arbour describes himself as sad (among other things that we’ll discuss later) and honestly, luv songs kinda bums me out.
But I’m bummed in a good way.
The first track is called “elusive” which is the opposite of how it feels. You can almost physically grasp the emotion. It’s loaded with subtleties that fill the empty spaces. You can hear what sounds like wind chimes towards the beginning but after you’re welcomed by the snappy percussion, you find out they aren’t in fact wind chimes but guitar floating over the progression. This is a common theme throughout the record. The progressions feel like hands slipping out of each other’s grip. It’s like watching something fade away in the water. The whole record is incredibly emotive. Filled with melancholic undertones on top of dragging progressions that seem to end up leading to nowhere. The instrumentation, I think, is a reflection of the time and place in which the record was made. Imagine an icy river in the dead of winer in the Pacific Northwest. You see where I’m going? arbour is basically the soundtrack to that. And it’s an accurate interpretation of the emotions we experience during winter.
Now that we’ve talked about the emotion behind the tracks, let’s talk about the musicality. So much is hidden in this record. Sounds creep up and appear out of nothing or are created from something you couldn’t foresee. The record is wavy. Wavy as in spinning a record (not quite spinning at 33 1/2) in a depravation tank. Not like bouncy club stuff. More like a sad piano drowning. The compression is tight and the control is consistent throughout the record. This helps define the sound even further and convey the same message throughout. Also, just take a second to listen to the resolve of each progression within the songs. It’s like watching a mini-series with a great finale every time without seeming repetitive (or having the illusion of no repetition).
I typically hate tracks like this with samples of popular rap/hip-hop over them. I’d rather hear something new and original that might flow a little better/naturally. That being said, the way arbour handles layering Drake and Lil Wayne is phenomenal. The compression controls the vocals almost to how they become an instrument rather than the top layer. This is such a good way to incorporate outside samples because of how it makes everything flow together.
This record is a good one for a sad day, lonely car ride, or just enjoying the rain. I find the tracks to be incredibly emotive and help my productivity and inspiration because I can find myself floating through each track only to be pulled back in by a bell or a quiet snap of the guitar. The record was “very introverted, very reclusive, very sad overall.”
luv songs is an introverted reflection of winter in the Pacific Northwest. Not only winter but the cold, lonely feeling it sometimes brings with it. luv songs is arbour’s move away from lo-fi into ambient. Although it garner’s somewhat of the same crowd, he feels that arbour is ambient at heart. And we may get to see the evolution very soon. arbour is working on a few new tracks with his roommates fantompower, pkt, and yonder that to him are “inspiring to just be around”.