Birds Over Arkansas formed in 2011 when Scott Haskitt, Laura Hartshorn, and John Mondick discovered that the product of their musical experimentations was greater than the sum of its parts. Although they reside in different states (Scott and Laura live in New Haven, CT, while John lives in Philadelphia, PA), they continued their long distance collaboration after realizing that the spark of creativity and collaboration they had forged could not be duplicated by working on their own or with other musicians.
The BOA lineup was completed in 2014 with the addition of drummer Ryan Berg (Strand of Oaks, Project/Object) and bassist Chico Huff (James Taylor, Carly Simon, David Crosby, Solas).Their music has garnered critical acclaim from fellow musicians, music industry professionals, and fans around the world. Aspen Public Radio named the song “Catapult” from the Behind The Lights EP as one of the 16 best “Under The Radar” songs of 2014.
If you could imagine a band that has the melodic and harmonic approach of the Eagles with an undercurrent of complex rhythms and beats that resemble the progressive rock and mystical aura of YES, then extract all the superhero, dramatic theatrics and heaviness…you will be halfway to describing the punch, depth, and breathtaking clarity presented by Birds Over Arkansas on Behind The Lights.
There are very few indie albums that can measure up to the music of Behind The Lights. From the powerful “Comet” and rhythmic “Catapult” to the 60’s psychedelic-inspired “Elsa”, the emotional “Lay Down Tonight” and the eclectic wall of sound on the “The String”, this Ep delivers great music on all tracks without exception.
The result is a collection of extremely tight and intricately arranged pieces that feature nimble ensemble work presented in a cohesive, perspicuous format. Birds Over Arkansas has all the components; outstanding musicianship, resplendent vocals, a clean, crisp sound and timeless music.
Considering the dearth of good ‘free-form’ music these days, many would appreciate this killer release. Listening to Behind The Lights makes me realize how far most other music (especially anything to do with rock) has fallen in modern times. The musicianship, the lyrics and the melodies are unlike anything else you will find today.
If you like perceptive keyboards, sprawling guitars -both electric and acoustic, wonderful vocal harmonies, busy-yet-tight bass lines, and drumming that is technical, yet not overdone, all wrapped up in a meticulously produced and mastered recording, you cannot go wrong by purchasing Behind The Lights.