Wednesday 19 August 2020

Arcadian Resonance [The Official Album Review]

On the eve of the album release - I present one final promotion to get you in the mood for the new album available to stream very shortly.

Playfio - Arcadian Resonance

Playfio is the prog rock music experience brought to us by musician Rob Playford. Playfio’s first album Arcadian Rhythm garnered praise and left listeners wanting more. In the lead up to Playfio’s much anticipated second album, we have seen four teaser singles released to date, “Nameless Man”, “Memory Sweeper”, “Isolation” and “Shrinking Time”, all of which have done well to build hype. The countdown has begun as Playfio’s new album, Arcadian Resonance, is due out on August 20, 2020, and it is to be released with independent distributor Ditto Music. Arcadian Resonance is a sixteen-track effort and the album offers a lot of great experiences throughout. “All or Nothing” kicks the album off as a reverb and passion filled display; it is a track that immediately leaves you wanting more and served well to build my anticipation for the rest of the album. “Paper Wait” follows and utilizes a rise-and-fall method of blending calm and energetic moments to create an excitingly varied experience. These first two tracks did a perfect job of teasing what to expect throughout the duration of the album - an extremely varied experience - and were two quick favorites of mine. “Indian Medicine” stood out as one of my favorite tracks with its distinctive trance-y approach, featuring electronics and an EDM-esque beat; coming in at the 4th spot on the album, it completely subverted what I had thought I could expect from Playfio to that point. I found my expectations subverted quite a few times throughout the album, as the longer the album plays, the more the songs shift and even transcend genre. Another highlight of the album was the way that “Little Soul” transitions into “Diamond”, with the intro to “Diamond” starting like another mid-tempo ballad but progressing into a beautifully crunchy guitar-driven emotional release - I was left truly breathless as I experienced this for the first time.
Arcadian Resonance’s songs range anywhere from giving off 70’s rock vibes in songs like “Friday Itch”, the sweeping guitars of “Foolish Thinking” and the subtle approach on “Every Dog” to spacey vibes with the trance-y “Indian Medicine” and piano ballads “Reading and Righting” and “Little Soul”. “We” even mixed in a jazzy vibe that stood out among the other tracks. All of these songs shifting through different genres did a great job of setting up the genre-bending tracks, which felt like focal points on the album. Songs that feature all of the aforementioned genre elements in one complete package include “Isolation” “Memory Sweeper” and the space-blues masterpiece “Nameless Man”; the way that these tracks are scattered throughout the album makes it always feel like the music is building towards these incredible moments.

Overall, Arcadian Resonance is an excellent follow-up to Arcadian Rhythm. Playford’s vocals shine strong throughout each track, his passionate voice breathing light into each word he sings. His ability to capture both passionate highs and breathtaking calm moments throughout the album allow each track across the album to build in a deeply appealing way. Instrumentally, it is obvious that an incredible amount of care went into each and every note; the guitar playing is always on point, with the guitar solos on the record standing as beautifully artistic marks of musicianship, the bass and percussion always serve to build and fill out the sound in a way that serves the vocals and overall atmosphere well and the piano/electronics add a great deal of flavor and texture to each song they are present in.
There is so much more that I could say about this excellent album but I do not want to spoil what is sure to be a one of a kind listening experience. Arcadian Resonance stands as a testament to the excellent sounds Playfio provides and shines as one of my favorite albums of the year. For the feature check out Which Coast