The experiences of the first lockdown during the pandemic for many included a sense of calm, with the images of clean rivers, clear skies, and more time. Given Arielle’s passion to help the environment, in particular marine life and the ocean, this fits in with an increasingly common world view of millennials who are dissatisfied with the world they have inherited.
Arielle – Analog Girl In A Digital World
Release Date: 7 May 2021
Words: Sid Kissinger
Despite the strong feelings on show here, the music is often more mellow and has that American jangle rhythm, no doubt a 12-string Rickenbacker, with Arielle’s voice and sublime solo guitar effortlessly soaring above in tonal perfection. And the sound and tone of the whole album is what captivates here: It is the sound you did not realise you were missing from your life.
We are surrounded so much by efficient and digital recordings that we have forgotten the warmth of older techniques. In the same way that people will claim nothing sounds as good as vinyl, half of this album was recorded on tape to capture that increasingly lost sound.
And that is what strikes you immediately, the depth and warmth reverberating through the songs, but combined with the clearness and precision that the digital elements contribute. Although it could be seen as going back in time, it is not, it is a different future, meshing the best of older and modern techniques to create a wonderful overall sound.
The other old-school feature is that each song was recorded in one take. Again, this requires a connection between the musicians and a groove to find each other in the studio and that live connection is also audible with a vibrant and organic sound which so often is missing from modern recordings. You would be able to safely bet that she sounds this good live in concert!
The malaise of our current world
‘Analog Girl In A Digital World’ kicks off with an intro questioning our digital age; before launching into the opening track ‘Digital World’, a song about the malaise of our current world and the preference for returning to an analog world, where communication was direct and time was slower and appreciated more.
Despite the pleasant tunes and captivating harmonies, there is a powerful underlying engine and the lyrics also have a bit of bite. For example in ‘This Is Our Intervention’ where Arielle said that she was writing “how uneasy I am with the thought humans have somehow inherited that we must work relentlessly at something we hate, make money and eventually die.”
Or in the next song ‘Still A Man’, which reflects on her (not always positive) experiences as a woman in the male dominated music business.
A careful attention to detail
‘Inside and Outside’ has delicious phrasing and chord progressions, with Santana-esque guitar flitting over the top. This is a luscious song and arguably the best on the album, bar perhaps the ‘Digital World’ opener.
‘I’d Rather Be In England’ shows a playful side to Arielle, with a piece which sounds clearly fun to have created, and conveys her love and connection to England. If you are English, then you may find the American outpouring a little cringy, not least because right now you are probably saying “I’d rather be in New Zealand where live music is actually happening!”
Nevertheless, this is a fun piece with some British meets American styles in the solo!
The last song, ‘Reimagine Redefine’ also takes a turn, with a spaced out calm start, but finishing with a real flair on the guitar, showing the versatility to her sound and ability.
Overall, this is a phenomenal album with a warmth, professionalism and careful attention to detail and love that is greatly missed in the modern world.
“I take and protect those principles inside my music”, says Arielle, a true heroine of real sound.
For vinyl and digital pre-orders, visit smarturl.it/officialarielle
For live stream tickets, visit noonchorus.com/arielle/
Arielle – Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic and Electric guitar, Synths, Harmonium
Justin Weaver – Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Kate Haldrup – Drums
Michael Davila – Drums
Bill Levsey – Keyboards, Piano, Synths, Organ, Rhodes, Harmonium
AJ Vincent – Hammond, Piano, Synths
Nick Byrd – Bass Guitar
Devin North – Bass Guitar
Guthrie Brown – Backing Vocals
Chris Mara (Welcome to 1979, Nashville, TN)
Michael Wagener (Wireworld, Nashville, TN)
Frenchie Smith (The Bubble, Austin, TX)
Assistant Engineer – Jeremy Bernstein (Welcome to 1979)
Mixed by – Chris “Frenchie” Smith
Mix Assisted – Christopher Messina & Jas Nowicki
Mastered by Dave McNair
2. Digital World
3. Peace of Mind
4. This Is Our Intervention
5. Still A Man
6. Inside & Outside
7. I’d Rather Be In England
8. Living In A Fortress
9. Reimagine Redefine