Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys has had a number of side projects from his main group, one of which is The Arcs, a more psychedelic-sounding outfit who released their debut album, ‘Yours Dreamily’, back in 2015. The group returns with their second record ‘Electrophonic Chronic’, another blend of genres showing Auerbach’s range of influences and willingness to experiment beyond The Black Keys’ more blues and garage-rock based sound.
‘Keep On Dreaming’ marries jazz and psychedelia to fine effect while ‘Eyez’ is three minutes of lysergic bliss with a pop tinge, showing Auerbach’s vocal and guitar prowess. ‘Heaven Is A Place’ is an epic-close-to-five-minute track with an electronic shade to it.
‘Califone Interlude’ meanwhile offers a strong example of Auerbach’s guitar skills, shifting style from the previous tracks while ‘Sunshine’ is an acoustic-led number, that builds towards its crescendo showing the range of sounds the group dabbles in.
‘A Man Will Do Wrong’ is a slower number, more in keeping with Auerbach’s solo material, especially 2017’s ‘Waiting On A Song’. ‘Behind The Eyes’ is perhaps the most Black Keys sounding track with a typically bluesy guitar solo.
This is a fine follow-up record for The Arcs, as one might expect an experimental 12 tracks across 38 minutes and worth the wait for fans. The record balances its psychedelia with more mediative moments offering plenty of variety. This record again shows Auerbach’s musical influences and projects beyond The Black Keys. A third record from Dan Auerbach in as many years after the last two Black Keys records shows the guitarist has no plans to slow down any time soon, and with projects as strong as this let’s hope he carries on.
Words: Christopher Connor