Honyock | Arc Iris | Steve Taylor

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Honyock | Arc Iris | Steve Taylor
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The Press Club says
Honyock
www.honyock.bandcamp.com

ARC IRIS
www.arcirismusic.com

STEVE TAYLOR
www.stevetaylormusic.com


Arc Iris crystallizes the evolution of composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Jocie Adams, a former core member of renowned indie-folk band The Low Anthem. This is a breakaway moment for Adams, who now takes center stage as composer, lyricist, and lead vocalist. Embracing her new role as auteur, Adams has created a genre-bending style that often shifts between cabaret-infused jazz, orchestral sophistication, grimy outlaw country, delicate and whimsical harmonies, and big-band exhilaration – sometimes all in the same song. Hers is an all-together different world where fantastical whimsy goes hand in hand with down-to-earth grit, and where rigorous classical training inflects but never softens the visceral rawness of hard-won experience.

Adams is a refreshingly grounded character who draws on the same combination of technical wizardry and lighthearted wonder whether she is grappling with a complex set of notes or rigging up an indoor playground for her cat. She’s dabbled in rocket science, but a stint working at NASA isn’t really what sets her apart – it’s the fact that she couldn’t care less about it. That same freedom of spirit compelled Adams, who is a classically trained composer, to make the leap to the world of rock when she joined The Low Anthem in 2007. Now, she’s transformed herself once again by carving out a space that is wholly her own within the worlds of lyric writing and orchestral arrangement. Songs on the 11 track album range in sonic and emotional intensity - from the patient brooding of “Honor of the Rainbows” to the smoky cyclical aura of “Lost on Me.”

Adams’ vast aesthetic vision is matched only, and appropriately, by the band’s multifaceted musicianship, which includes Zach Tenorio-Miller on piano, Mike Irwin on trumpet, Robin Ryczek on cello, Ray Belli on drums, Max Johnson on bass, and Charlie Rose on steel banjo and trombone. In rehearsing, the group drew inspiration from a range of artists, in particular Dirty Projectors, Harry Nilsson, and Leonard Cohen. James Reed writes in The Boston Globe that, “the album’s unique sound is informed as much by Joni Mitchell as it is by Björk’s sonic experiments and sweeping film soundtracks.”

Yet while songs on the album pull just as readily from 19th century cello and 1970s pop, what emerges cannot be called mere eclecticism. Adams’ style is highly focused at every twist and turn, creating an aesthetic where juxtaposed edges are sharpened rather than blunted. In “Money Gnomes,” the rollicking simplicity of a bluegrass bassline makes room for sweeping, cello-infused turns around the dance floor. Part morning jaunt down a dusty road, part lithe-limbed waltz, the music, like its lyrics, seems to offer potential for adventure and ultimately, in the breathy mantra of its coda, intimacy. “Swimming,” meanwhile, infuses the wry commentary and piano-draping ant
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By: The Press Club

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