It’s easy to make really boring indie rock, and unfortunately, there are a lot of bands that take that road. Listening to album after album of stale music made by bands trying to jump on the indie bandwagon gets tiring, but every once in a while, an album will rise above the mediocrity and surprise me. Arthur Beatrice, contrary to what the name implies, is a band that hails from England. Working Out is their first full length album, and with it they establish a very likable, laid back indie rock sound that kept me entertained throughout the whole record. Right off the bat, this album starts out with a killer track, “Councillor”. The song starts with an ethereal sound consisting of some organ-like sounds, echoing falsetto vocals, and slow piano chords. The song then shifts into a floating guitar riff accompanied by male vocalist Orlando Leopard’s smooth voice and dramatic piano. The first track drew me in right away, and the album doesn’t let up from there. From then on, female vocalist Ella Girardot is the primary singer, although the male vocals are still prominent. The song “Midland” is the lead single from the album and takes a more upbeat direction while still being very laid back. Ella’s vocals are impeccable on this track, and the octave shift on the last chorus brings the song to a very satisfying climax.
There are a few tracks on this record that aren’t quite as good as the others, but nothing really feels like filler; it’s a very cohesive progression and blend of music. Working Out is an impressive record, especially when you consider the fact that it’s Arthur Beatrice’s debut LP. The two lead vocalist’s voices blend supremely well, and the instrumentals create a relaxing atmosphere that fits in perfectly with the laid back vocals. Fans of indie pop/rock should find Arthur Beatrice to be a breath of fresh air, and I for one am excited to see where they go from here.
Favorites: “Councillor” (Track 1), “Midland” (Track 3), “Singles” (Track 8)
RIYL: The XX, The Antlers, Florence and The Machine
Review by Alex McCullough