Arborea (band)

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Arborea band portrait
Background information
Origin Maine, United States
Genres Psych Folk, Indie Rock, Indie Folk, New Weird America
Years active 2005 – present
Members Shanti Curran
Buck Curran
Notable instruments
Fender Stratocaster, OME Banjo, Dismal Ax Banjimer, Sobell Guitar

Arborea is an American musical duo combining elements of Acoustic, Folk, Blues, World Music, and Rock. Their music is associated with the Indie Folk, and Psych Folk genres. Arborea consists of Shanti Curran and Buck Curran. Shanti Curran provides lead vocals, banjo, 'Banjimer' (a type of Banjo dulcimer made by Tennessee luthier Gwen Forrester), harmonium, ukulele, sawing fiddle, and hammered dulcimer. Buck Curran provides vocals, guitar, slide guitar and sawing fiddle. They both share songwriting duties, arrangements, and production.


Arborea's first major performance was at the Green Man Festival in Wales in August 2007. In November of 2007 they did a brief tour in Spain and performed at the Tanned Tin Festival in Spain that year. Upon returning to the US they performed on WNYC's Spinning On Air Program,[1] with host David Garland. The session first aired in January 2008, and re-aired in November 2008. In December 2008 they travelled back to Europe and spent a month touring in Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy. Arborea's first three albums include their debut Wayfaring Summer released in 2006, their second Self-Titled album released in 2008 by the Philadelphia label Fire Museum Records, and their third album House of Sticks released in 2009 on Borne! Recordings/Acuarela Discos[2] which was distributed in the United States by Darla Records. Wayfaring Summer was part of a feature article on New Psych Folk in a 2007 issue of Dirty Linen Magazine,[3] written by Lahri Bond, who described their music as 'Timeless' and 'Haunted by Deep Shadows'. In the 2008 issue of Dream Magazine,[4] publisher George Parsons wrote that Wayfaring Summer was 'easily one of the best debut albums I've heard in many moons'. They received critical acclaim in 2008 from NPR[5] producer Robin Hilton, who described their Self-Titled album as ‘an incredibly spare and beautiful collection of songs’, and Shanti’s voice as ‘hypnotically beautiful’, as well as receiving favorable reviews from the Boston Globe,[6] and the British music magazine The Wire.[7] In 2008 the duo was interviewed for both a Terrascope Online[8] feature article, and the July/Aug 2008 issue of Italy’s Blow Up magazine.[9] Upon release in 2009, House of Sticks[10] received a glowing review from the BBC, and the duo subsequently recorded a session in London for the BBC 'World on 3' program with host Mary Ann Kennedy. That same year Arborea curated and produced the compilation album "Leaves of Life" to help with important relief efforts in Africa such as the UN World Food Program. The compilation was also released on Borne! Recordings and includes notable artists such as Alela Diane, Devendra Banhart, and Marissa Nadler. The artwork for Leaves of Life[11] was created by musician and artist Hanna Tuulikki. In 2010 Important Records released We Are All One, In the Sun: A tribute to Robbie Basho, a compilation cd that was created and produced by Buck Curran of Arborea. We Are All One, In The Sun features artists Meg Baird, Helena Espvall, Arborea, Steffen Basho Junghans, Glenn Jones, Fern Knight, Cian Nugent, and Grammy nominated Iraqi born Oud master Rahim Alhaj. The tribute made Acoustic Guitar Magazine's list of the Best Acoustic Albums of 2010, Top Editors pick for the December issue of Guitar Player Magazine, Mojo 4 Stars, as well as glowing reviews in The Wire magazine, and Pitchfork. In January and February 2010 the duo toured in France, Spain, and Italy. While in Spain they performed for the second time at the Tanned Tin Festival. Early in 2010 the duo did a cross-country US tour that included a SXSW showcase at St David's Church/Bethel Hall. Later that year Arborea toured the UK and Ireland which included performances at the Moseley Folk Festival in England and Body & Soul/Electric Picnic Festival in Ireland. Arborea's fourth album Red Planet was released on April 26 by the Oregon-based label Strange Attractors Audio House. Red Planet received critical praise including 'Top Vinyl Pick' in the September 2011 issue of Mojo Magazine, 'Editors Top Pick' in the December 2011 issue of Guitar Player Magazine, and Rolling Stone 'Best Under-the-Radar Albums of 2011' as listed by senior writer David Fricke. Arborea toured again in Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, and Scotland in May and June 2011 which included performances at the Body & Soul Summer Solstice Festival in Ireland, Serralves Festival in Portugal, Gea Festival in Spain. They also did two Cinemascore concerts in Spain reinterpretting the soundtrack to the Jim Jarmusch film Dead Man for a live audience while the film was shown in Spanish subtitles. In the Summer of 2011 Arborea went on an extensive US cross-country tour in support of Red Planet. While on tour Arborea performed at the Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of the Artist and Author Series. In March 2012 Arborea showcased for a second time at Bethell Hall in St David's Episcopal Church for their official SXSW showcase. The showcase was attended by many senior music writers and DJs including David Fricke of the Rolling Stone, Jon Pareles of the New York Times, Bob Boilen of NPR, and Kevin Cole of KEXP. Subsequently Jon Pareles included Arborea in his review of SXSW for the NY Times. Bob Boilen included Arborea's SXSW performance among his NPR list of 'Favorite Concerts of 2012' and recommended live acts. In April 2012 Arborea was invited to NPR headquarters in Washington DC and recorded an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Arborea performed two shows at the 51st Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 2012 which was followed by a short tour with California-based singer-songwriter Mariee Sioux. Arborea's 5th album 'Fortress of the Sun' was released on April 30th, 2013 by the NYC based record label ESP-Disk' coinciding with the label's 50th Anniversary. 'Fortress of the Sun' made AllMusic's 'Favorite Folk Albums of 2013', AllMusic's 'Favorite Singer/Songwriter Albums of 2013, Acoustic Guitar Magazine's 'Best Acoustic Albums of 2013', Echoes 'Best of 2013' Listener Poll, textura's Top Ten Albums of 2013, Portland Phoenix Top Ten Albums of 2013, Folk Radio UK Best Albums of 2013, and KEXP (Seattle) 'Song of the Day'. The September 2013 issue of Guitar Player magazine featured an article on Arborea's 'Avant-Folk Aesthetics'. In October of 2013 Arborea returned to Italy for 9 shows, touring with Italian singer-guitarist Laboule (Paolo Novellino) who supported the tour. In March of 2014 Arborea did a three-week US tour which included shows at Joe's Pub in NYC and their third official SXSW showcase at Bethel Hall/St David's Church in Austin. In July of 2014 Arborea performed in Copenhagen and was also a featured act at the Fano Free Folk Festival in Fano, Demark. In November of 2014 Arborea did a brief tour in Ireland which included shows in Dublin at Whelans and Roisin Dubh in Galway. As of 2015, Arborea has announced progess on their 6th album and a European tour scheduled for April and May of 2015.


