First Listen: Adam Arcuragi, 'Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It...'

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Adam Arcuragi's third album, Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It..., comes out Jan. 31. i i

Adam Arcuragi's third album, Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It..., comes out Jan. 31. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
Adam Arcuragi's third album, Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It..., comes out Jan. 31.

Adam Arcuragi's third album, Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It..., comes out Jan. 31.

Courtesy of the artist

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I remember going to an Adam Arcuragi concert at SXSW last year. It was a small club, but packed; most of the people around me had never heard of him. But that didn't stop any of us from spontaneously singing, unprompted, the choruses to his songs — songs we'd mostly never heard before. It's easy to imagine: Just listen to "Oh I See"; there's something so primal about what Arcuragi does.

This isn't groundbreaking music: You can hear Bruce Springsteen here, 16 Horsepower there, and some dark, gospel-infused folk along the way. But it's all so full of soul, so unadorned; it's a sound that always feels as if it's reaching toward the sky. The music seems bigger than it is.

Out Jan. 31, Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It... is Arcuragi's third full-length album and, like 2009's I Am Become Joy, it features his fine band The Lupine Chorale Society. I've heard Arcuragi refer to this music as "Death Gospel" — a term that certainly implies darkness — but a passionate infusion of Southern roots music helps make Like a Fire seem lighter than expected. With his poetic preaching and rousing choruses, Arcuragi crafts songs of community, with music that binds.

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