Arc Iris broke musical ground when its critically acclaimed self-titled album was released in 2014. The Providence-based band quickly won over audiences in the US and Europe, supporting artists such as St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The group has performed at LA’s Greek Theater, London’s Palladium, and festivals including Bonnaroo, End of the Road and Rolling Stone Weekender.
Released on ANTI Records in the US and Bella Union in Europe, “Arc Iris” has drawn admiration for its innovative style and distinctive sound. “It’s hypnotic,” said the Boston Globe. The New York Times wrote of “songs that seesawed between the elfin delicacy of Joanna Newsom and some brassy raucousness.” London’s the Guardian talked of “a shape-shifting treat.” And new music blog site Line of Best Fit proclaimed, “Arc Iris is traditional music thrillingly positioned at the nexus of the old and new."
Lead singer and lyricist Jocie Adams, keyboardist Zach Tenorio-Miller, and drummer Ray Belli form the core of Arc Iris, all virtuosic musicians in their own right. Adams spent eight years as a key member of indie darlings The Low Anthem, effortlessly zipping from hammer dulcimer to clarinet to bass to vocals, sometimes barely pausing to take a breath. Her 2011 solo debut, “Bed of Notions,” sparked a musical beginning that became Arc Iris. Joining Adams on “Bed of Notions” was cellist Robin Ryczek, a conservatory trained musician who toured with Jethro Tull and founded a rock school in Afghanistan.
To help launch Arc Iris in 2012, Adams teamed with Ryczek and the musically agile Tenorio-Miller, an established indie-rock keyboardist for well-known talents from Gene Ween to the New Pornographers’ A.C Newman. Late that year Tenorio-Miller brought in his longtime friend Belli. The two toured with Jon Anderson of Yes when they were just 16.
The group strives to reach the songwriting integrity of the Greats — Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen — while exploding the boundaries of pop music, bridging the digital computer music of Radiohead and Bjork to Brazilian Tropicalia, to Bowie-esque performance art.
But above all their love of music is a shared passion that comes alive on stage. Arc Iris’ live performances can become storied events. Space domes reveal giant golden wings in flight. Montages light up the backdrop with evocative images, and the musicians can deploy costumery rivaling Freddie Mercury.
Fans can look forward to Arc Iris’s sophomore release in 2016.
NEWS & CLIPPINGS
Record Label (North America)
Record Label (Europe & Rest of World)
Mark Byrne / Bella Union
Booking (Europe & Rest of World):
James Alderman / Free Trade Agency
Kate Hyman / BMG Chrysalis