Exposé Online banner

Syd Arthur — Apricity
(Harvest Communion COMM158P, 2016, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2016-10-18

Apricity Cover art

English quartet Syd Arthur made clear on 2014’s Sound Mirror that they were OK cutting the cord to the 70s Canterbury sound that gave them a following within the prog community (opening for Yes that year didn’t hurt, either). With Apricity that connection has been nearly completely severed, though there’s still much to admire and appreciate within these 10 tracks for those with open, forward-looking ears. The group’s past sonic identity had been built on guitarist / vocalist Liam Magill’s folky performances backed by multi-instrumentalist Raven Bush’s violin, mandolin, and keys. The warmth and pastoral vision of earlier days has been replaced by a modern and aggressive tension that accentuates electronics and a processed crunch. Bassist Joel Magill and drummer Josh Magill (yes, they’re all brothers) drive home the uptight arrangements with a vengeance, while employing an admirably casual freedom with time signatures. I have to admit missing previous drummer Fred Rother’s jazzier touch, but that approach would have had a hard time cutting through the din of overdrive that seems to hover over the mixes like a dirty fog. If Apricity is defined as “warmed by the sun” it’s hard to find much of it within songs like “Coal Mine” and “No Peace,” where the urban angst is almost palpable. Like it or not, Syd Arthur seems determined throughout this album to establish themselves as a modern band but with a definite twist. Whether it pays off for them in terms of chart time and public awareness remains to be seen.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Syd Arthur

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Stone Breath - A Silver Thread to Weave the Seasons – Picture if you will that it is harvest time in the heart of Appalachia. Leaves are blowing, acorns are falling, pumpkins are ripening, and all manner of woodland critters are scurrying about. That...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues