In mid-2019, we touched briefly on ARPALICE, a New York-based duo featuring the formidable talents of Dalila Pasotti (Other Crimes, Amazon Dart) and Andrea Sicco (Twin Guns). Their early demos gave us here at Post-punk.com a glimpse into their world, and we’ve had our eyes on them ever since, patiently waiting for a full-length to materialize. On June 16th, the duo released their self-titled debut LP, and in short, it delivers in spades.
Opening track “Obsidian Soul” comes out of the gate swinging, with a churning guitar riff and thumping rhythm section building into a powerful frenzy of intent by way of Pasotti’s smoldering vocals. “Give me what I want, give me what is mine,” she screams towards the end of the track, a true statement of intent. “Cross the Line,” the album’s primary single, follows with a more cinematic sway that is equal parts Mick Harvey and Lee Hazelwood as it is Pulp and Suede. Sicco’s backup vocals lifts Pasotti’s soaring chorus to dizzying heights. “If You Believe Me” is a relentless onslaught of descending riffs and proto-punk power, channeling the fire of early Patti Smith into a blissful romp of guitar-driven chaos. “Coming Down” is aptly named, taking things down a notch and letting Sicco’s smooth croon take the lead for a few moments of roadside bliss, windows down on an endless country highway drive.
Halfway through, the album shows a gorgeous moment of vulnerability. “The Sphynx” peels back many of the album’s layers, providing room for Pasotti’s vocals and harmonies to cut deep alongside a minimal guitar line. “Nobody’s Child” rings true, a track that is equal parts Bauhaus as it is latter-era Nico, pulsing with powerful post-punk energy and bubbling, theremin-esque synths. It’s no wonder this track first caught our eye back in 2018, and it’s a delight to hear once more, as it remains one of the band’s most engaging tracks. The album takes a much darker turn with “Alpha Centuri,” a slow, bluesy dirge that delivers on the band’s psychedelic energy.
“Don’t You Know It’s a War” begins with Sicco’s carefully considered croon, trading off with Pasotti as the song unravels. It’s a song that really exemplifies the duo’s sense of camaraderie, both playful and politically driven. Penultimate track “1959” is a highlight – with it’s programmed drum rhythms, synth sweeps, and driving riffs providing the backdrop for a solo Sicco vocal, the lyric channeling nostalgia as the song builds and slithers with tension. Lastly, “Wonderstreet” brings the record to a slow, satisfying conclusion, leaving behind a faint trace of dust and cinder.
ARPALICE is available digitally at the moment, via Bandcamp. Its an album to be played loudly, windows down, the wind hitting your face and cutting through the humidity, just as the sun is about to set. With that in mind, check below for the full album credits, artwork, and purchasing links:i
1. Obsidian Soul
2. Cross the Line
3. If You Believe Me
4. Coming Down
5. The Sphynx
6. Nobody’s Child
7. Alpha Centauri
8. Don’t You Know There’s a War
Purchase digitally via Bandcamp