(4/5 stars) So, Arlie sounds like another one of those bedroom pop projects that pretends to be a band, right? Another one of those retro-fetishist, Beatles-brainwashed, Pet Sounds devotees, trying and failing to make one-man-band masterpieces? Why should I care? But then I go to a show, and it's like, damn this is actually a fucking rock band. And these guys are actually having fun. And almost all their songs are actually good. Worth checking out if you're ever in Nashville.

Hailing from San Diego, Ross Nicol is a classically-trained guitarist who began writing music at 14. Inspired by the musical arrangements of Radiohead and Vampire Weekend, while drawing influence from David Bowie and The Beatles, Nicol fuses the analog sounds of the past with a modern, alternative twist. Under the guidance of producer Jason Hill (The Killers, Louis XIV), Nicol released two EPs in 2016. He’s in good company, working with the creative minds behind Alabama Shakes, MGMT, and Of Montreal.

Formed in Northern Virginia by Chris Kasbarian and Carter Auch in 2007, HyeTension gigged its way around the DC/NoVA area throughout school until meeting drummer Sam Khalaji and Ryan Sheehan upon moving to Richmond. The band is now based out of Richmond, Virginia, combining riffy guitar music infused with an Armenian influence to create a fresh new alternative sound.



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