They say lightning never strikes twice, and for it to happen in the music industry is often a challenging feat. However, Dan Auerbach, lead singer and guitarist of The Black Keys, has got that metaphorical lightning down to a science.
Having already ventured into releasing solo work under his album, Keep it Hid in ‘09, Auerbach unveiled a new endeavor on Sept. 4 with the release of a new album under the moniker The Arcs. Comprised of longtime buddies Leon Michels, Homer Steinweiss, Richard Swift, Kenny Vaughan, Nick Movshon, female Mariachi band Flor de Tolache and veteran to the scene- Auerbach. Many of the members crossed paths through mutual production work on recent records for artists like Lana Del Rey and Ray LaMontagne.
The LP, entitled Yours, Dreamily, boasts experimental, psychedelic melodies completely at odds with that familiar brand The Black Keys are known for. This is with good reason. Each song is a culmination of the group collectively, resulting in a melting pot of different sounds layering behind that always identifiable voice.
For those itching for more Black Keys-esque melodies, tracks like “The Arc” are still reminiscent of some of those same distinct, garage-y, rough riffs Auerbach seems to bring with him wherever he goes. Songs like “Nature’s Child,” which bears a resemblance to artist Moby’s distinctive background vocals, take direction previously foreign to Auerbach’s past work.
Thirteen tracks belt blues-y beats and fuzzy, dreamy riffs- a sample of more than 75 songs in The Arc’s back pocket yet to be released. The inspiration behind each song is just as varied as the melodies themselves. A personal favorite track, “Stay in My Corner,” was inspired by the Mayweather versus Pacquiao fight, while “Velvet Ditch” was inspired by a motorcycle ride through Mississippi.
Sept. 8 saw the release of the group’s first music video, accompanying the single “Out of My Mind.” The video mirrors the experimental nature of the album. The band plays in front of a psychedelic green screen while cutting to and from viral videos of a fight in Chinatown and the Twitter brawl between Meek Mill and Drake. And yes, that sentence was just as confusing as the actual video.
In the next few months, The Arcs have released dates for a European tour to be followed by the release of dates for a North American leg, in which they will be playing to more intimate venues.