ARCTIC

Official website: http://www.projectarctic.com

ARCTIC draws much of its sonic inspiration from the vast expanses of the northern landscape where frontman Marcus Martin was raised. Growing up in Yellowknife, Martin would join his father, a pilot, on trips to remote settlements and camps in the Northwest Territories of Canada. "There are some things that stick in your mind forever like a first concert, a first date, a first prize," recalls Martin. "For me it was the first time I truly saw the world from the front seat of a DC3 plane, looking at the endless openness of the north, its beauty, its shape, its air, its syncopation with all that existed in its hands."

Martin's flightpath carried him to Toronto, where he honed his skill as a guitarist in styles from acid jazz to heavy metal. The coastal beauty of Vancouver drew him west in 2002, and ARCTIC emerged from the rain as his solo project. Using a looper and effects to sample and layer his live guitar performance, drawing from diverse and contrasting influences, he developed his own distinctive style of haunting and evocative melodies and textures that the Georgia Straight would later call "the most captivating oddity to come out of Vancouver this year". In 2006 Kirsten Starcher found herself inexorably drawn to the music and brought bass, keyboards and backing vocals into the mix. Backed by a blend of acoustic and digital drums, the newly-formed electropsych band took on a pulsating, hypnotic groove, swirling around Martin's guitar loops and plaintive vocals.

After multiple Canadian tours and appearances at NewMusicWest, NXNE and Westfest, sharing stages with the likes of Danny Michel, Marianas Trench, Ken Tizzard, Dan Mangan and Hannah Georgas, ARCTIC was invited to tour in Europe in Fall 2010 as support for French band Bruxelles, where the band's intense and dynamic live show was enthusiastically received. ARCTIC has released four EPs independently as well as digital singles: "Music for Rain" and "Today Brought Me Here" showcase Marcus Martin's solo work, while the evolving sound of the full band is heard in "Unbeliever" and "Live at Zaphod Beeblebrox".