Arclight brings a dreamy debut to summer’s end

Arclight is a new Chicago band that just released it’s first EP and is starting to air it out around town. Recently they played Schuba’s, which is always a good sign for the future of a new band.

Arclight is Amith Bokka (vox/guitar/keys), Jim Tashjian (guitar), Charles Williams (vox/bass), and Pete Tashjian (drums). The official description is “Alternative Rock.” But I think that’s a bit too boxy for what they really are.

That sound is… dreamy. Relaxing, sometimes, and a bit unsettling at others. Remember when the mid to late 90’s produced those peaceful yet dark tones—like The Smashing Pumpkins’ overlooked album, Adore? Arclight makes me think of those days. A little psychedelic, a little pop, and a bunch of deep undertones that weave together to make song transitions often indistinguishable. I mean that in a good way.

You’ll hear the peaceful part in “Songbird”, embedded below. Dig into the EP and you’ll come across “Jester” which ventures into more sinister territory (but with a redeeming finish). What I’m really excited about for Arclight is the direction they are going. It’s not typical of what we’ve been hearing lately.

Overall, it’s a very promising debut for Arclight, and a welcome curveball to the Chicago music scene. I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow. You can see them August 27 at the Estate block party, 1177 N Elston Ave.

EP Review: The One & Nines

Looking for an alternative to alternative music? Check out Jersey City’s The One & Nines. It’s decidedly retro … but thoroughly fresh and absolutely unique. Take some 50’s jazz with some 60’s blues and soul, and throw in some early-era rock and roll. There’s horns, organs, understated guitar and smooth vocals, and it all comes together seamlessly.

A particular favorite is the lead track from their EP, “Walked Alone.” Also, have a listen to “Something On Your Mind,” with its groovy undertones, soulful backup singers and honest lyrics:

Your love’s been fading since you opened up your door,
That’s been such a long time now.

I think something is on your mind,
But not on mine.

Vera Sousa heads up the vocals and, if you didn’t know better, you’d swear she was from an era past. The One & Nines are an easy listen that will leave you with a smile on your face and perhaps a longing for simpler times. Hosting a party any time soon? Add this to your playlist. The One & Nines will undoubtedly get people asking questions and admiring your versatile ear. As an added bonus, I suspect the ladies will dig it, even shake a leg. At least, groovy ladies.

You can hear The One & Nines EP at Lala.com, where you can also purchase it.

See The One & Nines live, at O’Hara’s in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 26.

The One & Nines on MySpace.