Arrowleaf is an indie-pop quartet from Missoula, Montana that features the singing and songwriting of Sarah Marker and is rounded out by drummer Jon Filkins, guitarist Jim Frazer and bassist Brady Schwertfeger. The band originated back in 2016 as a way to fill an opening slot during a show for Marker and Filkin’s other project called Mendelssohn. Now after two years of hard work Arrowleaf has just released their debut EP not myself, but no one else.
The three songs on not myself, but no one else, are very lush musically with whimsical melodies that include droning guitars, subdued drums and searing blares of trumpet, over all of which Marker’s sweet but biting vocals ring out to tell her stories. And these stories, as Marker explained are not happy ones, despite the fact she has a generally happy disposition, she found herself writing these songs in a darker mood than she had for previous projects.
However not myself, but no one else doesn’t come across as a sad or dear diary type of record. The universal truths which Marker writes about, are sung sweetly and rendered through metaphors which are crisp and gives the listener a sense of the tragedies taking place. But behind it the music is so elegantly cosmic and easy to get along with and that really speaks to the band’s ability to contrast their subject matter with their melodies, which seems simple enough but so often seems to be the detriment of many artists who are trying to pull off the same effects.
The opening track “Waiting” is at once inviting with its surf-style guitar riffs and its quick-paced drumming and mellow keyboards. As Marker sings, “Where have you gone? / I lost you somewhere down the road/ And in this shell you fill you are a visitor /And I'm waiting for you to come home.” She is speaking not to us but to this missing person. The feeling this creates within the song gives the song its power. Next comes “Knot” which has to it a slight tinge of alt country in its DNA and also some upbeat jangle pop, but again as we listen to the portrait which Marker paints, we realize that the music is the only bright and sunny thing about this song, as Marker notes, “Sometimes I feel like a knot that needs untangling / Sometimes I feel unrecognized.” The record closes with the whimsical doom of the drone rocker “Rock Bottom” the saddest but best song on the EP.
Though only three songs long not myself, but no one else shows a lot of potential. I would say stick to the more shoegazer guitar sounds, and use “Rock Bottom” as a stepping stone and don’t look back.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook