Ben Arthur: Love And Loss 'On A Sunday'

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "On A Sunday"
  • Artist: Ben Arthur
  • CD: Mouthfeel
  • Genre: Pop-Rock
Ben Arthur 300

Ben Arthur lets his pop-influenced Americana sound deepen and darken in "On a Sunday." courtesy of Ben Arthur hide caption

toggle 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.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from