Rising quickly from solo bedroom pop project to regional full-band sensation and finally to a major-label contract, Nashville indie pop act Arlie offered a fusion of classic retro-pop melodies with bright, thoroughly modern production on their 2018 debut EP, Wait. Follow-up singles like “karma” and “crashing down” built anticipation for their full-length debut, Break the Curse, which appeared in 2022.
Arlie began life as the solo effort of singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Banks, who started recording songs in his dorm room on the campus of Nashville’s Vanderbilt University. Wanting to try out some of the material on-stage, Banks soon teamed up with fellow Vanderbilt student Carson Lystad (guitar), a friend from nearby Belmont University, Adam Lochemes (drums), and a local multi-instrumentalist named Tyler Waters. Arlie had already made a name for themselves around campus and in the local D.I.Y. scene when their catchy debut single, “big fat mouth,” began climbing up the Hype Machine charts and putting up big streaming numbers in 2017. A second single, “didya think,” fared similarly well on streaming platforms, and Arlie managed to lock down a deal with Atlantic Records.
After a busy summer of touring in support of Rostam and making a Bonnaroo appearance, Atlantic issued the group’s first EP, Wait, in September 2018. Over the next four years, a succession of singles like “karma,” “crashing down,” and “sickk” led the charge toward Arlie’s full-length debut. Released in 2022 and featuring the aforementioned singles, the self-produced Break the Curse built on both the sound and success of the band’s EP. ~ Timothy Monger