I’m hypocritical, apathetic when it’s cold outside. The darkest winter, I feel political. – Andrew Sisk
Andrew Sisk’s Arcticalia is made up of nine individual protests whose topics range anywhere from corruption, change, love. Instrumentally, throughout Arcticalia, Sisk protests the misery of the dreary winter the album was born out of. He does so by trading in the sound of misery for the warm breeze of Tropicalia music. Arcticalia rejects submission and makes a new path.
The complexity of the arrangements allows the album to swing from one end to another. The opener “Impeachment” moves along with a groovy percussion beat and an interjection of flute that allows seemingly defeating lyrics like, “You don’t want a solution, only an election with your flag flying” to be a source of action. Reminiscent of Michael Feuerstack’s numerous outputs (which makes sense as Feuerstack helped record some of the album) “Wasted Inheritance” also lightens the heavy lyrics (this time about the troubled economy) with bright pop instrumentals.
In “Black Orpheus,” this combination is not at play, causing the song’s message to be much more forthright as a result. Like the lyric above alludes to, there’s an anxiety at play in this song, the complex chorus “Fallibly, silently, patiently, conquering, with apathy, backwardly, pageantry, narrowly” really drives home this edginess, that casts a long shadow over Arcticalia.
Sisk’s musings on love in “Tourist” is where Arcticalia shines the brightest. A warm combination of horn and a classical guitar, Sisk creaks the great opening line, “Things will get better, it’s a statement that you’re still around.” Sisk goes on to state that he has his feet firmly on the ground (“I’m not a tourist”) while his lover is “used to leaving” and getting ready to run.
Even if you’re not a follower of politics, Andrew Sisk will give you something to think about.
P.S. If you’re going down, Andrew Sisk is playing SappyFest on August 2nd.
Top Track: “Tourist”
Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)