Arswain, a Palo Alto band, consists of brothers Charlie and Freddy Avis. Since the age of 6 and 9, the brothers have recorded and composed music together. Freddy writes the songs and plays the guitar, bass, synthesizer and keyboard. He also adds the vocals. Charlie gives Arswain’s sound the technical skills it needs through his engineering. The band’s music lies within the indie-electronic realm, but often dances with other genres like rock and pop. Fortress is Arswain’s second album.
Fortress takes listeners to a realm of dark rhythms and robotic generated vocals. The overarching theme of the album places it in an otherworldly atmosphere. Fortress allows the listeners to impose their own story within the frame of the sounds. From one track to the next, the album teleports the mind to different places and universes.
“Lois Lane” starts off with sounds indicative of walking down or into a dark place, like a labyrinth. The beats then jump into those reminiscent of 80’s pop beats. The story within the song is someone losing grip with reality. It’s a great dance track with an underlining deeper meaning. “Revisit/Revise” feat. Authentic and Charlie G feels a bit out of place, because it’s the only rap song on the album, and the one with the clearest vocals. However, the background beats still continue the dark, fortress sounds. “Scatter Me” felts dreamy and the repetitive line, ‘I’m a puzzle piece, you move me around. You scatter me’ tells an entire story just with those short lines. “Flight” combines a little bit of hip-hop and electronic beats to create a song that actually feels like an airy atmosphere.
The imagination behind the Arswain’s Fortress helps create an album that feels like it could be an epic story with feuding families, fallen heroes and intergalactic warfare. Fortress will quickly turn you into a fan of Arswain and their rhythmic worlds.
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