Syd Arthur – On and OnCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Don’t be misled by the title of Syd Arthur’s latest album – the songs are experimental and exciting, both lyrically and musically. On and On is the debut album from the Kent four-piece, and remains grounded in exploring musical textures throughout.
Stunning album opener First Difference is a lesson in crisp, to-the-point balladry. This is an expansive arrangement, with delicate strings counterbalanced with front-man Liam Magill’s attacking vocals. Syd Arthur revives the traditional fatigued set-up of drums, bass and guitar by combining it with complex and soaring violin melodies.
Self-produced by the band, On and On has well-crafted multi-layers of sound which brings a depth and sophistication to the record. The whole album resonates with sounds from the past; there’s a definite echo of King Crimson’s experimentalism on tracks such as Truth Seeker and Paradise Lost, but it’s updated into a fresh and innovative style.
Ode to The Summer thrives on its fuzzy edges, and its Steely Dan influence only ups the enrapturing haze. Bold and complex, it distils the sounds of decades gone by and hones it into an elegant and structured formula. Track Dorothy has a cloudy ambience that, like everything else here, is simultaneously blissful and unsettling. It’s an unbashed celebration of escapism that underlines a refreshing change of pace.
There will be some who may find On and On lacking in dynamism. There are times when all the arrangements seem slightly over-egged. Yet what Syd Arthur have unquestionably created is a landscape of wide-eyed, intelligent music that is very much their own, delivered with a poise that few of their contemporaries can match. A nearly flawless debut.
On and On is released on 12th November and will be available on Syd Arthur’s bandcamp page.
Single Dorothy is available in physical copy here.
Watch the official video for track Edge of The Earth here