Release Date: November 20, 2020
Roses is the newest EP from the Toronto based band, A is for Arrows.
From the first track, Roses pulls you into its depths with its dreamlike, yet vibrant soundscapes. Each track uses a similar structure of a low throbbing bass with hard pulsing drums. On top of this base, though, A is for Arrows expertly layers electronic samples to complete its moods. The result is an EP that seamlessly oscillates between sensual ‘slow dance’ to energetic ‘jump up and dance’ modes, sometimes within the same track. The centerpiece of the EP, the artist’s animated, yet smoky voice. The lyrics of the album focus on the unified theme of love and relationships, but with an unapologetic honesty to them that builds emotional synergy with the listener. The overall result of these elements is an EP that makes me ache for the time (hopefully soon) I can dance to it with my friends.
Standout tracks on the EP for me were “Talking in My Sleep” & “Can’t Stop”. “Can’t Stop” has a great 90’s vibe as A is for Arrows makes an upbeat dance track out of the anxiety of a hot/cold relationship. Despite her lover seemingly devoted one minute, then absent the next, A is for Arrows makes it clear through the lyrics and tone of the track that they just can’t help but bring all their energy and love to this toxic relationship anyway.
“Talking in My Sleep” has a slower pace than some of the other tracks, but is still fun and upbeat. The lyrics detail the A is for Arrow’s dilemma that even though she considers herself an honest person, she’s embarrassed about how intensely she cares about her lover — but knows the feelings are so intense, she’s genuinely worried that she’s just going to talk about it in her sleep. The song then cheekily just breaks down in the chorus as A is for Arrows just throws her hands up and admits “Fuck it! You mean the world to me.” This is a very sympathetic track for anyone who’s been in the start of a relationship and is trying to navigate the waters of being the first one to say “I love you.”
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.