“How Is Heaven” by Arliston is the deep-voiced indie rock song of your dreams. With all the dreamy instrumentation you could ask for and an amalgamation of poignant lyrics, it upholds a lot of the mainstays of alternative music while also providing a few unique twists–namely, an earthy, robust, low-pitched singer with an unforgettable timbre. If you’ve been in the mood for something a little different, indulge in the pleasant surprise that is “How Is Heaven.”
We’re greeted by a sort of guitar-adjacent sound, plucking out a simple progression. “Held on a thin thread / Trying too hard to show / I can tie shoes on my own,” the lyrics pour out over the chords with vivid imagery, implying a metaphorical struggle to cope. The vocals are quiet, sung with a despondent hesitancy that strengthens the emotional effect. After drums and background vocals trickle in slowly, the chorus blossoms: “How in heaven did I walk over you?” Synths practically drip from the mix. The range and overall height of the mix grow as the vocals reach a falsetto, then dip low again. It’s not particularly dramatic, but it doesn’t need to be. The way this chorus touches you is subtle. The best musicians can draw emotion from their listeners in the simplest of ways.
Stay tuned for some more brilliant sound design and a slew of heart-wrenching lyrics. Arliston does a great job creating music that is both atmospheric and authentic. So, be sure to stream and/or download “How Is Heaven!”
Written by Alyce Lindberg