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The Arcs

During the Black Keys' hiatus of the mid-2010s, Dan Auerbach embarked on a solo project that morphed into the Arcs, a psychedelic soul-blues band featuring keyboardist/guitarist Leon Michels and drummer/keyboardist Richard Swift. With bassist Nick Movshon and drummer Homer Steinweiss on board, the Arcs recorded and released Yours, Dreamily, quickly taking the hooky, succinct songs out on the road shortly after its September 2015 release. During that tour, the Arcs announced a second album, but those plans were derailed by Swift's unexpected death in 2018. Years later, Auerbach and Michels assembled Electrophonic Chronic in tribute to their late bandmate. In 2015, the the Black Keys took some time off after drummer Patrick Carney suffered a shoulder injury. Auerbach decided to make productive use of the hiatus by launching a new side project. He formed the Arcs with Leon Michels, a multi-instrumentalist who was part of the studio crew on Auerbach's production projects for Dr. John and Lana Del Rey. Telling the press "I just wanted to do my thing and get extra weird," Auerbach headed into the studio with Michaels and a handful of friends and colleagues, including Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, Richard Swift, and Kenny Vaughan. The Arcs made their debut with a 7" vinyl single released to independent music stores to commemorate the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao title fight in May 2015. A-side "Stay in My Corner" and the flip, "Tomato Can," were songs inspired by Auerbach's passion for boxing, and "Stay in My Corner" also appeared on the Arcs' debut album, Yours, Dreamily, which was recorded in a handful of freewheeling sessions lasting less than two weeks. Yours, Dreamily appeared on Nonesuch Records in September 2015. After the supporting tour for Yours, Dreamily, the Arcs held sessions for a second album; the recording stretched over the next few years, but was put on hold after Swift's passing in 2018. After leaving the tapes in the vault for a few years, Auerbach and Michels regrouped in 2022 to polish the sessions into a finished album. The resulting Electrophonic Chronic appeared in January 2023.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Mark Deming /TiVo


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