Have you ever wondered what a rainbow would sound like if those magical rays of light were converted into sound? I imagine that such a remarkable natural phenomenon of light and color would present a kaleidoscopic symphony, with each having its own unique composition.
It’s no mistake that Providence, RI band Arc Iris named themselves as they did. Their music is very much a colorful spectrum in which any set of tearful raindrops result in a vivid joy. And if Arc Iris’ self-titled debut was the auditory equivalent of a rainbow, then their followup Moon Saloon is their very own double-rainbow.
Released on August 19th, Moon Saloon is a stunning record characterized by imaginative twists and turns. The album possesses a quiet grandeur not unlike that of like-minded predecessors Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom. Compositions are richly orchestral and complex but never detrimentally so (like some prog). Their sense of humor and playfulness gives the album an air of free-spirited fun that really helps make Moon Saloon a joy to listen to.
Arc Iris returns to Santa Fe on Monday November 21st with a show at Meow Wolf presented by AMP Concerts. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. They’ll also be at Tortuga Gallery in Albuquerque on Tuesday November 22nd.
Mecca Lecca caught up with frontwoman Jocie Adams via email to talk about the new album and life on the road.
In August, you released your second album Moon Saloon. What would you say is the biggest change in your sound in contrast to your debut?
Jocie Adams: The new record is more groove-oriented and incorporates electric guitar and samples more fluidly while maintaining the breadth of dynamics on the first record.
You’re about a third of the way through your current tour, which started in Philadelphia, and currently has you traversing through Europe. How’s it going? Have you had any strange moments along your journey?
JA: Strange moments come along every day! That’s part of the fun. It’s been good! We’ve played a lot of different kinds of rooms, which keeps it exciting for us.
Your live shows transcend beyond simply playing the music. Has Arc Iris always been as focused on the visual aspect of presentation?
JA: The visual presentation is growing as we grow. Every added element comes as it is called for. There are many dreams on the table and we look forward to opportunities to continue to open doors along the way.
Moon Saloon is a vibrant, symphonic record with many layers, which has got to be a challenge to replicate live. How has your approach to playing these songs live evolved since recording the album?
JA: Zach is pretty much the symphony. Between his 3 keyboards he has more sounds than seems to make sense! He often looks like an octopus-man on his keys.
The last time you came through Santa Fe, your set included “Johnny,” during which a member of the crowd of the same name was lured onto the stage to be serenaded. From the perspective of a Johnny, it’s an awkwardly intimate but entertaining moment. What’s it like from your perspective?
JA: I think presenting a proxy Johnny helps people follow the tale and feel empathy and sympathy accordingly. There are definitely times I feel that the wrong Johnny volunteered themselves.