Standing on the precipice of success, Northern Virginia natives SAVE THE ARCADIAN, most known for their emotive melodies, eyebrow raising composition, and lively performances, have returned to the studio to craft their next piece of magic. Frontman Will McCarry was able to find the time amidst their busy schedule to reflect on how far the band has come, their success in 2014, and what fans can expect from their new record.

Tell me about the evolution of SAVE THE ARCADIAN from How’d They Get Up There? to today, where you are now working with Ted Comerford and other notable professionals on your new record. Has your progress really sunk in yet?

It’s interesting. We’ve always had huge aspirations for our music, and it’s only now that we truly have the means and the production help we need to realize those lofty goals. Even on the first album —recorded, mixed, and produced by me on one $200 microphone in my college apartment — we went all out, recording tons of guest instrumentalists as well as our school’s a cappella group on a few songs. And though I’m proud of the product we put out, it became immediately clear during our time recording the new album with Ted at the Fidelitorium that we are going to finally be able to fully capture our vision, which is an awesome feeling.

As far as our progress outside of recording, 2014 brought a ton of exciting opportunities like opening for bands such as DEV, GOSSLING, MANSIONS ON THE MOON, and THE HUNTS, as well as many headlining gigs across VA and D.C. We’re so grateful to have fans support us by coming out to so many of our shows.

What about your new record helps to distinguish it from music made by your peers?

I think we’re in a really good place for listeners to take note of what we’re doing. Our new record straddles a line between folk rock and indie pop that [to us] feels all its own. Many of our instrumental choices [including violin and mandolin], though seldom seen in pop music, contribute greatly to the emotional appeal of the lyrics. We’ve also taken great strides to develop the cinematic elements of our sound as well, focusing our big “anthemic” moments to resonate more deeply alongside smaller more intimate stretches. I think it’s fair to say that these are easily the best songs we’ve written, and I hope our audience will agree that this is the next logical step for SAVE THE ARCADIAN.

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What elements came together to inspire the creation of the album?

Though we write a lot as a group, many of the initial ideas originated as a personal narrative for me. We’re lucky that all six of us, having played together for several years at this point, have a clear, singular vision for what this album is, and how it should feel to the listener.

What was it like turning to your fans to fund the album? Were there any reservations about moving forward that way?

There actually wasn’t too much dissension among the group when we first brought up the idea of launching the Kickstarter. Since we’ve always given our music away for free to our listeners, we felt like, given our great opportunity to record with Ted, this was the right time to give it a try. Kickstarter is really unique because each fan’s investment is rewarded with an advanced copy of the new album, as well as lots of other great prizes. We’re lucky to have a really supportive fan base that pushed us far above our funding goal. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to do all these exciting things.

The folk-pop sound is one that is often replicated and still very hard to master. SAVE THE ARCADIAN consistently takes from that and crafts its own signature sound. How did you decide what instruments, harmonies, and concepts would fit the new record?

Crafting this new album has been a lot of fun. With this new record, we wanted to still be able to include our fun, fast-paced songs that people really enjoy singing and dancing along to live, and have those songs feel right at home next to more introspective, intimate songs about loss and heartbreak. So given that, in crafting the album’s flow, we also worked to introduce a loose narrative that follows through the entire album and ties all the pieces together.

In terms of choices for individual songs, most our songs go through countless drafts before we arrive at the final version on the album. Harmonic and instrumental choices constantly change, and no one in the band is afraid to stand up and voice their opinion when something doesn’t feel quite right.

What message do you want fans to take away from this release?

I don’t know that there is a specific message we have in mind. There are themes we want to convey, and I hope that those themes really resonate with listeners. It’s hard to convey those ideas concisely here, but there is a personal narrative here that draws from my own life, as well as from Lonnie [Southall, bassist/vocalist] and Sam [Rodgers, guitarist/vocalist, and mandolin player], who have been contributing to the lyrics.

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Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?

We’d, of course, like to thank all of our backers on Kickstarter. Remember that anyone can follow our project updates on Facebook, Twitter, and on our website. We will be finishing up the album at Bias Studios in Springfield in just a few short weeks.

For more updates on SAVE THE ARCADIAN, we invite you to follow them on Twitter, “like” them on Facebook, and purchase tickets to their upcoming shows on their website.

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