Leeds quintet Treeboy & Arc emerge with ‘Role Models’, taken from their debut EP.

Treeboy & Arc absorb their surroundings and construct their own sonic architecture.

Words: Ilgaz Hisirci | Photo: Sam Joyce

“Sunshine shines down on quiet suburbia” begins the track. Looking around, the landscape is saturated with cowbells, half spoken word, and too much reverb. Offering more than the post-punk de jour, Role Models is a display of the band’s sonic exploration into the more melodic side of punk. The song captures the zeitgeist of mid 20-something year olds existential crises induced by the pandemic, a dark period when frozen chips and Coca-Cola served as meals.

Guitarist and vocalist Ben Morgan states, “The lyrics were written deep in the heart of a very warm lockdown, in a difficult time where many, including myself, spent a lot of time alone. Resorting to mindless television and junk food rather than exercise and vegetables, contemplating my own anxieties, work aspirations, happiness and what was going to happen next.” What happens next is an inward reflection into the fundamental aspects of being, “The general message of the song is that no matter what your aspirations are and whether you have achieved them or not, happiness can come in many forms. Not least of all being sat down on the sofa with the sun shining through the windows, sticking on the football or Coronation Street, shutting your brain off and just being content to exist.”

Influenced by local role models such as the Gang of Four and Delta 5, the quintet channel their newfound creativity into upcoming EP Life Preserver. The four track EP follows their modest, yet potent discography of headier singles comprised of Concept (Speedy Wunderground) and Plastic Front (Come Play With Me). What I love about Treeboy & Arc is how they absorb their surroundings, constructing their own architecture of instrumentation, song structure, and synth sequencing that stand out from the post-punk landscape. Catch them live at the legendary Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, The Lanes in Bristol and The Shacklewell Arms in London on their early August tour.