I was taken by surprise with Arcana Roll’s new album The Recalcitrant Children of Sergeant Lintik which is a deeply personal and topical indie-folk story. A lot of the subject matter is severe, things like broken homes, immigration, the unsettling nature of the human spirit. The nostalgia resonated so successfully with me that I could see old photos scattered about. There’s a mustiness to the music, but it’s not what I would call rose tinted glasses, these glasses are a bit darker in tint.
I can tell you a good deal about the artist who appears to be our protagonist, I just can’t give you a name. Our protagonist played in cover bands in Seattle before moving to Melbourne, Australia. This person spent some time in Alaska in the 60’s and 70’s and apparently has a collection of imagery from that time period that helped served as inspiration for this album. This person is an incredible guitarist, so many of the songs are anchored with stunning guitar playing. This person also knows how to really sing for this kind of genre. The protagonist is also one hell of a writer and wrote a slew of engulfing lyrics.
The stories are interesting, and often sullen, not much of a moving or shaking kind of thing, but very pleasant to hear. I don’t mind dwelling in the dark of the world being illustrated, there are counter weights with certain songs that are more atmospheric than narrative. You can sense the stillness of nature and the crispness of the air. The guitar riffs alternate between very indie and very rural, I personally love when there’s a mixture of both applied. I think what kept me glued is the stories and that gorgeous guitar. The songs require a certain amount of attention and effort, but that’s what makes it so transporting and enjoyable.
The Recalcitrant Children of Sergeant Lintik is a home recording project that began back in the early 2000’s. This blows me away, home recording was not what it is now, definitely not as many open source software options. Hell, I was in high school in the early 2000’s, I remember the struggle my friends who were in bands had. When I read this, I couldn’t help but fear that this would work against the music and sound dated. Those fears were completely unnecessary because this album sounds great. If there is a dated quality I missed, then I would say that it fit the music perfectly. I adore that this album has clearly been a labor of love for a long time and that it was worth everything because it’s beautiful.
Arcana Roll did something truly profound with this album. I think anyone who listens can appreciate how open and accessible the artist is. I also have no doubt people could really appreciate the scenery being painted on the walls as they listen. I want to thank Arcana for being so committed to this album and congratulate our protagonist on this commendable collection of work.
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