For those of you who don't know let me start by telling you that Arco are a band from London who produce music so gentle and fragile it makes Nick Drake sound like a death metal growler in comparison!
Four years after the imperious 'Coming To Terms' the band are back, and I'm pleased to say they pick up from where they left off. From the opening strums of 'Diary', the tone is set for the rest of the album. The beautiful lullabye-esque vocals of Chris Healey are as mesmerising as ever, and the slow, minimalist backing of David Milligan on bass makes for the ideal gentile soundscape. 'Perfect World' is one of the most tender and heart-wrenching songs I have heard this year, and the introduction mid-track of a brass section (well, one instrument with a muffler I reckon) is genius. Throughout, the tempo remians constant; it never once attempts to shake you out of the hazey aura of relaxation that the whole album exudes. Closing with my new song for January 1st, 'Happy New Year', the band potentially achieve what Art Brut lyrically phrase they aim to in writing a song "that could make Israel and Palestine get along", with a perfect vocal and musical concoction for reflection.
Coming on like Tom McRae unplugged and mellowed out, Arco are one of the finest 'easy listening' bands of our generation. They're for those times when you get back from work after being stuck in traffic, or when you've stubbed your toe trying to find your shoes in the morning. They are the musical equivalent of Radox bath salts, and I would quite happily wind the evening down with this album every day of the week.
8Colin Weston's Score