Arielle ’73 – A delicious time travelling campervan journey

With the new album, ’73, Arielle continues her musical journey of capturing the warmth and comfort of 70’s analogue recordings but done with a modern perspective and crisp attention to detail. This combination is just delicious. At times it’s the musical equivalent of sinking into a warm bath: that blissful sigh as you slow time down and relax.

Arielle – ’73

Release Date: 20 April 2023

Words: Sid Kissinger

The first thing to strike you with Arielle’s music is the sound. This involves two distinct features. First, the sound captured via her analogue quest adds depth and body to the musical soundscape. This means that the softer elements of this album don’t need to be as controlled and can be played with the gentle passion for how they should be done. The second is her relationship with Two-Tone.

Two-Tone is Arielle’s guitar, which she built herself over a decade ago and has been her constant alongside other guitars. Like all great guitarists, you can hear her distinct style and voicings when playing, from rock to prog to gentle picking. She has it all!

Arielle - '73 - album cover
Arielle – ’73, a loving celebration of her 1973 Volkswagen Bay Window Bus

The new ‘partnership’ to this album compared to previous ones is the addition of Magick: a VW bus from, you guessed it, 1973. This is the linchpin to the concept of this album, the 50-year anniversary of her VW bus. There are a number of songs on this album which conjure the idea of their creation happening with Arielle sat in Magick, with Two-Tone, and just strumming away, living the life of the wandering musician. The title track lyrics feature, “Pick you up in my time machine, take you back to ’73!”

The album starts, like every good album should, with an intro piece. This features one of her signature sounds which is very British in feel and is a reminder of her love of the UK and its musical past. Her friendship and guitar-building collaboration with Brian May is no doubt a factor here.

The first full song is Somewhere Slow, and arguably the best song on the album. This has such a wonderful mix of groove, tempos and catchiness to have you tapping your feet and having it in your head for the rest of the day. The Hammond organ blends in and out whilst her guitar saunters along with funky chords, groovy runs, and lush solo licks. Some of the little boogie runs remind you of bands like Molly Hatchett, southern rock style, whilst other parts have clear Led Zep influences, and their Kashmir song in particular springs to mind – this USA and UK blend reflects on her two homes.

The chorus of “Put down the window, turn up the radio. This crazy going nowhere fast has got to go” captures the joyful, free spirit mood and message of this song.

The next song is the title ’73, which is a proper engine-chugging song with slide guitar to give it that true American highway feel. This is a homage to her life in a VW camper van, travelling around, playing music and conjuring that image of the original hipsters.

The next few songs then start to meander more towards that sunny evening sat outside the VW camper feel. Although they seem calmer, there is often an underlying drive, a journey, and the topics of (lost) love are played with real feeling – the guitar, in particular, sings the equivalent of chocolate melting in your mouth.

The travelling musician’s life is not always the ‘sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll’ that people imagine, and the strain can be tough. There is a sense some of these songs reflect those other aspects of being on the road.

In between these, you find the Kalypso song, an instrumental with a prog feel and a great showpiece of guitarwomanship. This is all out fun again, with searing solos, funky grooves and lots of hair-flinging opportunities. Arielle herself says, “I have been trying to out-write my instrumental Take II for almost a decade.” Well, congratulations on that achievement!

Towards the end, we have The Other Side (Let The Sun Set Down)’ with a positive message, the journey through the difficulties of love now finds itself at a point of letting the sun set down on the past and looking to moving forward.

The personal and physical journey that the ’73 Bus covers has clearly clocked up a lot of miles and provides richness and inspiration to the songs.

Arielle is on tour with When Rivers Meet in the UK during April and May. ’73 can be pre-ordered from https://arielle.store/collections/73-pre-order.

april

28apr7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | ColchesterArts Centre

29apr7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | NorwichWaterfront

may

04may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | BrightonKomedia

06may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | LondonLafayette

11may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | BristolFleece

12may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | BirminghamAsylum

13may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | Southampton1865

14may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | TavistockWharf

19may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | Barnard CastleThe Witham

20may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | GlasgowThe Garage

21may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | NewcastleUniversity Main Hall

25may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | NottinghamRescue Rooms

26may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | BradfordNightrain

27may7:00 pmWhen Rivers Meet + Arielle | ManchesterAcademy 3

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