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Ark Life Shines with 'The Dream of You & Me'

by Photo of Natalie Sacks

Folk rock band’s debut album celebrates the simple things in life.

Ark Life Shines with 'The Dream of You & Me'

Rock band These United States may be on a break now, but they have hardly been idle. Singer/songwriter Jesse Elliott and bassist Anna Morsett have joined up with Lindsay Giles, Natalie Tate and Ben Desoto to form a new group with folk at its heart. This new group is Ark Life, and their debut album, The Dream of You & Me, is a celebration of songs that anyone can relate to.

The ten-track disc opens with a series of songs with simple, uplifting sentiments. "Let Your Heart Break," despite the title, is a cheerful, jazzy folk number about loving what you love without fear of losing it. "Proud of Me Out There, Mama" is a slower song with a sweet, calming melody but a strong backbeat, the essence of nostalgia in a single track. 

"What You Want To" is another jazzy number, with lyrics that constantly repeat "I know" and "I should" as the singer considers the difference between what you should do and what you want to. "You're with Me" is the first true ballad of the album, a pure love song with a tinge of folk.

The second half of the album moves past these simple, emotional tracks and into country-influenced songs that tell more of a story, from "Molly Brown," a woman's story sung by a male vocalist, to the mournful and lyrical "Some Unheroic Hill." "The Dream of You & Me" is probably the catchiest number, alternating between slow, contemplative moments and bouncier sections even as it tells a beautiful love story. "She" has a similar sort of theme, but instead has a fast-paced, true folk beat behind it.

"Have to Leave You Now" is a classic country-style break-up song, while "Rock & Roll (Take it Easy)" provides a dose of old school rock to round out the disc. The album as a whole is an enjoyable, easy listen, though perhaps only a few tracks--"The Dream of You & Me," "Molly Brown"--are really memorable. Still, you come out of it feeling good about the pure, simple feelings expressed in the songs, and for a first album from a new collection of talented artists, The Dream of You & Me is a great start.

Get the album and give it a listen yourself. To start you off, here's the official music video of "Proud of Me Out There, Mama":

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