Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck (guitarist for R.E.M.) have both been quite prolific in recent years, and after meeting by chance in Mexico and becoming roommates briefly in Buck’s home, the two started playing music together on a whim. The songs came quick, and the pair played a show four days into their songwriting. four days after that, they entered the studio to record.
Somewhat surprisingly, this is a loud effort of modern and classic rock sounds with grooves, female backing vocals and a distinct Bowie/Talking Heads feel. Though Buck’s inimitable acoustic guitar work is present, much of the album plays off of Arthur’s contributions in vocals, synth, programming, sitar and additional noises that can give it a very busy dance-rock feel with moments of funk and soul influence amid cryptic wordplay about Arthur seeking spiritual enlightenment. Amazing that this album was penned in just a few days, and much like Buck’s many post-R.E.M. projects this one is worth a spin.