Joan of Arc

So Much Staying Alive and Lovelessness

Just when we were getting the feeling that Jade Tree had lost its edge completely, comes the newest release from Joan of Arc. Here, leader Tim Kinsella releases a project that sounds quiet even as it reminds of Sacramento experimental math-rock duo Hella. From the opening track, Joan of Arc presents a bizarre approach to songwriting, with pieces starting and stopping and with instrumentation changing with apparent randomness. The beautiful thing is that somehow, it works. “Olivia Lost,” a particularly disjointed track, begins with a guitar line that appears utterly random and devoid of rhythm until it is repeated note for note with electric piano backing. The result is a shifting tilt of very quiet (and very interesting) songs. One wonders how the band would pull this material off live, and the good news is that question will soon be answered—as Joan of Arc visits town this weekend.