Think of Arlie as a classic car with modern parts: it has the timeless charm of what your grandparents used to drive, but instead of being an antiquated death trap, it’s got great gas mileage, heated seats, Bluetooth, and face recognition. Arlie believes you can create art that’s both vintage and futuristic, beautiful and practical, elegant and accessible. If that all sounds too good to be true, take a listen to the band’s brilliant debut, ‘Wait,’ and see for yourself.
“I’ve always been drawn to the harmonic structure of music from the 40’s and 50’s and 60’s,” says Arlie frontman Nathaniel Banks, “but I’m also fascinated by modern production technology. I love the vibe of old analog recordings, but at the same time, I’m really interested in the creative process of Soundcloud rappers and kids who are just uploading lo-fi music straight from their bedrooms. With Arlie, I wanted to make something that paired vintage aesthetics with a progressive mentality.”
In its earliest form, Arlie consisted solely of Banks writing and recording on a laptop in his dorm room at Vanderbilt University. He was at once an artist, engineer, and producer, learning to digitally emulate old tape machines and analog mixing boards as he captured songs firmly rooted in his 21st century life. The resulting demos were uptempo and infectious, with dreamy, washed out guitars, groovy drums, and effervescent keyboards all swirling beneath intimate, understated vocals. Banks played everything by himself on the recordings, though, and without a band, he could do little more than daydream about performing the songs live.