Small Black Arrows is music duo based in Manchester and Wales. They draw influence from a variety of genres like funk, folk, pop, rock and opera to create their own unique genre. Their working class and urban roots have a deep influence in the sound they produce. Having previously released most of their music in 2021, they are back with their 4th single “British Museum” in 2024.

The track has different sections that tap into wildly different genres within the same song, giving us what we can interpret as a sonic tour of “The British Museum”. It starts off  as an acoustic singer-songwriter song with keys and strings in the background creating ambience. The lead vocals by Small Black Arows here are smooth, soothing and delivered with an intentional lightness. It feels like the entrance of an actor to a birthday party in a film. The next section has the lines “Giving it all” repeated consistently, making the single anthemic. The strings and instrumentation that kicks in rhythmic, continuous, yet airy. The opera influence is apparent in the vocals by the lead vocalist.

Almost a minute into the track, it finally allows itself to settle into its rock era as its percussion gets heavier. The whole section has an electronic feeling, the vocals are echoed out and the vocal inflections are sharp and cutting. The riff on the guitar in this section was my favourite part of the track. Before coming back to its rock bag again, the track takes on a folk section with angelic vocal harmonies. I thought that the backup vocals here added a lot to the track and were layered interestingly. We have a few seconds of quiet before the outro which serves as a good base to introduce the twinge-ey and country-like strings at the end. We are finally sent away with the lines “You are exiting the British Museum, we hope you enjoyed your stay”.

I thought that “The British Museum” flowed between genres seamlessly and the incorporations felt intentional. I look forward to hearing more from Small Black Arrows!