Aarktica Matchless Years

Under the guise of Aarktica, you never know where Jon DeRosa is going to end up. His last album, Bleeding Light, mixed his usual instrumental drone with some nice indie rock, but it was still a mixed bag. Here, he leaps into territory unknown, as DeRosa finds his awesome voice. A nice tenor that’s identical to Richard Hawley on some songs, this album seems to put a lot of focus on DeRosa’s vocals, as the background music is created to give weight to the melodramatic lyrics and delivery. It’s quite a departure but it is one that’s very enjoyable. Take opener "Seventy Jane,” which bops along with its bass and echoed guitar until DeRosa’s deep croon chimes in. It’s very charming stuff indeed. DeRosa still gets his instrumental kicks in, as some of these songs have long intros that are achingly beautiful, and closer "Rooftop Films” is, I guess, "classic” Aarktica, as its aptly cinematic feel makes for spectacular shoegazer moments. This was a real surprise and one that will continue to grow, as DeRosa has never been sharper in his gaze or intent. (Darla)