Arellano’s new studio EP, On Time (2019), is now out and streaming everywhere.
‘On Time’ is the first official single and title track, also available on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.
Robert Arellano withdrew from public performance and spent a decade honing his vocals, writing, and arranging while raising his daughter… until the foundations began to crumble. Arellano’s “strange motivations” for music, which had been fed by the adulation heaped upon him as a young man, collapsed. The thread to Arellano’s old life and identity frayed, ready to snap.
There are no words for shamanic ego death and there is no schedule for what the mystics of old called ‘dying to the self’. Unable to pick up his beloved acoustic six-string, Arellano experienced the desert of creative emptiness.
The message was clear: it was time to listen. The hymns of Portuguese Christian mysticism and the otherworldly indigenous healing songs of the Peruvian Amazon filled the void with a baptismal clarity – and reoriented Arellano’s life and career. It was about as far removed from the American music scene as could be imagined. When dawn broke the spell of Arellano’s dark night, his music returned, revitalized, and turned outward to the world.
Arellano’s psychedelic folk represents the next stage of his musical evolution and his public re-launch after the hard reckoning of spiritual transformation brought him to ground zero. Arellano’s music combines his distinctive voice – Jane’s Addiction and Alice in Chains producer Dave Jerden called it “one in a million” – with his musical roots: Texas metal, acoustic rock, and the classical sensibility of a boy whose earliest memories are of lying beneath his mom’s grand piano listening to her play Brahms and Chopin.
On Time is the first testament to Arellano’s spiritual renewal. Acclaimed guitarist and producer Cameron Greider (Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Sean Lennon, Natalie Merchant) recognized in Arellano’s music the “same intensity and spiritual sincerity” as in the late esoteric work of PM Dawn (which Cameron co-wrote and played on). With Matt Johnson (who played on Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”) on drums, they emerged from a studio session in Manhattan touched by serendipity and with a live three-piece recording on old-school two-inch tape. The result is the coalescing of magic, ceremony, and music: lo-fi psychedelic that evokes the folk rock of the ’60s and ’70s, yet is a testament to metamorphosis itself.