Queens-born, Thai-Chilean singer-songwriter, Araya today shares his latest single & video, “Archon” — listen and watch HERE.
Produced by Y2K (Doja Cat, The Kid LAROI, 88Rising), “Archon” opens with pensive piano chords, staccato bass lines and Araya’s soulful vocals before a chorus of driving guitars burst forth from jarring, glitchy switch-ups. Singing of the struggles of self-esteem and the need to find something worth living for, “Archon” reflects on queer identity and how external posturing, those self-consciously built-up regimes of rehearsed swagger and bravado serve to conceal trauma and rife self-doubt.
Directed by New York-based photographer and videographer Nolan Zargas, whose previous credits include campaigns for Adidas, Nike, Burberry, Tom Ford and more, the music video for “Archon” combines Araya’s background in fashion, design and his love for cinematography with his penchant for building distinct visual languages around his music. This continues on from Araya’s visual work on his debut LP, having acted as the creative director across a multi-platform project that included merch, music videos, album artwork and an accompanying short film. Fully suited up, glowing seams and all, he cuts through open spaces with confidence. Surrounded by flickering fireflies or a grey winding road, he’s fully immersed and aware.
“Archon” arrives less than a year after Araya’s breakthrough debut album, Atlas, which garnered praise from Paper, DJ Booth, Dummy, Office and more for the “breezy and soulful quality of his sound,” “[entering] the pop arena with a titan’s stance.” Amassing over a million Spotify streams, Atlas placed Araya firmly at the crest of a new generation of stylistic polymaths, drawing comparisons to the likes of Jean Dawson, SPENCER., DESTIN CONRAD, and more.
Where Atlas was a decidedly personal project, a sonic collage of tracks born from listless depression and written to wrest Araya’s life back on track, its follow-up is a comparatively more deliberate, intentional piece of work crafted from the ground up by Araya and his band with a newfound understanding of songwriting stemming from their debut live performances following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. The result is a striking, existential record, replete with dreamy, immersive arrangements that self-assuredly mix vintage and futuristic sounds in a transfixing blend of R&B, soul, hip hop and electronic music. Balancing the intellectual and the visceral in equal measure, the songs Araya writes are probing and deeply introspective, grappling with purpose, identity and spirituality in the face of doubt and heartbreak.
“Archon” by Araya is out now, buy/stream it here.
Araya On Tour
Nov 6 – Los Angeles, CA – The Troubadour**
Dec 1 – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
**opening for DAISY WORLD
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