Imagine you're sitting around a desert campfire late at night listening to someone tell a Western-tinged story involving themes such as courage-manifesting, truth-seeking and hope. The narration is pleasantly raspy, grounded and inspiring. As the plot thickens, the voice builds and the arc at the final revelation carries you somewhere far beyond your cozy spot near the crackling embers. You feel lighter. You've transcended cynicism. You are enamored with what is now the fresh, new soundtrack to your positively reinforced subconscious. Don't be surprised if the debut EP by Carlos Arzate and the Kind Souls has this effect on you.
Arzate is one hell of a songwriter. His vocal chops and catchy melodies are obvious strong suits on this release.
"Fly Away" is a much-needed positive anthem in these media-induced derisive times. The soaring vocals capture Arzate's full power and range, with Katherine Byrnes adding stellar harmonies. "Love Letter Missile" has a sense of urgency enhanced by gripping piano and slide guitar, as well as a standout and all-too-brief guitar solo. "On the Fence" is a true desert hymn with howling and horns.
I encourage diving right into this musical reservoir of anti-cynicism. It's the perfect balm to soothe Tucson's growing pains.