29 Nov 2022
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Arrays - Single Review: Glass Traps

06 Jun 2022 // A review by Jamie Denton

Auckland-based rock/metal act Arrays is the brainchild and ‘creative sandbox’ of musician/producer JP Carroll (ex-Armed in Advance, and currently also with Swerve City). Having known JP for a number of years, and having followed his career through Stitches, which became Armed in Advance, and then into Arrays and later Swerve City, he has consistently remained a strong creative force, a passionate and prolific producer and performer of music, and possibly kiwi-music’s most genuine, nicest, and most down to earth personalities (albeit one that is loaded with a plethora of terrible puns that he will unleash at any and all opportune moments). Throughout it all, JP’s drive to create has led him to numerous NZ Top 40 Rock Chart placements and to the centre of an ever-growing community that he works hard to keep in constant contact with.

On the note of prolificity, Arrays will be releasing their third single, Glass Traps, on 24 June. It comes from what will be the third full-length album Patience Way. Following hot on the heels of previous singles Obsidian Oceans and Forget Fast, this third single sees Arrays head into relatively unexplored new territory: slowing the pace, cleaning up the guitars and vocals, and delivering a stunningly beautiful rock/pop song. Fascinatingly, it sounds like a track that has been meticulously crafted through repeated live performances, which is not the case given that Arrays has been a studio only project thus far.

One of the beautiful things about this track is that there is a permanent sense of sadness and longing throughout, but also a constant tension. Glass Traps constantly hints at the potential for Arrays to dial the distortion, drumming, and vocals up to Soundgarden-esque scream levels, but it restrains itself (just) from this. Instead, it utilises a careful mix of light and shade, quiet and semi-loud, and clean and overdriven to keep the listener constantly on the knife-edge – feeling like we are about to fall, teetering precariously, but ultimately held safe in the hands of the master song-crafter.

Perhaps the best adjective to describe Glass Traps is ‘haunting’. The lyrics haunted my thoughts for a long time after, leaving me thinking about the situations described and wondering about the kinds of people that inspired the song. The guitar riff, and effects, are unlike anything Arrays has written thus far, which, combined with the vocal delivery, left me with a need to listen to it again and again to exorcise whatever was haunting me from the first listens.

Production-wise, Arrays has absolutely nailed it. The instrumentation sits perfectly as a gorgeous blend of sounds, with nothing fighting for its rightful sonic space, and a nice clear separation between instruments. The effects on the guitar (most noticeable at the very start of the track) are audible, effective, but still subtle enough to not detract. With each listen, I was rewarded by a new sound or nuance that I hadn’t noticed the times before, making the track rewardingly replayable. The vocals float gently over the top of everything, taking pride of place as the main instrument but not overwhelming. The overall bedrock of instrumentation and voice is the perfect vehicle for the sentiment of the lyrical exploration of “the emotional fulcrum of post-pacific war trauma suffered by veterans”.

If you don’t already know of Arrays, then Glass Traps is a solid starting point to lead you into the rich musical world that exists behind that moniker. If you are already a fan, this release will provide something new, something that JP has only hinted at previously, and a fresh new side of Arrays which, while not sounding like anything they’ve done before, fits in superbly with the rest of the catalogue.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Arrays

Introducing Arrays, the creative sandbox of Auckland Musician/Producer JP Carroll.

For JP, music is an ache to soothe, and an itch to scratch. JP’s drive to create a breadth and depth of oeuvre has led him to become a student of recording and production techniques, as well as general industry knowledge, to allow his work to reach as many willing ears as possible.

JP’s production skills have earned him top 40 NZ Rock chart placements, as well as being anointed as ‘one to watch’ by the NZ Official Music Charts. The ultimate goal for JP is to be able to live sustainably from creating music, and Arrays serves as one such avenue to pursue this outcome.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Arrays

Releases

Patience Way
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Light Years
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Motives
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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