18 Revolutions of 2018: Ari Roar – Calm Down

About ten months ago, the Quiff stood in front of a proportionally inadequate stage, usually used for bigger theatre performances, with his notebook and high expectations in tow. The 272-seat university theatre could not be called his venue of choice but was part of last year’s Great Escape in Brighton, a festival that’s grown into one of the most well-established alternative music showcases in England. Even though the stage could’ve accommodated at least 150 Ari Roars, he magically adjusted the space to his music – thanks to his DIY attitude. His lo-fi sound comes into effect on the debut album Calm Down which Texan multi instrumentalist Caleb Campbell released under the moniker Ari Roar via Bella Union. The simplicity of his mellow sound is riddled with sudden melodic changes, intricate narration and alternating pace. Windowsill for example is a flowery, breezy gem that catapults you right in the centre of the Sixties. Words rhyme and wriggle their way from line to line, almost seamless, creating harmonies that gently but confidently end after less than 2 minutes. With Don’t have A Fit Ari reiterates one of the key aspects of the record – the struggle with anxiety and self-doubt in a self-reflective manner that results in encouraging persuasion. So encouraging and sympathetic that the Quiff proudly owns the record (on green vinyl!) and rated it among the 18 best records of 2018. With a total duration of 27 minutes it’s a concise but rare pleasure that spoils the attentive listener with addictive, little bundles of joy and panic.

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