Ben Arthur: Love And Loss 'On A Sunday'

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "On A Sunday"
  • Artist: Ben Arthur
  • CD: Mouthfeel
  • Genre: Pop-Rock
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Ben Arthur lets his pop-influenced Americana sound deepen and darken in "On a Sunday." courtesy of Ben Arthur hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of Ben Arthur

The quirky optimism that marked Ben Arthur's first album Edible Darling has aged and darkened on his long-awaited second disc, Mouthfeel. A slippery disc in sound and meaning, the set ranges from familiar, pop-influenced Americana to songs like "On a Sunday," which burrows intimately into love, pain, and loss.

Flipping through photographs, the "relics of disintegration," Arthur tells the story of a man left behind: "This one here is of my girl before the war / When I came back, she'd had a baby / I was gone a year and a half / Still she said she missed me." The persistent warble of the single organ note in the background both supports and mourns the passing of these times, while underpinning a hauntingly poignant melody.

Arthur's quiet, defeated-sounding voice maintains purpose and gains strength in the retelling, but he avoids a grand climax, instead dipping back down to settle in for wispy remembrance. Later Polaroids of his wife in "crinoline and wire" sepia-tone the image, but otherwise, the song shifts freely through time. It encompasses loss from every age — countless Sundays that pass to reveal new Mondays.

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