Inspired by 80’s new wave and video game sound tracks, such as Duran Duran, New Order, Akira Yamaoka’s Silent Hill, and Dance With the Dead, Arrows started creating synthwave music in 2019. That same year founding member, Brennan Hales, released the debut EP, “CPU Says No”. He later followed that that up with the single, “Thinking of You”. The track was featured on the Ukraine synthwave label, Retro Wave Touch’s “Best of 2019” Compilation Album. Arrows was also up for “Best New Musician” by Retro Wave Touch.
On Valentine’s Day of 2020, Brennan released Arrows’ first full length album, “After Hours”, featuring the tracks “Waking Up” and “Terrified” with singer Savannah Jane. Shortly after the release, Jordan Tanguma joined the project which now continues as a duo.
Taking stylistic and audio cues from brooding shadows, neo-noir cinematics, and uplifting interstellar lights, Arrows perfectly riff on all the 80’s synthwave you adored from your yesteryear youth whilst exploring entirely new retro themes. The single “Terrified” ft. Savannah Jane is a soundtrack shifting between quieter, goosebumps-stimulating sounds, soul-stirring vocals, and all-out sonic-synth assaults.
Arrows take everything out of their available equipment, returning you to the shudder zone, creating a mesmerizing track that will please all 80s synth-score-fans, as well as ultra-modern electronic aficionados. Lush pads and emotive vocals meld together with pop sensibilities, to define their inspired landscape.
This sound seeps subconsciously into your auditory system, incorporating the layers of glossy vintage imagery and bubbling synths until it takes you over. The evolving sounds exist on a whole other plane, with masterfully sculptured sonic integrity, harnessing your attention.
“Terrified” is as beautiful piece of music as you could hope to hear, with its haunting melody and shimmering keyboard motifs. It’s hard to describe the boundary-pushing-stylistic-bending-heights the track reaches, but it is once gloomy and desperate, emotional and euphoric, as epic as it is dramatic, and as bright as it is dark.
Arrows demand your attention, and the project’s cinematic sound might put you in a time-travelling trance back through some portal in dark arcade. “Terrified” covers everything I consider great about music: It’s surprising, enjoyable, and good enough to gain fans from any genre, well played, well produced, stunningly written and above all inventive and interesting.
Savannah Jane delivers absolutely incredible vocals throughout “Terrified”. They may be my favorite thing about this recording besides the sweet, sweet synths. The sounds go from dark and broody to upbeat and poppy, all led by Arrows dynamic range of synthesizers.
If you have a fondness the synthwave culture, this is absolutely a must-listen track for you. There is a very strong chance this goes down as my personal favorite electronic release of 2020.