Small Black Arrows – “The British Museum”


“The British Museum” is exemplary of the eclectic stylistic pursuits from UK-based band Small Black Arrows, spanning from dream-pop twangy lushness into an excitable rock grip. The quivering vocal theatrics and gliding guitar tones produce an initial sound reminiscent of Wild Beasts, producing a beautiful soundscape that arrives into the “do it all again,” guitar-driven momentum. The vigor there is palpable, as is the group’s knack for creative twists and turns structurally, spanning seamlessly from quainter lushness to replay-inducing vocal charisma, strutting shades of Talking Heads.

The versatile tonal grasp consumes throughout, as does a lyrical focus that seems relatable regardless of your origin. The band describe the release as “a state of the nation type song about how we’re being mugged off by our government and in truth have been conditioned to accept it since the Empire.” The various moments throughout range considerably in tone, reflective of ebbing tides and flows through life — and culminating in a reminder of the bitter truth, one that laments a solemn beholden to larger forces at play. “The British Museum” emphasizes the strong songwriting from Small Black Arrows.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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