Arden and the Wolves will drop a new EP, entitled Who Can You Trust, on February 9. Generated out of founder Arden Leigh’s belief that “songs can function as intentional pieces of narrative magick that alter the reality of the world they influence,” the EP narrates a voyage of emotional healing, perspicacity, and self-conscious awareness.
Journey of Transformation
According to Leigh, “Writing and recording the EP Who Can You Trust has been possibly the most magical, psychedelic experience of my life, taking me on a journey of self-transformation that I couldn’t possibly have anticipated at its outset. I had also set an intention at the start of that year to heal from previous relationships and undo all the fear programming that a slew of betrayals, abandonments, and sexual assaults had left me with.”
Born in New York City, Arden and the Wolves matured within the occult subculture of L.A., refining their melody-driven indie pop/rock music into a distinctive sound. The band is made up of Leigh on vocals; Nick Mason sits in the pocket; Rick Brandt on bass; and Marko Jankovic on guitar.
Dark Percussion, Dreamwave, and Radiant Harmonies
The title track opens the EP, featuring jangly guitars driving an indie rock melody rife with hints of subdued post-punk flavors. The shifting groove adds pungency to the rhythmic pulse. And when the harmonics coalesce on the chorus, the music thrums with a shimmering wall of energy. The nastily dirty guitar solo packs a wicked wallop.
“Another Year of Rain” opens with dark percussion flowing into a dreamwave/rock melody emanating sparkling colors. Thick, radiant background harmonies append floating energetic vapors over the chorus, imposing an almost psychedelic surge of opaque dynamism.
“Tango (The Girl Who Never Was)” rides an indie rock melody driven by the guitars and a shining piano. There’s a retro country effluvium to the melody that provides it with a transient quality that’s effective and innovative, like something you’d hear in a Tarantino movie, declarative and avant-garde-ish. Leigh’s vocals assume a tenuous tinny metallicism, as if protective coloration. “Poison Heart,” a cover of the Ramones’ tune, delivers a rambling punk effluvium amalgamated with glossy guitars and a brisk groove. The tune exudes an almost supercilious stylishness complemented by Leigh’s expansively coruscating tones.
“The Death of Me” travels on an orchestral-like rock melody with prog rock sensibilities. Radiant, luminous guitars give the chorus a bright projection underscored by dark tones and mordant sonic hues. A gorgeous piano riding atop emerging strings forms the delicious solo and then segues back into Jovian potency.
The highlight of the songs is Leigh’s voice, which is prevailing, yet dominant and muscular, yet piquant. It’s a great voice capable of evoking a spectrum of emotional auras ranging from severely elegant to pensively austere.
Who Can You Trust is better than good and approaches excellence. The darkwave/pop/rock melodies present a beguiling luster, while the rhythms project heady infectious attributes. The combination of undulant melodies and Arden Leigh’s delectable voice makes Who Can You Trust enjoyable listening.