Year of the Hermit
Released: April 2020 · 8 tracks · Length: 37:42
Year of the Hermit started out as a change in direction that was originally planned to become a whole new project under said name. New sounds were introduced and a more downtempo, dream pop aesthetic brought in as evidenced in songs such as "Reminiscings" and "Mia Victoria". The entire album is informed by a sense of isolation stemming from the lockdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic during which it was created. The sense of melancholy and dread introduced as soon as the album begins with the new-to-Arcachata solo violin on “2020 Vision” and its "ensemble" aesthetic is juxtaposed by the beats of a simple drum kit and Arcachata's familiar electric bass. This darker feel is counterpointed by a more hopeful character in the prog-rock-meets-son-cubano of "Crab Paradise Under the Lemon Tree (With Tiny Iceberg)" and its enthusiastic signature trumpet, as well as by the festive, progressive afro-punk of "Buscando el Pan". In the end, this almost-became-another-project, rawer succesor to 2006 7 21 ended up staying faithful to its roots and could ultimately become anything but yet another true-to-character Arcachata release.
Featuring "2020 Vision"
The first song on the album was also the first to be composed and looks to capture the sheer bizarrity of the first few days and weeks of the pandemic. It looks to set the stage for the rest of the album, as it is the result of a wonderment at the situation we were going through as a species -- outright scary, surreal – a quasi-apocalyptic socioeconomic landscape of unprecedented dimensions.
Soar is an invitation to be humble as a species.
The lockdown due to the new coronavirus has evidenced the fragility of Homo sapiens and his systems while reminding us once again of the grappling hold he has been historically exerting over Planet Earth. Part three of our 2019 song “A Breach of Microscopic Fauna” was titled “Aftermath: World without Humans / Nature's Celebration.” Maybe this was a little harsh. But, in our defense, that track was named back in late November 2019, when what is going on right now was still the stuff of dystopian fiction.
But this forced, temporary reduction of our imposition on Earth as a result of COVID-19 has already started to become evident as nature gingerly begins to reclaim her place. But what happens after a vaccine is in place? Surely we will emerge victorious from this war on SARS-CoV-2. But hopefully this current human crisis will also allow us to emerge more mature as a species, and so other animals and the environment will also end up winning.