The subject for Day 20 of my 30-day Song Challenge is “A song from an artist’s side project“, and my pick is “Outta My Mind” by The Arcs. The Arcs was a side project of Dan Auerbach, guitarist and vocalist of the Black Keys. He formed the band in 2015 when The Black Keys were on a brief hiatus while drummer Patrick Carney recovered from a shoulder injury. In an interview with Pitchfork, Auerbach explained his impetus for creating the band: “I just wanted to do my thing and get extra weird. I wanted everything to flow [and] be cohesive. It’s basically everything I love about music all wrapped up into one record.”
The record he referred to was their debut – and thus far only – album Yours, Dreamily, released in September 2015. Besides Auerbach on lead vocals and guitar, The Arcs consists of Leon Michels on farfisa organ, synthesizer, guitar and drum pads, Nick Movshon on bass guitar, Homer Steinweiss on drums and percussion, and Richard Swift, who sadly passed away in 2018, on drums, percussion, keyboards and backing vocals.
“Outta My Mind” was the second single released from Yours, Dreamily, and their only single to chart, peaking at #17 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart. The song’s terrific, a delicious blend of garage rock, R&B and rock’n’roll, highlighted by marvelous psychedelia-tinged surf and blues guitars. The entire album is great, and along with “Outta My Mind”, my other favorite tracks are “Put a Flower in Your Pocket”, “The Arc” and “Pistol Made of Bones”.