Arches and Aisles cover

Arches and Aisles


The original duo line-up of The Spinanes split after 1996’s Strand, with drummer Scott Plouf unable to commit to time with both Built To Spill and The Spinanes. Gates regrouped quickly enough, forming a new, three-piece line-up of the band, and set about recording a third album that took the hard-won lessons of its predecessor into more open, inviting terrain. Her writing here feels more direct than on Strand and working with Chicago post-rock luminaries like Sam Prekop and John McEntire emboldened the sound. It’s an album of questing intelligence, but never at the expense of the emotional drive that’s always been core to Gates’s writing, much as it’s often occluded by wordplay and a subtly pop kind of abstraction.

Jon Dale