Release Date: March 31, 2023
Genre: Pop Punk, Pop Rock
Label: Independent The Toronto-based experimental pop-punk/pop-rock trio Arcane Ghosts have always pushed the envelope with their sound and have blended various elements from anywhere from post-hardcore, alternative rock, emo, pop, and pop-punk altogether, resulting in the trio rarely having a distinguishable genre to define them. Recently, Arcane Ghosts proclaimed their return with their third independently released five-track EP, Distant Youth. The experimental Canadian band is composed of vocalist and guitarist Jason Diaz, bassist and vocalist Steven Wolwyn, and drummer Spasimir Vasilev. Distant Youth is a few years in the making and marks the follow-up to their debut EP, Traveller (2017) and their sophomore EP, Human Interference (2019).
The EP begins with the infectious single "Rollercoaster." Balled up in a nostalgic pop-punk sound, chock full of pop melodies and endless catchiness, Arcane Ghosts sing about the suppressed emotions you keep locked internally that you just wish you could tell them in case you'll never get that moment again regarding your significant others, friends, and family. With the following number, "In The Blue," the trio blows a fresh breath into pop punk. This upbeat, poppy piece will certainly get you out of your seat, dancing and grooving a lot in no time with its fuzzy, psychedelic guitars and catchy groove. The lyrics of the track hold an important statement of living life to the highest degree and being there to take care of the people closest to you.
The third track, "Paralyzed," really showcases the band's emo influences, whereas the virulent single, "Butterfly," incorporates the alternative rock sounds of the mid-2000s with full-blown poppy choruses and an explosive post-hardcore-like bridge. Additionally, the lyrics on "Butterfly" allude to a relationship of sorts on the rocks, if it's not entirely over as is, where there is just an overall lack of communication. The fifth and final track of Distant Youth, titled "Fever Dreams," is another dancey pop-rock tune that also pulls a huge mid-west emo influence into the posture of the song's guitars. Once again, Arcane Ghosts experiment with their sound but have finally found their niche in the scene. They take all of their influences and blend them into one quite interesting amalgamation, which I narrow down best as a form of pop-punk and pop-rock. All five tracks on Distant Youth dig at a different influence and leave nothing sounding the same. One minute a track is a straight-up pop-rock track, and then pull some guitar licks from mid-west emo or have a post-hardcore breakdown in the middle of a pop-punk number. The band was allowed the time during the COVID lockdowns to hone their craft even further and write some of their best songs to date. It resulted in letting them focus on creating some of the best melodies and instrumentation possible. Arcane Ghost has come into their own, with a much more defined and polished sound in the realm of pop-punk and pop-rock, but the elements of various genres that were held close on their past EP still hold strong among the core pop-punk and pop-rock sound.
You can pre-save Distant Youth here before its release on March 31, 2023.