Arthur Beatrice- Carter (Cut)- Track Review



Track Review:




Arthur Beatrice






  Carter (Cut)



Arthur Beatrice













They claimed in an interview that maybe they should be a guitar band; on the strength of their new track, they should have no fear.









Carter (Cut) is available at:


THE band market is one that is busier than ever, yet is...


strangely underwhelming, on the whole.  This is more true of the new talent rather than the established order, but there is some caution that needs to be excursive when approaching any new band.  At the moment, the majority of infant bands tend to err towards guitars and guitar sounds.  It has been the staple and mould that has been present since the '50s, when rock and roll bands introduced the phenomenon.  From the '60s through to present-day there have been some wonders and legends that have made some pretty outstanding music, but in 2013 there are few surprises that anyone can levy.  Established acts such as The National and Queens of the Stone Age have gone to show that, given the right inspiration and talent guitar music can be unbelievable.  The former have won fans by combining their subtle and mesmeric compositions, with incredible lyrics and memorable melodies.  The latter are possibly one of the last and best guitar bands; capable of surprising and exciting fans 17 years after their formation.  These examples are exceptions: very few other guitar bands have this degree of quality, and it seems now that the vast majority of what we term as 'guitar bands' seem to be bereft of innovation and talent: too many simply appropriate an existing group's sound, and are incapable of shocking.  I suppose that the '90s was the last period when guitar bands and music had full and fresh breath.  When the likes of Blur and Oasis ruled the airwaves, you can feel the quality, even though the latter have a bit of a reputation for stealing riffs and melodies!  My point is that the best moves and lines have already been performed- it seems.  Given the unreliable nature of the genre, the listener, reviewer and prospective musician is forced to turn their attentions elsewhere.  Innovation and originality are as needed now as they have ever been, and for that band willing to push their boundaries and get it right; the rewards are multiple and golden.  Recently I have been astonished by some new groups.  Many have guitars at their base, but infuse electronic sounds, jazz movements and toy with sonics and sensations, to elicit a more invigorating whole.  If you free yourself from the shackles and limitations of the guitars-bass-drum formation that most bands employ, and challenge preconceptions, then it is a lot easier to unveil and proffer graceful, memorable and thought-provoking music.  Bands are also subjected to being too rigid when it comes to gender and nationality integration.  There is a shocking lack of inter-gender bands: the boys stick with the boys and the girls pair with the girls: nary are new groups willing to step aside from confines produce the best results.  By blending male and female voices, influence and ambitions, you can often expand your pallet, give yourself more options, as well as appeal to a broader demographic.  By mixing different personalities, genders and localities into a band's arsenal, you are instantly forging a path that is not just suggested, but required, when trying to be different and successful.  It sounds like a rant, but from one whom writes himself, there is too little mobility when faced with new bands: what will the best new sounds sound like?


I mention this, because Arthur Beatrice stated in an interview with This Is Fake D.I.Y., that "maybe we should have been a guitar band".  That would never be good enough for the band: just take a look at their name!  The band's name- I can assume- is a transposition of Beatrice (or 'Bea') Arthur: sadly deceased former 'Golden Girl'.  She was an actor whom famed for her sitcom work in the '70s, and inspired a generation of actors.  She was an illustrious and famed theatre star, and lived an inspirational life.  The group themselves have been around for a little while, and have managed to cultivate a dedicated following, as well as an individual sound too.  The four-piece comprises Orlando, Ella, Hamish and Elliot.  The boys are trendy and sharply-dressed, projecting an image of coolness, as well as sophistication; the girl is gorgeous: model/film star looks and a smoky and alluring sex appeal.  Our quarter believe in- and have been subjected to- a perfectionist tendency: crafting and working on their sound, in order to achieve the best sound they can.  They themselves state that "It's a big vice for us", but have also hinted that "it's worked".  The band member Elliot explained this, with regards to their debut album: a record that was re-mastered over and over.  I can emphasise with this work ethic.   Having been writing for the best part of 12 years, I have recycled, reinterpreted and reworked many a song; honing lyrics, starting from scratch and chiselling away: before anything has been recorded.  You can tell from interview that the group hate the idea of being seen as 'throwaway': something that afflicted a lot of groups from the 1980s and '90s.  On their official website- tongue-in-cheekily called ''- image and detail are of big importance.  There are black-and-white images: some distorted photographs; some are paintings, as well as lyric samples.  Arthur Beatrice are a group whom follow no-one (literally, if you look at their Twitter account), such as the way they operate, the codas they live by, and the resulting sounds.  Anyone willing to break away from the guitar sect show bravery.  I suppose from an evolutionary standpoint, electricity and sound combined muster masculinity and intention; and there is a translucent and obvious ambition (by all-male bands primarily) to be the most exciting and the loudest; and gain some superiority.  Anyone willing to climb to the top of the tree through intelligence and innovation,   You have to move forwards to move forwards.


