syd arthur

Liam Magill’s go-to guitar is a 2005 Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster with an ash body.
Photo by David Cleveland.

Canterbury’s prog-rockers reboot for the 21st century.

Music is sometimes likened to “a painting of sound.” But there’s a better visual metaphor for Syd Arthur’s second full-length album, Sound Mirror: “tapestry”—a multicolored sonic fabric woven from threads of prog, pop, jazz, and electronica that unfolds over 10 songs.

With roots in Canterbury, England, Syd Arthur sometimes gets compared to the seminal progressive acts that emerged from the city decades ago, such as Soft Machine, Caravan, and Hatfield and the North. But the collective work of Liam Magill (guitar, lead vocals), his brother Joel (bass, vocals), Raven Bush (violin, keyboards, mandolin—coincidently, the nephew of Kate Bush), and Fred Rother (drums), is much too eclectic to pin down—and much too fluent in digital soundcraft to be retro.

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