The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily – (Rating 4 out of 5)

thearcsIf you are scratching your ears, driving your brain crazy trying to figure out who this band reminds you of, and finally ascertain that there is a pretty palpable Black Keys vibe going on with Yours, Dreamily, the new record from The Arcs, you are not losing your mind. In between his production duties, and while his main gig with the Black Keys is resting, Dan Auerbach has created a side-piece band, the Arcs that debuted their single “Stay in My Corner” during the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight.

Recorded over a two-week period, the record by no means feels rushed, but rather has a live and vibrant recorded live in the studio feel to it that refreshes the mind and cleanses the ears. The opener “Out of My Mind” sets the tone, and could easily be visualized as a present day James Bond theme, and “Put a Flower in Your Pocket” seems to come out of the Marc Bolan T Rex playbook.

Recorded with s couple of members from the Dap Tones there is more than a hint of R&B and soul on most of the songs, most prominently on “Cold Companion,” a song that has a sort of Curtis Mayfield vibe to it, and “Nature’s Child” that takes it low and slow with a hint of Donny Hathaway “In the Ghetto” sprinkled throughout.  The new soul production approach employed here takes the album from good to silky great in the blink of an ear.

“Chains of Love” is 70’s Philly Soul, and the Dap Kings backing vocals take the song to gospel glory, while “Come and Go,”  complete with love-making moans in the background, is one of those Period-Noir sort of tunes that if there is a musical god should show up during the closing credits of the next Tarantino movie.

Dan Auerbach has that unique skill of mixing genres and blending the old school sensibilities with present day beats and rhythms to create an eclectic and diverse soup. His powers are on full display all over this record. For extra credit check out his production work on Nikki Lane’s All or Nothin’, Supernova by Ray LaMontagne, and the new Grace Potter album.

–Jeremy Wren–