The Arcs‘ upcoming album Electrophonic Chronic was written largely before the 2018 death of group member Richard Swift, but new single “Heaven Is a Place” directly addresses his memory. As previously reported, Electrophonic Chronic will be released Jan. 27 on group member Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound label.
In the accompanying animated clip for “Heaven Is a Place,” directed by previous collaborator Roboshobo, Swift can be seen floating through space in both an astronaut suit and in a vintage car, as his bandmates beckon him towards some sort of portal.
“This new record is all about honoring Swift,” Auerbach says. “It’s a way for us to say goodbye to him, by revisiting him playing and laughing, singing. It was heavy at times, but I think it was really helpful to do it.”
Co-produced by Auerbach and group member Leon Michels, Electrophonic Chronic boasts contributions from fellow original Arcs members Nick Movshon and Homer Steinweiss. It was recorded between Auerbach’s Nashville studio Easy Eye Sound and New York’s Electric Lady and Diamond Mine studios, inspired by the experience of making The Arcs’ 2015 debut, Yours, Dreamily.
“We got the courage to get together and say, ‘Let’s just look at these songs and see if we can put something together.’ The thing we shared with Swift so deeply was music, so the only way to get closure was to finish what we started,” Michels adds. “The idea that the stuff we made would sit on a shelf forever gutted me, and I wanted it to be out in the world, because it was the product of such a joyous time.”