Infinite Arms's album art

19: Infinite Arms

Groove to cozy midwest vibes with Marc & Michael as they discuss Band of Horses’ Grammy nominated 2010 record, “Infinite Arms”.


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  • Marvis Pro, the iOS music player Michael mentioned using to see his play counts.
  • Vacationer’s Relief, the only album that came close to Infinite Arms’s play count number in Michael’s library. You can read Michael’s previous review on the record here.
  • Michael mentioned having a Fracture print of Infinite Arms, which is a picture printed directly on glass for a minimal, sleek presentation. This is his current collection. Michael's growing collection of Fracture prints of his favorite album's cover art
  • Sun Kil Moon’s Benji, the album Marc claimed to be a perfect foil to the easily digestible and repeatable Infinite Arms. You can listen to our previous discussion on the record in Episode 8.
  • Band of Horses’ new lineup during Infinite Arms, and would remain unchanged for years—the first “true” Band of Horses lineup:
    • Benjamin Bridwell
    • Creighton Barret
    • Ryan Monroe
    • Bill Reynolds
    • Tyler Ramsey
  • The star at the center of the pivot point in the album art is Polaris (more commonly known as the “North Star”). The star seems to stand still in long exposure photography while the rest of the northern hemisphere stars spin around it due to the North Star being in a (mostly) direct line with the Earth’s rotational axis with respect to the North Pole.
  • Christopher Wilson, the Photographer for Infinite Arms’s cover art and all the band’s album art up to that point. (information courtesy of the Albums app on iOS).
  • Michael’s insane graph of “vibrancy”/”energy” by track number A crudely drawn graph with "energy"/"vibrancy" as the "y" axis and each of the album's tracks in the "x" axis as a measure of time. The plotted lines rise and peak with "Compliments" in the beginning, gradually fall until the low point of "Evening Kitchen" in the middle, then rise back up at the end with "NW Apartment" before finally settling back down with "Neighbor"
  • Infinite Arms was nominated for “Best Alternative Music Album” for the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, the same year Arcade Fire famously secured Album of the Year with The Suburbs. You can read Marc’s thoughts on The Suburbs here.
  • Marc found “Factory” to share similarities with Paul McCartney and Wings’s “Let Me Roll It” off 1973’s Band on the Run and Vacationer’s “Turning” off 2018’s Mindset. You can read Marc’s review of Band on the Run here or listen to our discussion on Mindset in Episode 14.
  • “Factory” utilizes both a Memotron and Theremin. The Theremin also appeared in Lord Huron’s “Love Like Ghosts” & “Way Out There” off 2015’s Strange Trails, and you can listen to our previous discussion on that record in Episode 2.
  • Michael’s writeup on Jimmy Buffett’s A1A mentioned during the show can be found here, the finest publication on the site thus far.
  • The Last Bison’s Quill, a record Michael felt was similar to “Compliments” since they both are high in character and charm in large part because of their imperfections.
  • Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House, the record Marc felt similarly leaned into “everything & the kitchen sink” production.
  • Eagles, a classic rock band Michael could very easily see playing “Laredo”
  • ChrisCorradi’s comment on the “bullet in my Kai Lorenzo” lyric on
  • “Band Of Horses Survived… Barely”, The SPIN interview Marc mentioned where Ben touches on his then-recent separation with his spouse.
  • “Grumpy Old Men” (the 1993 film) and “Old City Bar” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra both evoked similar feelings and visuals in Michael as “Blue Beard”.
  • The Explorer’s Club, a classic rock & roll and classic pop-influenced band that Marc found strikingly similar to Band of Horses’ experiments in “Blue Beard” and “Dilly”.
  • “I need more cowbell!”
  • Long in the Tooth and Repo Records referenced in the show are Marc’s favorite record haunts in the Philly area. Support your local music stores!
  • Marc kept saying “Dilly” was very “70’s” but meant to say “60’s” (oops).
  • Ludo’s “Good Will Hunting by Myself”, the song Michael mentioned takes the stereotypical “I’m better off without you, anyway” attitude from pop breakup songs and cranks it up to a comical extreme.
  • Admiral Fallow, the band Michael mentioned was also sometimes similarly “rough” in vocal delivery like in “Evening Kitchen” and also works because of those edges.
  • Arcade Fire’s “We Used To Wait”—which explicitly and intentionally makes the audience “wait” for a final chorus that never again returns—Michael cheekily claimed to be the antithesis to the infinitely repeating chorus in “Older”.
  • “Basement Shows” (also known as “House Shows”), a staple of Philadelphia college life.
  • “Are You My Neightbor?”, a deep cut Marc made to the classic VeggieTales episode. Yes, this was a real thing.
  • Grizzly Bear’s “Colorado”, a song Marc found just as boring as “Neighbor”. Yes Michael, I will put it down there.
  • The Arcade Fire lyric Marc was flopping around trying to remember is “Took a drive into the sprawl / To find the house where we used to stay”, where their usage of “house” instead of “home” is meant to communicate emotional distance and lack of attachment to the physical place they grew up.
  • Please use a good podcast player!
  • Rooibos tea is best tea.
  • Premium Steap and August Tea are incredible tea suppliers and are “Marc & Michael Approved”. Don’t just drink Lipton and say our tea tastes like soap, anonymous coworker of Michael’s.


