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Arliston unveil rousing take on Chris Isaak's Wicked Game

by Khyle Deen. Published Wed 20 Nov 2019 22:09

Arliston return with their rousing take on Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’.

After a string of releases, the East London trio have now distilled their sound and now direct it towards a reimagining of the beloved 80’s ballad.

‘Wicked Game’ is a perfect match for Arliston. It slips, hand in glove into the musical tendencies of the band. As it progresses, Jack Ratcliffe’s vocals flip nimbly between baritone and falsetto, underpinned by Jordi Bosch’s metronomic beat which infuses the song with a sense of modern, angular urgency. George Hasbury, meanwhile, has moved from the song’s original guitar to a minimal piano arpeggio, which rushes out to populate the sonic landscape with an embellished version of the modal three chord sequence the song is famous for.

While this is a cover, Arliston have not been able to resist a climactic departure from the original at the very end. Jack recalls that “when we go to that part of the song in our live version, we were having far too much fun to stop… we felt we should just see where it ended up!”. This train of thought brought them eventually to a thunderous climax, transferring into a full choir of harmonised voices, intertwined with a switch from the minimal electronic beat to a full acoustic drumkit. It is a truly stimulating crescendo which elegantly counterpoints and balances the early minimalism of the song.

About Arliston:

After forming in a basement in East London a few years back, Arliston have sculpted their sound over time to create a soundscape made up of analogue synth pads, multi-layered harmonies and guitars, that swell into cathedral-like scale heights before collapsing back down to an intimate solo voice and instrument. A sound that has been compared to Bon Iver, The National and James Blake.


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