Listening to the debut from Adam Arcuragi, it seems that his work is a bit hard to pin down. His work treads similar ground as Red House Painters and even Iron and Wine, but even his vocal styles change a bit from track to track. The long self-titled debut could be categorized as orchestral folk, with everything from strings to singing saws and vibraphone finding their way into tracks.
In the works for a couple years, the album features contributions from members of The Rachel's, Matt Pond PA, and Mazarin among others. The album opens with the soft cascade of vibraphone and a strummed acoustic guitar on "All The Bells" as Arcuragi spills out his introspective lyrics as multiple layers of guitars add some different textures to the piece as it continues for nearly eight minutes.
The second track finds Arcuragi singing in a similarly rough-around-the-edges style before "Delicate" finds him backing off to a throaty baritone that sounds something like a less sleepy Mark Kozelek. The track is deceivingly simple as well, as the backbone of the piece is built around acoustic guitar and violin while everything from electric piano to slide guitar drift in and out of the mix. At two and a half minutes long, the gorgeous "Rsmpa (Respro-Selectively Mechanical Psychoactive Agriculture®)" is one of the most effective tracks on the entire album, mixing playful electric guitar melodies with strummed acoustic and some background choirs.
My biggest knock on the album is the overall length of tracks, which I've hinted at above. In all, eleven tracks run nearly an hour in length and while Arcuragi is a good storyteller and his instrumentation is subtle and engaging, there are several points on the album where songs feel like they're at their logical end and instead keep on going for some time. If you're a fan of either of the aforementioned artists (or others like Damien Jurado) and enjoy good storytelling along with your songwriting, this is one to possibly check out.