Photo by Claire Warren
If I had to recommend 5 things to do in Canberra to interstate visitors to make their visit the best possible, going to an ARCHIE show would definitely be on that list. The band put on these wholesome, charismatic, and memorable live sets that leave such an impression on everyone, making them the talk of the town and cementing them as one of the must-see live bands in the capital territory.
The synth-surf band have continuously evolved their performance over the past couple of years, and one of their major inclusions was welcoming John Mackey to their stages - wielding his saxophone. The ANU School of Music lecturer has known the group through their pre-band years as his students, and now he continues to teach us all a lesson by jumping up on stage with the four-piece band and blowing us all away with his smooth and creamy saxophone solo’s.
But now, we get to take home some of that class content for ourselves with ARCHIE’s latest single Running To - the band’s most heartfelt, and saxiest, song to date.
The track opens with a kind treatment of guitars, percussion, and saxophone that sounds like what a summer sunrise feels like - comforting and warm, and sounding akin to something you might find on a record from The 1975. It’s a welcoming sense of familiarity for an ARCHIE song that already stands out from other tracks in their repertoire, with previous single’s Stranger Danger and Blink showing off the band’s more energetic and synthier side.
In Running To, we get the other side of the band. The side that levels the audience and catches them in wonder through mellow sounds and honest, cathartic lyricism. In this song, lead-singer Grant sings about the feeling when you meet someone and you know it’s not going to work out well in the end, but you fall entwined with them anyway. You feel this emotional struggle elevated through the spacey saxophone and backing vocals heard in the chorus:
It’s you I should be running from, but I’m running to
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this song before, with the Canberra-based band releasing a sax-less demo version of the song in 2019 when they were just starting out. The song has been a part of their live set this whole time, but up until recently have been teasing us with the new version of the song with the beautiful brass instrument. We’ve been waiting patiently ever since for this in recorded form, and now we finally have it.
Running To is but the next bullet point in ARCHIE’s constantly growing resumé, with the group playing to multiple sold-out crowds in Canberra, including a support slot with Auckland’s BENEE, and more recently headlining one of the first Live In Ya Lounge livestreams, as well as Lime Cordiale livestream series Mercury Rising. It’s an impressive CV, and I have no doubt the band will continue to add to it and grow as time moves on, so keep a keen eye on them for the future.