White Arrows – Dry Land Is Not A Myth (Votiv)
Imagine trekking down a humid jungle path at dusk when, through an opening in the trees, you spot the glowing orb of a UFO passing slowly above. You follow the dim hum of the craft and hear the unlikely sound of celebration grow louder with each step. The density of the forest gives way to a moss-carpeted clearing and reveals the source of the sound – a group of young musicians playing psychotropical pop songs to a crowd of head-bobbing aliens.
This story has most likely never occurred, but if it did, the band playing would most definitely be White Arrows. The Los Angeles quintet, formed a few years ago out of demos created by singer Mickey Church, have just released their debut album called Dry Land Is Not A Myth. Taken to such influences as Carl Sagan and 90’s kids movies, White Arrows conjure up colorful and nostalgic imagery fitting for a telescopic star party.
The new single and album opener, “Roll Forever,” is an amalgamation of musical styles, from upbeat electronic pop to relaxed, introspective space rock. Twitching guitars and reverb-heavy backup vocals pair with an uptempo beat, creating a sense of aural slow motion. On the standout track “Get Gone,” drummer Henry Church indulges in the type of bouncing percussion reminiscent of Animal Collective’s Panda Bear. Backed by warbling synthesizers and interjecting guitar riffs, Mickey Church reflects on young adulthood singing, “Mama said I ain’t got no home, yeah, get gone.” While much of White Arrows lyrics seem to focus on the difficult questions of young 20-somethings, the music always offers an infectious counterbalance of positivity.
Dry Land Is Not A Myth exudes a kind of youthful optimism for life that perfectly reflects the wonder of warm summer nights. And why shouldn’t it? White Arrows seem to be gathering momentum heading into their first full tour of the U.S. So go ahead, bob your heads. Humans and aliens alike.
Ben Sauder is an Online Editorial Assistant at Ogden Publications, the parent company of Utne Reader. Find him on Google+.