MUSIC: Unconditional Arms on love and "fatherdom"


My father always used to tell me that it’s important to let songs breathe.
Sometimes we paint our walls the wrong colour, but it’s pretty hard to botch a baby. Enter Kinship. “Everything on the album is a direct representation of the fears, joys, and miracles that come with creating another human,” The American Scene guitarist Jeffrey Wright expresses. On his own, Wright is Unconditional Arms. Unconditional Arms is a regular at The Night Light, a bar/stage in Oakland, CA, where part of Kinship was recorded. Enter those vulnerable nights during his wife Cambria’s pregnancy. Wright is a regular in his living room, where the other part of Kinship was recorded. Enter those sunlit days, perfect for an afternoon stroll and “Television on the Weekends”.

Enter Baby Owen on August 8th, 2013. He had kinship from the start, but at two months, the child was presented with Kinship, a six-track instrumental album which marks a promising start to the father-son relationship. Unconditional Arms is reminiscent of fellow Warped Tour alum Riley Breckenridge's post-rock side project. I don’t think the Thrice drummer’s personal work results from the event of a child, though.

Wright himself attests that the sounds on Kinship are those “previously transcribed by bands like Explosions in The Sky and Godspeed! You Black Emperor”, but in this instance, context is everything. Kinship's six movements end soothing, at “Rest”. Check it out here. He’s continued the project with a single, released late last year, titled “No Nerves” and written for two close friends. The track explodes at the 2:20 mark, a stunning auditory depiction of “finding the courage to love”.



Unconditional Arms will be at the Night Light in Oakland on February 1st, 2014.

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