Listed in order of reference on the show.

“We actually started with a tonne of songs—about twenty-five or so—so we didn’t even know which ones would make it, or which ones were good or bad really. So you don’t really know until you’re recording them, because we weren’t really playing a lot of them live, so once they’re recorded you’re like, ‘Okay, this actually sounds like a real song, and this one sounds like a joke’—we’re just taking the piss out of some soul song or something, you know? So we kinda learned as we went, like, ‘Oh wow, is what the record sounds like’.”
“Band Of Horses Interview”, CLASH

“‘We have this time off before we gotta go back out on the road again—let’s just go do it ourselves. We’ll get another engineer… We think we know what the songs sound like—let’s just go for it’. And so we were like, “This is actually really fun”. That’s when we really discovered we don’t have to beat each other up on this, we can just have fun with it and enjoy the process.”
“Band Of Horses Interview”, CLASH

“I did stretch myself pretty much to being broke, at the same time we didn’t have to worry about anybody even coming in and hearing mixes or anything, we could really take our time with it.”
“Band Of Horses Interview”, CLASH

“It’s the first time the line-up hasn’t been this revolving door. With this record it’s a real band that I’m part of. No one’s going anywhere, everyone’s contributing to the songwriting process and this is our coming-out party.”
“Band of Horses: Infinite Arms Q&A with Ben Bridwell, Uncut Magazine (archive)”

“… But that’s the best part about it—the fact that it is a mystery. People get the lyrics wrong—I do that all the time with my favorite songs. You read the lyrics five years later, or hear it differently, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I always kinda sang something to that effect when I was singing along, but I didn’t really realize what they were talking about’, you know? In a way it’s like little hints come around and the mystery kinda reveals itself, but the fact that people don’t really know is my favorite part, because that’s what I appreciate about songs as well.”
“Band Of Horses Interview”, CLASH

[With Regards to “Factory”] “I was listening to a lot of Nick Drake and was really enamored by the string arrangements in his songs. Also, I was trying to make it a bit dramatic sounding in a Bittersweet Symphony kinda way.”
“Track-byTrack: Band of Horses’ Infinite Arms”, THE SKINNY

“I was actually out writing songs for the new record, and I had some crazy stuff going on. That song just kind of ended up tapping me on the shoulder. Even though some of it is a bit maybe too autobiographical for my own tastes, a lot of it dances around subjects like all my songs do. I try not to be too specific.”
Infinite Arms: A conversation with Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell”, Mike Ragogna of HuffPost Entertainment

“We got to the point where we were touring so much that nowhere was really home. So I figured, at least if I’m gonna come home after these long stretches of traveling, it would nice to be around my family; my parents, and my brother and sister are having babies. So it was like, when I come home, at least I’m close enough so I get to see them at least twice a year compared to like maybe once a year.”
“Band Of Horses Interview”, CLASH

“This song [‘Infinite Arms’] deals a lot with the major theme of the record, and being the title track that’s maybe a little obvious, but this is one I’m not quite ready to unveil the mask on. But I can tell you that it almost didn’t make the record.”
“Track-byTrack: Band of Horses’ Infinite Arms”, THE SKINNY

“We went bonkers with Infinite Arms, because we could. It was a challenge to see what we could do, but we also overcooked some shit.”
“Band of Horses: Mystery Riders”, Magnet Magazine


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