The Record Scratch: Underrated Artist Spotlight: Arlie
January 31, 2020
Just when I thought hope was lost for new alternative music back in 2018, a vivid light consisting of groovy guitar, striking drums, and fresh vocals shined on me by the name of “Arlie”. Although currently on hiatus, this indie group is composed of Nathaniel Banks (singer/guitarist), Carson Lystad (guitarist), Jason Antwi (bassist), Emma Spears (keyboardist, back-up vocals) and drummer Adam Lochemes, is a breath of fresh air to the alternative scene.
The first song I ever heard from Arlie was “Barcelona Boots” after a friend posted the song on her Instagram story. The album cover of “Wait”, the EP this masterpiece was found on, caught my eye and I was inclined to listen. Listening to this band like a blue skies, green grass trip through memory lane. If I could describe a band that encapsulates the feeling of nostalgia and being a teen, but in a magical, guitar driven way, it would be Arlie. From the speak-easy drums to Banks’s voice that is as smooth as butter, my hunger for a new band to indulge in was completely satisfied.
Later in 2019, they worked with a band called Okey Dokey (which I also fell in love with) on a song called “What Do I Got Left” which swept me off of my feet. Arlie has magic, allure, and four talents that know how to make music and make it well. In an interview with Vanderbilt Hustler in Jan. 2018, Banks referred to their sound as “Raw Almond Pop.” As funny as it is, it totally underestimates their magnificent and creative sound.
Along with the collaboration with Okey Dokey, some of my favorite songs are “Blackboard.edu” and “Tossing and Turning”. “Blackboard.edu” speaks on the struggles and irony of school, singing, “16 years lookin’ up at the blackboard, I don’t even know how to read.” Banks continues to sing about the use of pills to, “[Help] the wheels turn faster,” but something uncontrollable is driving the levels of concentration. “Tossing and Turning” reveals the ugly truths of fame and how, “[Our] color[s] turn to black and white,” when struggling to be like world rather than our true selves.
If you are someone interested in new ballads, relatable music to jam out to at any time, and or just looking for fresh, ‘underground’ music to listen to, Arlie is definitely the band for you. Arlie has easily become one of the bands I listen to on the daily. Whether on the queue on my drive to school, or listening to music to fall asleep (ahem, “Tossing and Turning”), their music is always a part of my day.
Not only can I not wait for the band to produce more funky, alternative music, but I also cannot wait to see more people rocking Arlie merchandise and appreciating their work.
“I feel like we’re just making the music and not thinking about what it is too much,” Lystad said. If this is the case, they are doing everything 110% right.