By Ellen Eldridge
Band Of Horses writes songs which seep into the subconscious; perhaps, this can be attributed to the popular television shows like “Dog The Bounty Hunter,” which played “The Funeral,” from the 2006 release of Everything All The Time, a destined hit with almost five million YouTube views.
Three years after the release of Cease To Begin, Band Of Horses throws out a quieter, more subtle collection of personal pieces in these songs. Not that the previous releases didn’t sorrowfully recount personal heartbreaks and pensively-penned epiphanies, but Infinite Arms strays, musically, from that rock formula and acts as a concept album for one’s journey through the psychological stresses of rising to fame and traveling far and often.
On the lighter side of possible song meanings, “Older” may well be written about the character of Richard on the television series “Lost” if one thinks about the imagery and lines literally. The song carries a distant feeling which could reflect on a drunken evening in a rented room watching the show. This idea of loneliness stemming from longing remains central to the album. Lyrics revolving around “missing you” and “getting back home” will appeal to wide audiences, especially those who like to get three deep at the bar only to stumble back to bed to sink into the covers surrounded by the sound of sad love songs. When those fans wake the following morning, they can continue listening as the regretful and repentant lyrics float to the top of the mind.
Some songs truly seem like stream of consciousness writing, which is a great way for the humblest of songwriters to get inside their audience’s minds because, deep down, we really are all the same and we are all just looking for some sort of connection which music so often provides. “Evening Sun” resonates with this warm feeling; it surfaces in harmony and drives listeners to want to add the third harmony. The simplicity of the words combines with the soaring melodies and arpeggiated notes of the chords.
Truly, the mastery of cascading vocals is what makes Infinite Arms, and though fans won’t find the rock rhythm formulas in most of these songs, they will find a sort of solace in self connection found through experiencing a journey that clutches onto memories in an attempt to bring revelation. Woozy, sleepless thoughts found in the bottom of a wine glass; after the mind slows, the emptiness calls us back home where those infinite arms will lie in wait for us all. The double entendre of arms as warm reminders from loved ones or as weapons to cause destruction should not be lost in interpretation of the latest Band Of Horses release either. The whole album floats around concepts that feel fuzzy, like feeling along a hotel wall in the dark searching for the light switch to illuminate the way forward. Even the cover art swirls the stars of an evening sky by leaving a photo to expose overnight reflecting the idea of staying open.