‘Wrap Your Bones' from Arcelia - lushness and understated opulence(July 02, 2014)
Arcelia’s combination of voices creates a subtle, soulful folk-tinted sound filled with a richness and intensity you can almost feel. They deliver songs with a lushness and an understated opulence that you’ll want to experience. On first-listen their debut album ‘Wrap Your Bones' has a nonchalant feel that evokes a faintly remembered awareness. The warmth of the vocals, softly mixed instrumentation, expressive lyrics and relaxed informality combine to give this album an intimate expression that’s easy to absorb. Even if you haven’t heard this before it feels as though you have – it’s that personal.
From the lead track, ‘45 Seconds', a warm opening adorned with instrumental accents, you’re into the lyrical vocal expanse of ‘Long Man’ or soft intensity of ‘Cupid’ – this is soothing chill-out music. The tranquillity continues through the soporific simplicity of ‘Busking Birds’, Teresa’s evocative vocals on ‘She’s Not Lost’ and the understated sorrow of ‘Blossom’. There’s something of a mood-change with ‘Another Song’, which definitely falls into the ‘surely I’ve heard this before’ bracket but that’s not criticism, it’s simply a reflection of the special touch and character of this album.
Arcelia are Gavin Alexander (vocals, guitar, ukelele) Teresa Gallagher (vocals, percussion) and Simon Foster (vocals, cajon) with Jeff Alexander (banjo, dobro) James Dean (electric guitar) Phil Mulford (double bass) James Shears (bass, percussion) Ben Trigg (cello) and Perry White (piano).
Reviewer: Dan Holland