The band are averse to confessional social media outpourings as well as band biographies; attesting that the group hate the way that acts become throwaway and comestible the more you know.  As much as I can agree to disagree with regards to meeting in the middle, you cannot deny the strength of the only thing that matters: the music itself.  Previous comparisons have been suggested between the group and Wild Beasts.  I suppose from the opening moments of Carter (Cut), one can detect that.  The way that the percussive rumble mixes with a feint tint of percussion has some common ground with Two Dancers Wild Beasts.  That percussive tumble is a striking and memorable opening.  Part tribal protestation, part indie proclamations, an electric and exciting atmosphere is presented which certainly makes you sit upright.  Dark and brooding piano swoons melt into the mix, before Ella's voice arrives.  Her voice possesses a smoky seductiveness.  There are parts Laura Marling; wisps of Sophie Ellis-Bexter, and early-career k.d. lang.  As much as there are small influences tucked away, the abiding feeling is we are hearing a very unique and fresh voice.  It is soothing, calm and strong; possessed with some classic U.S.-cum modern-day U.K. tones, and is a voice that could be perfectly at home in the midst of a jazz or blues track: there is that authoritative and utilitarian nature to it.  When the words are proffered; tales of lovers coinciding; scepticism towards fate, and a mandate that proclaims: "So never tell me that I think of you".  Each word drips with conviction and lust, and the track is delicately measured.  A couple of lines are delivered; a very brief piano evocation acts as punctuation and mood-emphasis, before another couple of lines are delivered.  It gives the track the quality of swooning and swimming; romanticism and introspection.  When a vocal duet is unveiled mid-way through the 1st verse, it sounds like a lover's call: heroine and hero singing in unison.  Initially the mood is fairly sedated and light, matching the lyrical tone, as well as augmenting the overall mood.  Before the 1:00 marker, percussion crackles, as the piano passionately dances.  Oddly there seemed to be reminiscences and truncation of Ride on Time, as well as a '90s dance feel-cum-electronic bliss.  It is a passage and colour that is uplifting and energised.  It may be a stereotype or over-exaggeration, but few new bands have great lyrical depth or talent- in fact few bands at all do.  Usually vocal and audio merits are highlighted to counteract for some below-par words.  Parables such as "The evening is an open sea" and "where the air will cut me dead", invite bold and vivid imagery and scenery.  The words are filled with striking metaphors; poetic flourishes and intelligence.  There are guitar bands and acts that can pen a good set of lyrics, but the themes and narrations tend to be single-minded and (as well as being pedestrian at times) vague.  In the way that the music pushes and pulls and dances; and the vocal seduces and strikes- the song seems belonging of a past (and better) era.  In 2013 a great deal of similar-sounding songs are performed by solo artists: it is a rarity to hear bands that have such an eye for detail, precession and sheer feel.  In the way that the conjoined vocalisations add weight and power to the track, they also offer a more pop-orientated edge- acting as a juxtaposition and change from the more soulful nature of Ella's lone voice.  Arthur Beatrice have a comparable quality to a lot of the all-time great bands.  As well as the cerebral and literary lyrics and stunning vocals, there is a restless and surprising amount of audio shades.  The piano is an instrument that is used- early on- to be romantic and calming, but also employed to add tension and tautness, as well as sheer swagger when required.  As well as some stirring piano work, the drumming is constantly tight and proficient.  A steady heartbeat dominates most of the track, but there are a lot of occasions where the percussion matches piano for majesty: creating a similar impassioned swing.  Our heroine offers: "And so I come/Barren like"; her voice suggesting a tear of emotion, but full-bodied and resilient.  There is some obliqueness in the lyrics that means that some of the words meaning and intention are open for interpretation; whilst other lines are direct and unambiguous.  It is a pleasing and familiar one moment, whilst mysterious the next: "And all I'm aiming for/The locking in" begins a confession that ends with: "Just anything/But dust and settling".  Whether there is some personal dislocation on behalf of our heroine, or a particular catalyst that has influenced her words, it is hard to say- but fascinating to listen to.  When some of the most anxious words are delivered, so too are the most exhilarated and rampant audio overtones.  You never are dragged down and depressed by anything; nor are you allowed to smile too broadly: such is the 'hinterland' nature of the track.  When the song ends you are left wondering whether Ella found peace or satisfaction, and has answers to some very emotional questions.


The group say that they've- with regards to influences or comparable bands- "never found natural partners".  Few groups (or solo acts) past or present have such a (maybe fastidious?) precise attention for perfection.  It is inspiring that here are a group whom have a natural restlessness that means that the songs you hear are the result of hours, days (and months possibly) or precise detail, honing and trial-and-error.  In a modern climate there is a tendency for songs to feel off-the-cuff: rushed off; either to meet a market or public demand, or under-considered.  For new acts there is an inherent and prerequisite burden.  Due to the market expanding more by the week, it is imperative that you make your mark as soon as potently as possible.  This can result in acts putting out E.P.s and albums too soon: in turn this can lead to criticism and harsh critique.  I suppose there is a short-lived window for most bands, but Arthur Beatrice have shown that; if you take your time and spend time and effort on songs, the results speak for themselves.  I feel there should be less anxieties and stresses for any new act.  The likes of Laura Marling, The National and Queens of the Stone Age (producers of the three strongest albums this year, to my mind) show that even 5 or 6 albums down the road, some extraordinary movements can be made, if due attention and consideration is given to your work.  These examples perhaps did not produce their best work early on, but showed that, through displaying innovation and ambition, the public will clasp you to their bosom, and consequently inspire future success and progression.  I am not sure what the album will feature and sound like, with regards to genres and sounds: whether there will be more Carter (Cut) gems; or other styles and sounds used, but there is a hot anticipation as well as galvanised confidence that the results will be spectacular.  Those that have seen the four-piece play live can attest at how good they are, and what they can achieve in the future, so it will be exciting to hear what they have to offer.  They are a band whom are part of a rare sector of the music industry not obsessed by and concerned with guitar sounds.  They go to show what can be achieved when you don't think like everyone else.  New bands (and solo acts) should take notes.  For diversification and regenerations to occur, bold moves and tactics need to be employed, and in the case of the guitar-heavy core that exists, it is nigh-on essential: take inspiration from our quarter.  2013 will be a busy and rewarding year for them, and for all my words, one thing is crystalline: they will have a very long-term future.  And that...


IS really all you need to know.







Interview quotations sourced from interview: