The High Voice Of The Low Anthem Breaks Out As Arc Iris

Apr 3, 2014
Originally published on April 3, 2014 7:34 pm

Jocie Adams was a member of the The Low Anthem, and that alt-folk group's eclectic approach is present onArc Iris, her self-titled debut under a new solo moniker. Adams is a multi-instrumentalist with a flair for warm, inviting arrangements, as evidenced on the track "Might I Deserve to Have A Dream," in which a raspy electric guitar gives way to lush strings.

Drawing from cabaret, classical, country, folk, Latin and pop styles, Arc Iris features cello, banjo and brass alongside a rhythm section. Supporting Adams' voice, the sextet quietly shows its colors on the moody numbers, but doesn't hesitate to get raucous, as on "Singing So Sweetly."

It may not be much of a critical insight to say it, but the debut album by Arc Iris makes me happy — not only for its musicality, sense of adventure and ample wit, but for Ms. Adams' willing to share her joy. Why resist it?

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Arc Iris is the name of a new band featuring singer-composer Jocie Adams. It is bright and engaging music that draws from cabaret, classical, country, folk rock, Latin and pop music. Music reviewer Jim Fusilli says it's delightful.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MONEY GNOMES")

JIM FUSILLI, BYLINE: That's "Money Gnomes," the opener on Arc Iris. Jocie Adams was a member of The Low Anthem, the indie-folk group whose eclectic approach is present here.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MONEY GNOMES")

FUSILLI: Ms. Adams is a multi-instrumentalist with a flair for warm, inviting arrangements, as evidenced on "Might I Deserve To Have a Dream" in which a raspy electric guitar gives way to beautiful strings.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MIGHT I DESERVE TO HAVE A DREAM")

FUSILLI: Arc Iris features a cello, banjo and brass alongside a rhythm section. Supporting Ms. Adams' voice, the sextet quietly shows its colors on the moody numbers but doesn't hesitate to get raucous, as on "Singing So Sweetly."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SINGING SO SWEETLY")

FUSILLI: It may not be much of a critical insight to say it, but the debut album by Arc Iris makes me happy not only for its musicality, sense of adventure and ample wit, but for Ms. Adams' willingness to share her joy. There's no sense in resisting it, so lean back and surrender to the delight that's Josie Adams and Arc Iris.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SINGING SO SWEETLY")

SIEGEL: Jim Fusilli is the rock and pop critic for The Wall Street Journal. He reviewed the self-titled debut album from Arc Iris.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SINGING SO SWEETLY")

: (Singing) I am a kitty cat, I keep on curling, until I am a ball I keep on swirling... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.