After returning earlier this year with new music, A R I Z O N A on Friday released their brand new, self-titled album, which is out now on Fueled By Ramen.
The new record from the New Jersey trio made up of Zachary Charles (singer), Nathan Esquite (guitar) and David Labuguen (keys) is the band's first in almost four years, and it's also their first to be released on Fueled. The album includes previously released singles "Moving On," "Die for a Night" and "Dark Skies," and it finds the band embracing big, festival-ready sounds, leaning into their strengths and expanding on their familiar A R I Z O N A palette.
Ahead of the album's release, the three artists sat down to chat with Variance about the new music and the feeling of everything happening all at once.
As Charles puts it, the release has "happened quickly" over the past few months as they suddenly began putting out the new singles before the album's release. "But it dragged before this," he confesses of the process. "And now that it's happening, it's all happening at once. We're leaving for our first tour in a couple of years. First album in a couple of years. It's a wild experience, just keeping up with it all and getting back on the horse after so long."
According to Labuguen, their own experiences at festivals served as part of the blissful inspiration for this new record.
"Nate and I were going to a bunch of festivals and then we look at each other and went, 'I wanna be able to dance," recalls Labuguen. "I feel like that's made enough of an imprint. And I think for us too, it's like, we cross so many different genres in our sonic aesthetic that it's fun to kind of lean in a little bit."
Adds Charles: "We have a pretty deep-rooted love of dance music, like for a long time. And I think we wanted to explore that with this album in our own way. There's definitely a couple dance records on the album. We love that type of music and individually, I feel like we tried to do it where we could and this record is a really good example of it."
As for the reasoning behind the self-titling of this new album, the bandmates generally agreed there was no true reason for it other than it made sense.
Charles says for the longest time, they simply referred to it as "album 3," because it wasn't top of mind. "Some of these songs started pre-Covid and other songs came across the finish line as the world started coming back," he says. "And for a long period of time, we weren't really sure how to put it into a word or title or things like that. So it was just 'album 3' because it felt simple and it wasn't necessarily a conscious thought."
He continues: "Some of it was about our process from the very beginning. I think the idea of this record was kind of getting back to some of the roots and some of the beginnings of the way we approached making music, and we tried to recollect ourselves after being in a bit of a rat race for a few years with no breaks, and then the world—you know, everything just happened the way it did, and it gave us the opportunity to kind of slow down and go back to the beginning."
The band acknowledges that after a few years slowing down, they're launching into 2023 at full speed. Last week, even before the album arrived, the trio hit the road with Quinn XCII, whose own new album The People's Champ arrived in January.
"We've done festival stuff with him, but this is the first proper string of shows we do with him," says Esquite. "But we've been friends with him for a long time. And we've been friends with his crew for a long time. So it really does feel like a family affair, and we're excited."