after Adam Arcuragi’s folky sophomore effort I am become joy, we have this little gem. Though Arcuragi
(pronounced er-ah-ghee) is now based in Philly where he stayed after college,
he’s originally from Georgia
and the aching soul he belts out on these 12 songs offer up a southern boy
through and though.
With a base of
mostly acoustic instrumentation and a chorus of what sounds like hundreds (the
Lupine Chorale Society), Like a fire that
consumes all before it (which is not only a line from The Iliad but the name of Arcuragi’s favorite Cy Twombly painting)
finds Arcuragi shifting through these 12 mostly slow-moving songs with heavy
heart and his soulful vocals (which can grate, but only occasionally). The
record starts with a woman leading a group of children on a howl but then slips
right into the upbeat “Oh I See” which leads right into the Appalachia
leanings of “President’s Song.” Moving onward, “Parliament of the birds” is a
dreamy, shuffling number while
“…riverrun” goes from a slow, warm groove to full on belter (“I
Called” and “The Well,” too). Adding to
this sweaty, bed of soul, is that everything on here is a bit rough around the
edges on here, nothing’s too slick, the way it should be.
If you dig big
choruses, the sound of a heart breaking
and just the right amount of sweat on your brow then Like a fire that consumes all before it is for you, friend.
DOWNLOAD: “Oh I See,” “President’s Song,”
“…riverrun,” “The Well” TIM HINELY