  • Wayfaring Summer (2006), Summer Street Records
  • Arborea (2008), Fire Museum Records
  • House of Sticks (2009), Borne!/Darla
  • "Leaves of Life" (2009), Borne!/Darla (Arborea curated/produced compilation)
  • "We Are All One, In The Sun: A Tribute to Robbie Basho" (2010), Important Records (Arborea curated/produced compilation)
  • Red Planet (2011), Strange Attractors Audio House
  • "Fortress of the Sun" (2013), ESP-Disk'


  1. ^ "WNYC Spinning On Air | Arborea January 20, 2008". Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Arborea 'House of Sticks' 2009 release". Acuarela Discos. April 18, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Dirty Linen Magazine Aug/Sep 2007| New Psych Folk". Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Dream Magazine issue 8 | Arborea interview and review". November 23, 1963. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ Hilton, Robin (September 9, 2008). "Arborea Review". NPR. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Boston Globe | Arborea – A Magical Mystery Tour". Boston Globe. June 10, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Wire issue 292 June 2008| Arborea Review". Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Terrascope Online (UK) | Arborea Feature". Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ "(Italy) July/August 2008 issue | Arborea interview and review". Blow Up. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Arborea House of Sticks BBC review". BBC. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  11. ^ "(UK) | Arborea Charity Compilation". Wears The Trousers. November 18, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 

External links and further sources[edit]