It's been six years since Swedish dream-pop duo The Sound of Arrows released their debut album Voyage (2011), loaded with upbeat, synth-driven, pop gems like "Magic" and "Into the Clouds." In late 2016, the band, comprised of Stefan Storm and Oskar Gullstrand, announced that new music was on the way. Following a series of single releases, including "Beautiful Life," "In the Shade of Your Love," and the recent "Don't Worry," the band returns with their gorgeous, second full-length album, Stay Free.
On their Facebook page, the band succinctly sums up Stay Free, noting that it is "an album about sadness and hope. Dedicated to all dreamers. Hold on." The overall atmosphere is uplifting and refreshing, and feels like a splendidly-sequenced soundtrack, complete with 'opening' and 'end' title tracks. While the album is more introspective than 2011's Voyage, it successfully delivers a fantastic new set of elegantly-crafted pop songs, enveloped in lush, atmospheric arrangements of synths and strings. There is definitely a bit of a sophisticated 90's vibe (imagine subtle influences of Enigma, Delerium and Vangelis) that gracefully comes through across the album.
The cinematic journey begins with the gently-pulsing, cathartic title track, "Stay Free," with lyrics that reinforce the theme of the album ("I believe in you, I believe in me, I believe there's so much life to see, and I don't know yet who I want to be, so I'll stay free"). Additional standout tracks include "Beautiful Life," "Hold On," and the stunning "Don't Worry" (my favorite song on the album). Two album tracks feature vocal contributions and collaborations with musical artists Annie ("Wicked Ways") and Niki & The Dove ("In the Shade of Your Love").
The band's latest single, "Don't Worry," is accompanied by a colorful music video, directed by Andreas Öhman. According to songwriter Stefan Storm, "Sadness and doubt has always followed me, and 'Don't Worry' is a song I wrote to remind myself that all is going to be alright."
THE SOUND OF ARROWS "Don't Worry" (Official Music Video)
For more information about The Sound of Arrows, visit their official website, follow them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and listen to their music on Spotify.