Out today, Leeds’ Treeboy & Arc release their debut album Natural Habitat via Clue Records/EMI North.
A DIY ethos is at their core, with the band championing their Northern origins. A project formed off the back of teenage friendship and a New Year’s Eve party, it’s hard to put a finger on exactly how long Treeboy & Arc has existed.
Natural Habitat is their most ambitious release to date. With the opportunity to really experiment in the studio with Matt Peel, the songs recorded became darker, harsher and more brutal sounding than any of the original demos the band had recorded themselves. With two singers and two lyricists, the meaning of each song feels completely separate from the last. Each song has its own story and meaning, from anxiety to the supernatural, whether disguised by cryptic language or told as “matter of fact”, the album discusses the full spectrum of emotions.
Initially writing down-the-line post punk as a four-piece out of bedrooms in North Leeds, the band first entered the public consciousness in 2016 and quickly developed a reputation for their captivating and dynamic live performances. In the year or two that followed, the band did their best to strip the paint from the walls of most of the venues across the city, with relative success.
Often with no stand out lead melody, Treeboy & Arc are a sonic example of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Made up of meandering, interlocking guitar melodies propped up by a sturdy, yet intricate, rhythm section that often just won’t quit, plus synthesisers will make you wince with dissonant pads before punching you in the stomach with a driving arpeggiator sequence.
The band pits pop songs against avant-garde, kraut-punk noise to see which elements come out on top, perfectly setting the scene for abstract tales of disillusionment, loss, ill health and the occasional Bob Mortimer obsession. Typically spoken word-esque vocals are spat atop these vivid soundscapes with the vocalists choosing to prioritise lyrics and feeling before melody and harmony. Though often dark and sinister sounding, you don’t need to listen hard to hear the tongue-in-cheek wit and cynicism in their deliveries that is so often associated with the North of England.
Catch Treeboy & Arc on their UK headline tour this October. Tickets on-sale now HERE.
Treeboy & Arc are:
James Kay – Bass / Vocals
Ben Morgan – Guitar / Vocals
Sammy Robinson – Synths
George Townend – Guitar
Isaac Turner – Drums
Out now via Clue Records/EMI North