The record sleeve of Lawrence Arabia's recently released album Absolute Truth is a small Twee masterpiece. An animated approximation of the artist's face with mountain contours (Mount Schnozz), lakes and a beard forest it's a wonderfully realised piece of whimsical art that would look great at the front of any pile of records, clearly its intention. As a collector, I'm beginning to covet it myself.
'You made a splash. It was concentric. As you'd expected.'
Fortunately, the record itself more than does it all justice. Arabia's is a gentle, understated muse that would perhaps pass you by if you merely heard a solitary track on evening radio. It makes much more sense if you take the time out to listen to the whole album at which point his talent becomes a beguiling, greatly diverting one. It's another favourite album in a year which has reaped a rich harvest of them for me.
'In urban parks, the burnt pink limbs of lovers entangled. Acting like mayflies these sunkissed loves. So doomed and so fragile'
What makes it even more attractive is that Arabia, (James Milne) is a New Zealander putting out records on the Flying Nun label, one of the truly legendary independent labels in pop history. Milne does the label's legacy proud, even though it sounds nothing like The Clean, The Chills or any other of those early landmark bands.Watch the promo videos posted here for a more complete idea of his sensibility.
I recommend the album highly, it's a thoughtful alluring meditation on the sweeter, domesticated aspects of life. It's surely a grower!