Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck of R.E.M. fame will release their debut album, Arthur Buck, on June 15th, 2018 via New West Records.
The 11-song set was produced by Joseph Arthur and mixed by Tchad Blake (U2, Pearl Jam, The Black Keys) with all of its songs co-written by the duo.
In their rave review of the album, Uncut Magazine in the U.K. stated that the “Veterans sound renewed on the anthem-filled collaboration” and said of its lead off track, “Buck’s chiming acoustic pattern on ‘I Am The Moment’ echoes the sylvan glory of R.E.M.’s Out Of Time, setting up the LP’s prevailing theme of hopeful anticipation.”
NPR Music is streaming the entire album as a First Listen. They state, “They’re resolute and forward-looking, sunny and often sly wake-up calls that use a full complement of tricks — Oasis-style rock anthems, hip-hop pastiche, odd funk pockets — to lure listeners into the desired zone of expanded awareness.” Adding, ” When Arthur hits an important idea, Buck is there with his six-string highlighter to reinforce it. And when it’s time to translate the zenspeak, Buck lets his guitar do the talking – there are several absolutely thrilling eight-bar solo breaks here.” And “They cast the search for perspective as a kind of quest, and suggest that in a destabilized environment like this one, the first step in ‘being the change’ involves simply seeking a precious moment of clarity.”
Hear the album in full HERE.
The collaboration was established after the pair met up in Mexico near the end of 2017. They wrote eight songs in three days and on the fourth day, performed them for a handful of Baja locals near Buck’s home. Arthur says, “My first thought was, ‘Hey, I’ll get Peter to play acoustic guitar on some of the stuff I’m working on!’ So I started showing him songs. But he was like, ‘That’s cool. Now check this out.’ And he started playing chords and whatnot. So I put my guitar down and began singing over his changes, and it was magical. It was easy. And these great songs just started popping out.”
The two musicians have a history that stretches back decades; among other pairings, Arthur opened many shows for R.E.M. in the early 2000s, while Buck has backed Arthur on numerous occasions. Both Arthur and Buck have said that these songs differ from their other recording projects and while speaking with Rolling Stone, Buck said “It was really spontaneous and kind of magical in its own way, as [being in Mexico] we were kind of disconnected from everything.” Arthur added, “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.” Of his new bandmate, Buck stated, “Joe is going through that searching period we all go through in life. And those experiences he’s having make this a very forward-looking record, lyrically. The music has a questing kind of feel. We were making it up as we went along.