Given the pandemic and everything that’s going on with the rest of the world, sometimes you need those songs to cleanse your spirit and find that light in the dark place. Calgary, Canada’s own ARCANA does that with their November 2020 release entitled “Letters From A Lost Soul –Act I: The World One Forms”.
The album is cleansing from a mental health perspective. ARCANA kicks off with the title track “Letters From A Lost Soul”. It has a neo-classical vibe to it as the arrangements feel like there is this sense of longing. That feeling that we all need a place to belong in this world and that feel of recapturing what they previously had. Then, it seamlessly transitions into the next track entitled “Wings”.
From an arrangement perspective, I certainly appreciate how patient Rogan McAndrews is in his musicianship. He allows to track to simmer and slowly build to where it interweaves between prog metal and kind of a Porcupine Tree/Yes vibe in terms of the ambiance. Deyson Thiara is immediately one of the most underrated drummers I have ever heard. His timing is impeccable. This song is a dreamscape into another galaxy, just an inspiring listen.
The track “Tailwind” is sung beautifully by Anna Draper. She is able to hold and sustain those notes to emphasize the significance with the musicianship providing that rough around the edges yet lush feeling behind it. The lyrics describe loss and longing perfectly:
You stand in front of me
Forever out of reach
But we will meet again someday
Where all your dreams have taken you away
As I examined those lyrics, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Anna sang operatically yet had an edge to it, which is a feat in of itself. The lyrics really got me to think about love, longing and loss. It makes me appreciate what I do have in life, instead of lamenting about what I don’t have. Sometimes when we lose someone, it’s easy for us to be bitter. Instead, sometimes letting go is the best thing that we can do in order to set our conscious free and to set that person free.
In “Octosun”, Damian takes on a Tool vibe in his vocals while Rogan slowly allows the music to build in anticipation. This song touches on how we need to do a better job of taking care of our planet and preserving our resources. The intertwining of the vocals between Damian and Anna definitely stand out.
Arcana is probably the best prog/rock band you’ve never heard of. Maybe you have heard of them, they’re definitely worth a listen. 9 out of 10 stars. Check out the EP via Spotify below:
Fans can find Arcana at the following locations: