The Arcadian Wild released an extended play (EP) titled “Principium” on Feb. 5. The EP consists of four songs, though each song was released as a single in the months leading up to the EP release. The Arcadian Wild tend to write folk music, and they are led by guitarist Isaac Horn and mandolinist Lincoln Mick.
The songs focus on the Biblical story of humanity’s beginning, hence the EP title “Principium,” which means “origin” in Latin. The lyrics include several allusions to the creation story in Genesis, which allow for the songs to easily connect together to form a narrative.
The EP begins with the song “Spring: Wake.” This piece has the happiest tone out of the four. The mandolin’s plucked notes are very prominent, creating an energetic and lighthearted instrumental to support the vocals. The lyrics are written from the perspective of God, and so there is an affectionate, fatherly tone to them.
The next song is “Summer: Walk,” which still maintains a relatively happy tone, though it is calmer now. The band uses bowed string instruments more in this piece to convey the mood. The lyrics are still from God’s perspective as he introduces Adam to the Garden of Eden. At the very end, he creates Eve.
The EP takes a shift with “Fall: War,” which is sung from Adam’s perspective, with a woman’s voice harmonizing at times to bring Eve in. The song is full of tension, racing mandolin and guitar strings supported by the slow, bowed strings of a bass and violin. The music is also quieter, which conveys a regretful tone as the singers tell about how Adam and Eve meet the serpent.
The EP ends with “Winter: Will,” which continues with Adam and Eve’s perspective as they leave the garden. A majority of the song is sorrowful and tense, but less energetic than the song before it. The lyrics include references to the previous three pieces, which emphasizes the sense of loss that the couple feels. However, toward the end of the song, the music shifts to repeat the beginning of “Spring: Wake.” Along with that, the lyrics change back to God’s perspective and tell of his promise that they’ll all walk together again in the future, ending the EP on a hopeful note.
The Arcadian Wild did really well at creating an EP in which all the songs connect together. This may in part be due to the songs following a previously written story. Regardless, it was interesting to see how the band wove the narrative with a combination of the shifting tones in the music and the numerous allusions in their lyrics. Overall, “Principium” is well made and worth listening to!