane Roots any attention, it’s now.