Arthur Beatrice Keeping The Peace on Limited Edition LP + Download
Keeping The Peace, the second album from London-based quartet Arthur Beatrice, is a bold and radiant pop record. But it wasn't until they started writing it that they would realize quite what a radical change - both emotionally and creatively - it would represent for them. Thoughts turned to how they might follow up their much-hailed debut Working Out almost immediately after they'd finished recording it. A title apt for a young band, just out of high school, fiercely protective of their sound and insistent on taking control of every detail of the writing, recording and production process themselves, holed up in the basement of their East London studio, No.1 Baltic Place.
The result was a startlingly intricate array of pop melodies that segued between the mysterious and melancholy, floating elegantly between indie, R&B and electronica. The physical reflection of this new clarity comes in the form of Ella Girardot, now the lone voice and sole front person of the band. On Arthur Beatrice's last album, Ella and Orlando shared vocal duties - the band's name a reflection of this male/female duality. "We were totally isolated when we wrote our first record," she says. "That breeds a kind of perfectionism. But with this album, we just wanted to let go of that."
Spending time with producers Floating Points and New Jackson in the year prior to beginning work in earnest allowed the band to expand without limits the ideas that would later become Keeping The Peace. They were then introduced to the London Contemporary Orchestra, their work with which - initially intended only to be a one-track experiment – weaves throughout the music, transforming their delirious pop hooks with lush strings, triumphant brass flourishes and dramatic horns.
Another outsider they brought in was engineer and co-producer Matt Wiggins - who as engineer to Paul Epworth has worked with Adele, Paul McCartney and Lana Del Rey. By now de-camped to the famous Church studios in Crouch Hill, and with a fresh injection of creativity in the newly formed production partnership with Matt, they let their talent run wild, pushing themselves musically as far as they could, before reigning everything in; honing, refining and finally polishing a set of songs that summed up perfectly a turning point in both their personal and professional lives.
The result is a hugely ambitious record. In a contemporary pop climate of excess at all costs, Arthur Beatrice manage a rare feat - an album that feels simultaneously grand, yet still intimate; grandiose yet hushed. In Keeping The Peace, Arthur Beatrice have constructed an intoxicating musical world that feels entirely their own, yet entirely of us all.