Red Planet is Arborea’s latest release which is definitely a musical highlight of 20011. I was first introduced to Arborea back in 2006. They sent me their album Wayfaring Summer which I imediately fell under the spell of. That spell has continued through the years and was heightened still further when I saw them play live in Bristol. There are many words that sit comfortably as descriptors of their music but Arborea is not just about Buck and Shanti Curran’s music, it’s about a relationship and a family. Red Planet is the closest they have come to reflecting that partnership and love, it holds a bright aura that encloses them as an exquisite unifying force.
After the primitive guitar opening of The Fossil Sea, Shanti sings Black is the Colour, a traditional folk song that has found a home in the Appalachians, probably brought there by Scottish settlers. The track is reminiscent of Martin and Jessica Simpson’s cover on True Dare or Promise. Her siren like voice is both haunting and uplifting. She has a unique form of singing, her voice is instrument like which is re-enforced alongside Buck’s minimalist style of playing. Their music has a very natural and primitive feel that touches depths that are unlocked from your subconsciousness, the experience is not easy to explain, words just don’t do it justice.
We got our first taste of Red Planet back in April last year when they sent us their cover of Tim Buckley’s Phantasmagoria in Two. They were both over the moon with the results, it is a beautiful song and it demonstrates their respect for the spirit of music, nothing is embellished, they don’t add layers, they peel them away, taking you to the very core sentiment of the musical creator. It is this element of their music that I love and it is this that makes them so unique.
The addition of Cello on Spain adds a beautiful dimension thanks to Helena Espvall of Espers who travelled upto Maine to collaborate with Arborea, she also features on Arms and Horses.
It is impossible for me to pin down a favourite on this album, you really need to experience its wholeness, it’s an album you want to listen to in one sitting. Their music is perfect for late nights!
Their influences are wide and they both share a love for traditional American and British Folk. This was made evident when they did a mix for us back at the end of 2009. The mix features tracks by Martin and Jessica Simpson, including Black is the Colour which you can listen to below.
I mentioned their relationship at the beginning of this review, they stayed with us last year and it was through that encounter that I caught a glimpse of their immense dedication and fortitude as a couple. Without their mutual support and belief in eachother I don’t think their music could exist. Red planet was no easy haul either, to raise the money for CD as well as a vinyl pressing, a format they were both very keen on, meant raising money through a Kickstarter Project which they thankfully managed to do (see our post in October 2010).
Red Planet is a breathtaking vision of two beautiful people. It is a reflection of their travels, their hardships and jubilation. It is perfect!
Buck was very kind to send me these exclusive videos before heading out on tour. They are from the recent Philadelphia ‘Sun Room’ Sessions and were recorded by Derek Moench. Arborea are joined by Helena Espvall – Cello, and Jesse Sparhaw – Harp. Recorded in Philadelphia March 2011
taken from: House Of Sticks [Remastered]
Taken from : Arborea
A beautiful mix that Arborea put together for us in 2009, it’s a great insight into their influences.
Buy Red Planet:
Amazon UK: Red Planet