F.F.O: Lana Del Rey; Portishead; Karen O & Danger Mouse
Duo ARLS, comprising Bravo Bonez and Alba Rose, are spearheading the revival in 90s trip-hop and 80’s synth atmospherics, working with legendary producer, Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers; Super Furry Animals; The Chills) to produce a debut single which looks to already be figuring amongst the year’s best new tracks.
The perhaps unlikely union of perpetual planet-traveller
Bravo Bonez and New Zealand-based Alba Rose is entirely in keeping with the
bizarre genesis of LUCKY.
A throwaway hummed vocal sent as a voice memo by Alba to Bravo became an
earworm neither of them could shake – the line ‘lucky’ and the partially
constructed melody kept returning to them again and again. Bravo explains its
“Alba came to this with her voice memo – I
interpreted, and largely what you hear today is what I envisioned, but there was
a real tension between me and co-producer Greg Haver over the direction of the
track. And we were kind of both right. But we almost came to blows – it got
subterranean nasty, we were really pissed off at each other. Both he and Alba
simultaneously came up with the idea of the acoustic guitar, and Alba for the
vocal and guitar fadeout. Greg added a lot to the atmosphere of the track. I
was pissed off because I felt I had lost control of the track, but in reality,
I listen now, it’s beautiful”
Alba’s recollection is typically to the point: “What
an interesting day that was!”
Front and centre of ARLS is Alba Rose, a vocalist
whose gift for melody and imbuing a track with emotion belies the fact that she
is still studying at university. Dynamic, cool and with a wicked glint in her
eye, she’s a genuine powerhouse of ideas and talent. Bravo Bonez travels the
Earth constantly and is the enigma of the band. As composer and arranger, he
hides a wealth of musical experience behind his shades, bringing the darker elements
of the 90s trip-hop scene along with the ethereal splendour of Cocteau Twins at their peak. LUCKY’s
lyrics tell of wrenching yourself from an unfulfilling relationship, reminding
yourself you’re strong enough to emerge from the pain whilst delivering a sideswipe
at the person they’re leaving, that they were lucky to have what they’ve lost.
ARLS is more than a sound – it’s the feeling of your blood on fire.