PREMIERE: Hayden Arp - There Are Voices

Will Shenton

We seem to have reached a level of maturity in electronic composition where seemingly irreconcilable genres—jazz, folk, chamber pop, and countless others—are finally finding common ground with synthesizers and programmed beats. Perhaps it's due to the inherent experimentalism of electronic music, which has always been something of a scavenger by nature, or simply its relatively newfound acceptance as Serious Art. Either way, it's been a long time coming.

While many electronic artists are currently dabbling in genre-bending collaboration and appropriation, few are as immediately impressive as Hayden Arp. "There Are Voices," the second single from his upcoming EP, For Gabriel, is a wonderfully expansive track that seems to transcend its four-minute runtime. Stylistically, it borrows bits and pieces from Americana folk, mellow, beachy pop, and the crunchy, accordian-esque sounds of a mid-2000s indie dirge (think Margot & the Nuclear So and So's or The Decemberists), all while remaining beautifully cohesive.

Underpinning the song is a subtle layer of synth and electronic flourish, but it never crosses into the realm of obvious synth-pop. Arp's clean, rich, and frankly mesmerizing voice helps to ground the diverse instrumentation, giving the piece an organic feel that belies its distinctly modern roots. In short, "There Are Voices" is one we're going to be playing on repeat for a while—at least until we have the rest of the EP to contend with.