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Welcome Back Dear Children

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Album Review

Arizona, the Brooklyn-based trio of Benjamin Morris Wigler, Nick Campbell, and Alex Hornbake, are capable of rocking out, as they demonstrate on such tracks as "Somersby" and "Splintering" on their full-length debut album. But the musicians are more comfortable creating more lighthearted pop fare, crafting melodic, inventive arrangements of guitar, bass, drums, piano, and cello with shifting tempos and modulations, all to accompany the fey, high-pitched vocals singing contemplative lyrics. In the crowded field of indie rock, Arizona are unusual in their ability to carve out an identifiable sound (one noticeably influenced by Ray Davies and the Kinks) that draws not only on rock, folk, and pop, but also on classical elements, a sound of considerable charm. As with the psychedelic pop/rock of the Sgt. Pepper's era that this music references specifically, there is a childlike appeal and a delicacy of feel. This sort of thing easily can become too precious, but the musicians of Arizona know when to add some rock grit to keep their musical soufflé from collapsing in on itself.


Formed: 2005 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Quintet Arizona actually had resided in Brooklyn, NY, before recording and relocating to Asheville, NC. The band -- Alex Hornbake (bass, vocals), Andrew Dunn (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Benjamin Morris Wigler (vocals, guitar, piano), James DeDakis (drums, vocals, sax, dulcimer), and Nick Campbell (vocals, guitar, drums, piano, vibraphone) -- self-released the Sun and the Room EP (2005), followed by Welcome Back Dear Children (2006). The latter was mostly recorded by Hornbake with help from Danny...
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Welcome Back Dear Children, Arizona
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