The story of the Sound of Arrows is as follows. Two friends – a musician, Stefan Storm, and a film-maker, Oskar Gullstrand – live in a boring town in Sweden. One day, they begin making music together as a fun thing to do because there were no films left to talk about. Inspired by Vangelis and French Disco, they make this music mainly with analogue synths. After a couple of little EPs, they make a single that people like. (That people really, really like.) They go on to make an album. That, you will agree, is not a spectacular story. In fact, it is quite boring. The Sound of Arrows are not boring. They are here to escape boredom, then return and eviscerate the idea of it. They are spectacular. They disdain boredom like space disdains comprehension. They’re just too good for it.
Their debut album “Voyage” therefore, as could be expected, is perfect. It is a complete, enveloping experience, charting a topography of desire, solitude, loneliness, friendship, love, romance, hope and escape, using familiar emotional minutiae for its landmarks and re-imagining them as cosmic adventures. They take every quaint little thrilling moment you’ve known and make them as grand as you felt they deserved to be, turning them into a million tiny explosions in the sky.
This is widescreen pop, indeed; and the effect is intentional. Hidden in every track are moments of minor euphoria, testament to our perfectionists’ arduous crafting. ‘Voyage’ is an album made to flow like a film, starting and ending with the title theme. The album starts off with the stratospheric escape of ‘Into the Clouds’ and heads in the very same direction, never to return down to earth during it’s 49 minutes. New single ‘Wonders’ continues the anthemic theme and manages to send one to a place of melancholic euphoria. Previous single ‘Magic’ captures the childlike nostalgia of a saturday morning cartoon and dance floor monster ‘Nova’ brings us to the club. But the album contains more than just snappy pop. ‘Hurting all the way’ is a heartbreaking vocoder-ballad and the end titles-instrumental ‘Lost City’ is a ‘Chariots of Fire’ for the new millenium.
The Sound of Arrows have not just created the sonics of a grand emotive film, they have also created a visual world to go alongside it. They are the full audio-visual package: they work on directing, editing and do the post-production for their remarkable videos and all of their artwork, too. (Perfectionism doesn’t even begin to cover it.) That’s why this record is worth the wait: music deserves context; it demands to be experienced with the eyes, ears and heart.
Stolen from piccadillyrecords.com