Peter Buck and Joseph Arthur Announce Collaboration Album
The self-titled debut album by Arthur Buck, the fruit of a collaboration between singer-songwriter Arthur Joseph and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck that has been years in the making, is set for a June 15 release.
The duo's first single, and the album's opening track, "I Am the Moment," is out now. Arthur said they wrote the song "within the first 10 minutes of seeing each other. Same way as we wrote our other songs. He had the chords and arrangement and I did the top line — except when I sang, 'I am the moment,' he sang back, 'Waiting for you.' Peter said, 'Okay, finish the lyrics so we can play that tonight.' And I did, and we did. And the crowd completely sang along to it."
The 11 tracks on the album were co-written by Arthur and Buck, and produced by Arthur along with Tchad Blake, who has worked with bands like U2, Pearl Jam and the Black Keys. You can hear "I Am the Moment" below.
The pair has occasionally worked together over the years, primarily on R.E.M.'s 2004 tour, which Arthur opened, but their longstanding friendship lent itself to the partnership, according to Buck. Their complementary writing styles, as well as their close working relationship, helped the songs come together organically and quickly.
"I've never had an easier time writing with someone than I do with Peter," Arthur said. "This record has a vitality to it that is surprising to everyone who hears it. And I think it's down to we aren't just tired old cats who are bored and fucking around. We are people who still hold onto music for survival. You can't fake that. You can hear that."
The two decided to work together after after running into each in Todos Santos, Mexico, where Buck and his wife live part time, in late 2017. When they learned from a mutual friend that they were both in town at the same time, "I immediately got a text from Peter, and it said something like, 'Let's play a gig at the Todos Santos Inn,'" Arthur recalled. "And the next day I went to his house and never left. We ended up playing three gigs that week."
Buck said that spontaneity was part of the formula for success. "The great thing about working that way was that it didn’t have to be anything in particular," he noted. "It was liberated from any expectation. It was free. ... Joe is going through that searching period we all go through in life. And those experiences he’s having make this a very forward-looking record, lyrically. The music has a questing kind of feel. We were making it up as we went along.”
The duo plans to announce tour dates soon. In the meantime, Arthur Buck is available for pre-order at New West Records as an indie retail translucent blue and red split-colored vinyl edition, as a limited-edition autographed Barnes & Noble vinyl variant, in standard black vinyl, on CD and in digital packages. Check out the track listing below.
'Arthur Buck' Track Listing
1. "I Am The Moment"
2. "Are You Electrified?"
3. "The Wanderer"
4. "Forever Waiting"
5. "If You Wake Up In Time"
7. "American Century"
8. "Forever Falling"
9. "Before Your Love Is Gone"
10. "Wide Awake In November"
11. "Can’t Make It Without You"