Heartfelt harmonic evolution and transcendent times have made Arkivist a power trio that defies expectations and leaves listeners with an aural experience they can’t forget. As the band’s name suggests, this is timeless and multi-faceted music you’ll want to save and savor- from their compelling new compositions (recorded with The Killers/ Two Door Cinema Club/Silversun Pickups producer Math Bishop in LA, where they’ve resided for the past year) to the rapturous material of their early incarnation, when they were one of Portland’s most vital young acts.
Much of what was special about their previous band, Rags & Ribbons, remains. Each musician (guitarist Ben Weyerhaeuser, keyboardist JonnyHicks and drummer Chris Neff) contributes to the song-writing. Notably, all three members trade off lead vocal duties. Most of their songs weave all three voices together at once, a symphonic assault of emotive melodies and harmonies which often reach a compelling choral crescendo.
No surprise Arkivist’s members have classical and music theory backgrounds. Their neo-progressive pop melds modern sensibility with classical textures not heard by many new bands these days. It’s not a stretch to compare them to classic music gods of yore like Queen and more current purveyors of innovative, alt-pop like Foals and Phantogram. Their live show reflects this unique approach too, with each member not only holding his own in the vocal spotlight at various points within their set, but also providing a visceral release via their own drums, playing in unison during their most bombastic song build-ups.
A gift for hooks, catchy choruses, and lyrical explorations mostly dealing with cultural observation and the human experience, give Arkivist a universal appeal. There’s a tension and depth about the group that comes from its members disparate backgrounds and individual talents; how they view the world, themselves and their music. They are in fact, real archivists in this sense, examining life, interpreting it their own individual ways, putting it all together and documenting the result with their art.