Artist: A R I Z O N A
Label: Atlantic Recording Corporation
Non-Airable Tracks: None
Arizona (stylized as A R I Z O N A) are not actually from Arizona. The New Jersey band sells electropop a la The 1975 with the subdued guitar lines of indie pop giants Phoenix, who are, coincidentally, named after the largest city in the Grand Canyon state. Actually, I don’t know if Phoenix are named after the Valley of the Sun, but for that nonfact, I don’t know for certain that Arizona are actually named that because of their admiration for our great state. In my research trawling through the internet’s greatest encyclopedias, I’ve found many articles portraying plenty of proper nouns outside of the Southwest United States. However by Occam’s razor, I’ll suppose for the rest of this review that Arizona’s love for the romantic mountains and deserts of the 48th state is what motivates their moniker.
Besides etymology, Arizona has a lot going for them. The easygoing pop melodies on their second and most recent album, ASYLUM, grant a relaxing air to the project, belying the emotional undertones. The lead single from ASYLUM, “Nostalgic”, is led by a chorus of “Ok, fine, maybe I’m a little nostalgic/Cause the memories are flooding my mind”. Who can’t relate to the shame of wanting one more taste of a dismantled relationship? It’s easy to see why Arizona fits so strongly into the canon of late 10’s era lackadaisical dance floor material. It’s not difficult to step to the groove of band member David Labuguen’s keyboard on “Trouble” or lead singer Zachary Charles’ Bastille-esque vocal refrains on “Freaking Out”.
Arizona clearly has a further career in the realm of Top 40 groovy hits. Their debut, GALLERY, charted at #24 for US Alternative, and with sufficient good press, ASYLUM could easily outperform that. If you’re in Tucson on November 9th, check them out at DUSK Music Festival. Also, stay posted here at KAMP’s blog as we have an interview with Arizona coming up soon. In the meantime, listen to ASLYUM!
Sounds Like: The 1975, CHVRCHES
Reviewer’s Name: Bennett Tolar
Date of Review: 10/19/2019