Adam Arcuragi: Tragic And Uplifting

In addition to his work as a poet and playwright, Philadelphia's Adam Arcuragi crafts raucous Americana, the kind that was once called "alternative country" before that phrase become associated with a gnarly fetishization of backwoods authenticity. But with its from-the-gut wails, religious-themed songs and utter lack of detachment, his new album I Am Become Joy feels like the real deal, despite its somewhat anachronistic sounds. The work is full of lap steel, pedal steel, banjo and even a singing saw. Its down-south-style sing-alongs have a great, late-summer flavor, conjuring up images of barnyard parties and moonlight soirees.

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Bottom of the River"
  • Artist: Adam Arcuragi
  • CD: I Am Become Joy
  • Genre: Rock
Adam Arcuragi i i

Adam Arcuragi's "Bottom of the River" is an ode to embracing your misfortune and letting it wash over you. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
Adam Arcuragi

Adam Arcuragi's "Bottom of the River" is an ode to embracing your misfortune and letting it wash over you.

courtesy of the artist

The album's closer, "Bottom of the River," has already become one of Arcuragi's most beloved live tracks, and it's easy to hear why. With a feel that's both tragic and uplifting, it's an ode to embracing your misfortune and letting it wash over you. Lamenting that he's fallen "in love with something invisible," Arcuragi's protagonist decides to plop himself down atop the rocks of a running stream and commiserate with the fishes. There, he goes about "lift[ing] a song into the night so that the moon don't have to die." It's not exactly clear whether this delights or wearies him, but in the end, his dip seems to have a cleansing effect, functioning as a sort of self-administered baptism.

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Purchase Featured Music

I Am Become Joy

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
I Am Become Joy
Artist
Adam Arcuragi
Label
High Two/Aum Fi.
Released
2009

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