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Band Alternative Rock


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"Ears We Trust"

"Welcome Back Dear Children is an inventive, original and audacious debut from these New York indie rockers."
-Bruce Warren - Paste

"The Best Albums of 2006 (#10)"

Some bands just never get a break. Arizona is by a very wide margin one of the most overlooked and underappreciated bands of 2006. Their instrumentation might be what struck me first: impressive chord changes, extended intros and outtros, Beatles-like refrains and melodies. Every song on this album has something different to offer. "Diventa Blu" is a short yet remarkably beautiful ballad sung in Italian with vocals like that of Radiohead and Sigur Ros. "Splintering" is an exciting track that builds on percussion and bass-bowing yet ends with a surprising Modest Mouse-like rock freakout. "Away" is a beautiful spiral of piano and drums and acoustic guitar and feedback, and ends wonderfully with a slow-fading overlaid vocal melody. If you've been reading IGIF for a while, by now you must trust our taste in music and have most likely found a lot of great stuff on here... don't let Arizona slip through your hands, it just might be the best thing we've discovered all year.
- I Guess I'm Floating (

"Arizona: Inventive and Infectious"

World Cafe, September 4, 2006 · The Brooklyn quintet Arizona plays fun, unpredictable rock that has attracted attention in the blog world and beyond. With a stream-of-consciousness recording and production style -- the band wrote and recorded its first EP, The Sun and the Room, in just five days -- Arizona possesses an agreeably organic sound.

Arizona's self-released debut, Welcome Back Dear Children, was written a few months after the group's members moved to New York. Its songs seem simple, but a close listen to inventive and infectious songs like "Some Kind of Chill" and "Somersby" reveals surprisingly complex layers and textures. - NPR


The Sun and The Room EP (2005)
Welcome Back Dear Children LP (2006)
*College Radio Play on various tracks
*"Some Kind of Chill" and "Away" on WXPN Philidelphia, as well as syndicated World Cafe on NPR.
*Live cuts on WNCW Asheville, NC
Fameseeker and the Mono (2007)
*Live cuts on WOXY
*College Radio Play on various tracks
Glowing Bird (Fall 2008)
*"Don't Have the Body" Live cut on WOXY



Let’s get one thing out of the way… Arizona is a band from Brooklyn who live in the bohemian town of Asheville, North Carolina. They are not from Arizona. However, the name Arizona is fitting when considering the band’s expansive sound of extended intros and interludes, giving way to galloping stories that unfold like a desert landscape. Comprised of childhood friends Ben Wigler (vocals/guitar) and Alex Hornbake (bass/vocals), along with Nick Campbell (vocals/guitar) and James DeDakis (drums/vocals), Arizona forged their sound in Brooklyn: a bustling Mecca full of musical ideas and artistic encouragement. With harmonies that bend, ebb and flow with a gentle nod to 60s classic rock, Arizona craft songs much like a painter would approach a canvas.

Arizona emerged onto the music scene in 2005 and quickly gained acclaim with reviews from blogs like My Old Kentucky Blog and Largehearted Boy who raves “Arizona makes brilliant folk-pop layered in textures.” Amazingly, their first EP The Sun and The Room was recorded during the first week of the band’s existence, and immediately received attention from Brooklyn indie record label spinART. Soon after, Arizona was introduced to producer and mentor Danny Kadar (My Morning Jacket, Iggy Pop, The Avett Brothers) who became influential in helping the band record and mix their first full-length album Welcome Back Dear Children (2006). When their relationship with spinART dissolved, Arizona decided to release the album independently receiving more raves in the blog world, including inclusions in a number of year end “Best Of” lists such as I Guess I’m Floating and Little Radio. They also received praise from radio stations like WXPN in Philadelphia, and found themselves touring extensively with Band of Horses, The Slip and Indigo Girls.

In late 2006, Arizona traveled to Asheville, NC to mix their second EP Fameseeker and the Mono with Danny Kadar who had taken a position as the chief engineer at Echo Mountain Recording. Shortly after, Arizona wrote and performed music for the film “Anywhere USA”, a Special Jury Prize winner at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The band was invited to release their next album on the newly launched Echo Mountain Records label (Tyler Ramsey, Malcolm Holcombe), and were smitten with Asheville’s eccentric arts community, so in the summer of 2007 they left the Big Apple for the mountains.

For the creation of their second full length album Glowing Bird, the four musicians moved into a rural farmhouse to sculpt and record their new songs. The eclectic mountain town and its surrounding natural beauty proved the perfect setting for Arizona’s most cohesive release to date. The band experimented for months in their makeshift studio, in some cases allowing the songs weeks to build and evolve. Featuring meticulous layering of notes and instrumentation, Glowing Bird was crafted with special consideration for harmonies. The result is smart and playful, yet upon each listen, new intricacies are discovered.

On Glowing Bird, Arizona once again chose to work with Kadar. “We've always called Danny a facilitator” says Ben, “he basically makes us feel comfortable to utilize our natural talents as performers, writers and producers. He reins us in, inspires us to get crazy, and in general just challenges us to put out the best shit we can.” The band credits the obvious (The Beatles) to the not so apparent (Metallica, Megadeth, Ministry), to everything in between (The Kinks, Elliott Smith, Soundgarden, Yes, Jeff Buckley, Ella Fitzgerald) as their influences. Ben gets to the core of what Arizona is: “It’s the sound of an infinite array of influences, so hard to pin down, but each one is aligned to make something that suits our listening tastes. We’ve managed to combine these influences by channeling them in a carefree but cared-after way.”