Hello and welcome back to Northwest Music Month, the segment where we’re dedicating the entire month of June to turning you onto new local bands, one day and one band at a time. Some days they could be an already established local with a modest following, and other days they could be a complete unknown that you’ve never (but need to have) heard of. Today you’ve reached the house of unrecognized talent, and while you’re here, we’d like to take this opportunity to turn you onto one of the best singer-songwriters the Emerald City underground has to offer, one Arthur James.
It’s no secret that Seattle is currently a mecca for really great under-the-radar singer-songwriters, whether they’re of the indie folk, traditional folk, rootsy, or poppy persuasion. Arthur James sits more on the indie folk side of things, with an intimate and lo-fi sound he’s been honing for the past several years. Through a handful of EPs and singles he’s released since 2012, James has shown himself to be a versatile and ambitious artist, with his tendency towards collaboration with other Seattleites, as well as the inspirations that helped shape several of his releases.
Arthur James’ latest release is the tongue-in-cheekly titled Anyway…here’s “Wonderwall”, a five-song EP inspired by the novel “Mr g” by Alan Lightman. The EP shows James experimenting with more guest instrumentation, and generally going for a more expansive presentation. Four originals and a Gregory Alan Isakov cover, Anyway…here’s “Wonderwall” is a pretty good representation of what James is capable of, bringing strong lyrics, emotive vocals, and a nice, comfortable bedroom aesthetic. Though Alan Isakov is a tough artist to try to live up to through a cover, his cover of “Liars” goes down without a hitch. James is certainly no stranger to covers, as his 2013 release Under Cover to Cover showed him taking on all sorts of songs from the likes of Sarah Jaffe and the Mountain Goats.
With such a populated indie and folk music scene in Seattle, it can be hard to discover new artists doing something different from the rest of the pack, but Arthur James stands out as a bold and sharp songwriter and singer among the crowd. Indie folk diehards of the Pacific Northwest, don’t sleep on Arthur James.
You can follow Arthur James on Facebook, Twitter, and SoundCloud, and sample Anyway…here’s “Wonderwall” below via Bandcamp. Arthur James will also be a part of the 134th outing of The Round on June 12th, alongside Emily Donohue and Paris Alexa. For more information about that, consult fremontabbey.org/round134.