Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Daughters of Man” by Arborea from the 2013 album Fortress of the Sun on ESP-Disk.
Formed in Maine in summer 2005, the husband and wife duo of Buck and Shanti Curran make alluringly hypnotic acoustic music as Arborea. Appropriately named, the duo’s music often takes on a natural, but not quite pastoral tone, embodying as many nocturnal aspects of nature as it does the rustic tendencies of traditional folk. Touring extensively beginning in 2007, Shanti and Buck have becoming a consistent presence in folk circles, as well as personal favorites of NPR’s Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton. Their latest album, Fortress of the Sun, finds the duo continuing to hone their atmospheric folk, with added classical flourishes from frequent collaborator Helena Esvpall on cello. Haunting and solemn, “Daughters of Man” is a brooding lament that recalls Emilíana Torrini’s “Gollum’s Song” in its heaviness and Rachel Zeffira’s The Deserters in its ethereality. Maintaining a crawling tempo and filled with tensely-arranged sparseness, Shanti’s harrowing vocals seep through the song, channeling a longing that feels both autumnal and eternal.
Arborea will be appearing at SXSW 2014, and promise to have more gigs for early 2014. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook for any tour or music announcements, and watch the official video for “After The Flood Only Love Remains”, another song from Fortress of the Sun below.