Joan Of Arc - 1984 | RECORD STORE DAY

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Over their 20≠odd year discography, Joan of Arcís astute, endlessly probing musical experimentation has beenchorused by a barrage of voices, mostly from the singular larynx of mainstay Tim Kinsella. Richard Brautigan, MarkTwain, Elizabeth Taylor, and Assata Shakur might visit his lyrics, but itís the band itself that contains multitudes.Ever since Joan of Arc's most recent lineupóKinsella, Theo Katsaounis, Melina Ausikaitis, Bobby Burg, and JeremyBoyleóbegan playing shows in 2015, fans have witnessed an even more radical democracy at work. Live, old jamsand new tracks have often melted and mutated, members jumping from instrument to instrument in between or in themiddle of songs, all stasis discarded. And now, a series of nearly a cappella performances from Kinsellaís fellowvocalist Melina Ausikaitis, debuted live by Joan of Arc over the last several years, has become the backbone of theirnew LP, 1984 .Thoroughly of the bandís lineage, Ausikaitisí lyrics are equally measured with wit, despair and stubbornperseverance. Like the albumís striking hand drawn cover art, the music inside is often spare; anthemic highs ringfrom elegiac lows and back again. At times, Ausikaitis sings in an earnestly tangy and lovely flat twang redolent of themidwest, before screwing her voice up into a fearsome roar. Sometimes her voice is electronically distorted, like bellsin the sky, into ringing eternity.Remarkably, so much of the cluttered sound of earlier Joan of Arc LPs has largely fallen away on 1984, as hasKinsellaís voice. At first itís genuinely shocking. But the songs here are a revelation, asprofound and plainspoken as parables.