Birds and Arrows long awaited new album "Arbitrary Magic" released on Baby Gas Mask Records is the band’s first full length record since relocating from Durham, NC to the magical land of Tucson, AZ.
Experience their transformation on this album from love lorn folk duo to hard hitting, rock and roll bad assery. The desert southwest has been more than just a change of scenery for Birds and Arrows, it’s turned out to be a change in vision and attitude. They had outgrown the skin of their quiet, folk beginnings and the desert has given them the space and freedom to finally shed the honeymoon sweetness of their past. “Overloaded”, the opening track on “Arbitrary Magic” hits you in the face with pure, raw, rock and roll muscle. That urgent, driving energy keeps coming at you song after song until you reach the second half of the record at which point they lull you into a desert trance state with their own original version of Peter Gabriel’s “San Jacinto”. And for those fans longing for their classic, sweet southern sound, don’t lose hope. The final 7 min. of the record leaves you with a soothing yet confident groove that proves their roots in the south are still deep beneath this new found, weathered desert exterior.
The record was produced and recorded by Gabriel Sullivan of Xixa and Giant Sand. Gabe’s creative vision is distinctly Tucson, having honed his skills at Wave Lab Studio before founding his own creative space Dust and Stone Studios. You can feel his presence on this record like a dark orb guiding the band to venture into mystical places they may not braved without him. To round out the sound of “Arbitrary Magic” they also have a few special musical guests…
Connor Gallaher is a young guitar conjurer and Tucson native, who’s talents have already graced the road sounds of big acts such as Calexico. Ben Nisbet, also provides his unique guitar voice playing on two tracks. Ben doubles as classic violist/Tucson Symphony organizer and guitar metal aficionado. At moments his guitar elevates the sound of the record, taking it to epic rock heights. Gabe Sullivan himself added a growling persistent bass guitar that possesses you with a deep groove throughout the record. And finally, Katie Haverly lends her mystical feminine power and soulful voice on the backing vocals for the albums single “Stay Down” which brings to mind the roaring gospel sounds of Merry Clayton on Gimme Shelter.
The Death card in tarot is the perfect symbol of Birds and Arrows’ transition from the deep south to the southwest. But then again, isn’t it all just Arbitrary Magic?