With his debut EP Anything, Arin is showcasing his storytelling ability as he navigates relationships to a wistful confessional sound. Using a mature electronic pop sound, he pulls listeners into the relationships of the tracks and has you feeling the emotions like you were a part of it. While drawing primarily on his own relationships, there is a universal trend to the emotions and situations highlighted in the EP that makes each song relatable.
Written and recorded with his two housemates, the personal touches to the music enhance the wistful yet raw and authentic tones. Bringing a refreshing and unique sound to electronic pop, Arin is steadily making a name for himself. Already an established writer, he wraps his skills around his playful yet emotive music, creating songs that you can feel in your bones.
The EP opens with ‘Obvious’ which pulls you in with a light ambient synth line. The tapping beats are light, while Arin’s vocals are soulful, with a delightful edge of softness. This softness is pushed out of the way for the pulses of synths that come later. The vocals match this pulsing tone to push the message of the lyrics home. The music is soft with a somewhat upbeat feeling, which is at odds with the pain of the story in the lyrics. Through the track, Arin tells us the story of falling back into a relationship that is not working, while feeling that something will change. There is a heavy edge of self-deprecation at times, that turns into a push against the other person who seems to be lying to you about their emotions.
‘All I Want 2 See’ has a tender piano line that brings an organic lightness to the music that is bolstered by the clicking notes. After the negative emotions woven into the last track, the sighing happiness and affection of this song are wonderful. Something in your chest lightens as you listen to the light tones and the whispered confession of emotions in the vocals. The chorus is different to the rest of the track and blindsides you a little. The vibrations of the electronics on the chorus warble through your senses and echo off the walls. This all drops for the tender tones to come back and soothe the ruffled feathers caused by the vibrations. While a unique movement, the melody works quite well and the change from delicate tones to vibrating electronics keeps you on your toes.
The light piano tones continue in ‘We Look So Good’, only for electronic tones to rise from beneath it. There is a dance edge to the music that stimulates the edges of your muscles, making them want to move. This is tempered by the light piano notes that starts to dance with the moving electronic tones. The dancing tones of the melody bring a strange sense of melancholy to the vocals that tug at our emotions. There is an unease in the vocals that leads to the sharp stabbing of pain as you wonder if the relationship is still working. There is a balance of emotion as the single looks at how good the couple is together, but counters this with the understanding that they seem to be growing apart.
‘Rome’ slowly rises from silence, with an earthy tone that has your shoulders bopping to the beat. The lyrics drop you into the story with precision and fill your chest with the wistful emotions of a weekend love. There is a yearning for someone in the verses as Arin lays out thoughts many people have had about a crush. This sweeps into the chorus that brings the euphoria of a weekend giving into the emotions while in Rome. The happiness of this moment is dampened by the knowledge that this will not be forever. It is a heady combination of emotions as you move from yearning to bliss, all anchored with the knowledge that the future is taking you in different directions.
The title track ‘Anything’ twangs and hums into your ears, while Arin’s vocals start asking you some serious questions. There is a yawning feeling to the music as it reaches through you and out toward the horizon. This is potentially the most wistful track on the EP as it fills you with this emotion from the first moment. The wistfulness of what could happen in the future turns into an echoing hollow cavern in your chest that you try to fill. There is a very deep message and lesson in this track that is belied by the wispy tones of the synths. It feels like this track breaks away from the overall theme of the EP, but there is a distant viewpoint used that brings it back into the fold. This is potentially my favourite track of the EP because it brings Arin’s sound to something much deeper.
The EP closes with ‘Polaroids’ and the progressive volume increase of the synths. The synths fall into the keys before vibrating into a soaring cliff edge. As the electronic tones drop, you are left with the flow tones of the piano that lulls you into the movement of the song. It is a wonderful way to close the EP as it is tender and brings the wistfulness of the EP to organic tones. The softness also eases any tight edges the emotions of the tracks might have caused before sending you off into the world.
Arin pulls us into different moments in various relationships that fill our senses with bliss, yearning, euphoria, pain and unease through the tracks of Anything. Each song tackles a new moment either present, or in the future, with a beautiful tenderness. His light electronic pop tones float through your ears, while the powerful emotions of his vocals settle in your chest.