Fall Concert Series: Birds and Arrows CD Release
Friday, November 2nd 7:30PM
Birds and Arrows
The desert southwest has been more than just a change of scenery for Birds and Arrows, it’s turned out to be a change in vision and attitude. They had outgrown the skin of their quiet, folk beginnings and the desert has given them the space and freedom to finally shed the honeymoon sweetness of their past. Arbitrary Magic is the band’s first full-length record since relocating from Durham, NC to the magical land of Tucson, AZ. Experience their transformation on this album from lovelorn folk duo to hard hitting, rock and roll badassery.
“Overloaded”, the opening track on Arbitrary Magic hits you in the face with pure, raw, rock and roll muscle. That urgent, driving energy of the album keeps coming at you song after song until you reach the second half of the record in which they lull you into a desert trance state with their unique, original version of Peter Gabriel’s “San Jacinto”. And for those fans longing for their classic, sweet southern sound, don’t give up. The final 7 min. of the record leaves you with a soothing yet confident groove that proves their roots in the south are still deep beneath this brand-new desert exterior.
The record was produced and recorded by Gabriel Sullivan of Xixa and Giant Sand. Gabe’s creative vision is distinctly Tucson, having honed his skills at Wave Lab Studio before founding his own creative space, Dust and Stone Studios. You can feel his presence on this record like a dark orb guiding the band to venture into mystical places they may not have found without him. A few other special Tucson musical guests round out the sound of Arbitrary Magic. Connor Gallaher joins in on a few songs. Connor is a young guitar conjurer and Tucson native, whose talents have already graced the road sounds of big acts such as Calexico. Ben Nisbet, also provides his unique guitar voice playing on two tracks. Ben doubles as classical violinist/Tucson Symphony organizer and classic metal guitar aficionado. At moments his screaming guitar elevates the sound of the record to epic rock heights. And last but not least, Katie Haverly lends her mystical feminine power and soulful voice on the backing vocals for “Stay Down” (the album’s single) reminiscent of the roaring gospel sounds of Merry Clayton on Gimme Shelter.
The Death card in tarot is the perfect symbol of Birds and Arrows’ transition from the deep North Carolina south to the Tucson desert southwest. But, then again isn’t it all just Arbitrary Magic?