Joseph Arthur and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck will release their debut LP, Arthur Buck, on June 15th via New West Records. The duo previewed the album with upbeat lead single “I Am The Moment.”
“Becoming free/ It’s not as easy as I’d like it to be,” Arthur sings over a lush arrangement that builds with a raw blend of percussion, vocal samples and strings.
The Arthur Buck collaboration originated toward the end of 2017, when the pair rain into each other during respective visits to Todos Santos, Mexico. They wound up pooling their material and crafted eight songs in three days; on the fourth, they performed a show for a small group of locals near Buck’s home. “It was really spontaneous and kind of magical in its own way, as [being in Mexico] we were kind of disconnected from everything,” Buck recently told Rolling Stone.
In an interview with NPR, Arthur recalls writing “I Am the Moment” “within the first 10 minutes of seeing each other.” He continued, “Same way as we wrote our other songs. He had the chords and arrangement and I did the top line — except when I sang, ‘I am the moment ,’ he sang back, ‘Waiting for you.’ Peter said, ‘Okay, finish the lyrics so we can play that tonight.’ And I did, and we did. And the crowd completely sang along to it.” Arthur told Rolling Stone that the song arose through his ritual of listening to inspirational YouTube clips.
After their initial whirlwind of creativity, they recorded basic tracks at Portland’s Type Foundry Studio, with Arthur producing at his personal studio in Brooklyn. The duo co-wrote all 11 songs on the LP, with Tchad Blake (U2, the Black Keys, Pearl Jam) handling the mixing.
The album marks a tonal shift for the duo. Last year, Buck released the politically charged Invitation with the rock supergroup Filthy Friends, and Arthur was working on a solo LP. “All of a sudden it was like I had this musical partner and friend, and that relieved the music of the burden of the self, if that makes sense,” Arthur told Rolling Stone.
Arthur Buck are expected to announce a run of tour dates soon.
Arthur Buck Track Listing
1. “I Am The Moment”
2. “Are You Electrified?”
3. “The Wanderer”
4. “Forever Waiting”
5. “If You Wake Up In Time”
7. “American Century”
8. “Forever Falling”
9. “Before Your Love Is Gone”
10. “Wide Awake In November”
11. “Can’t Make It Without You”