‘Impulse-buy’ band Arcano an endearing find

I typically can’t take any of my mother’s musical suggestions seriously, given that she’s 57 and still listens to the B-52s and Celene Dion religiously. Therefore, I was hesitant when she came back from her spontaneous trip to Mexico a few weeks ago and insisted I listen to the CD she bought on impulse in the airport.

The album, titled “Volumen 5,” by a brother and sister duo called Arcano, pleasantly surprised me.  It’s an extremely versatile 12-track musical compilation of covers from both modern and classical genres, including artists such as Madonna, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Enya and Vivaldi.

Some of the covers seem rather simple, with one sibling, Erika del Real, playing the vocal or melody parts on the violin and the other, Vick del Real, covering the rhythms and harmonies on the piano and synthesizer. But a closer listen revealed intricately assembled sounds that create a refreshing spin of the original versions we’ve heard so many times before.

In fact, the duo seems true to the original versions of the songs, capturing every element of the songs nearly perfectly. Arcano’s tracks convey an unexpected, classical and refreshing sound I haven’t yet experienced in a cover band.

Almost every track has an upbeat, energetic, verging-on-techno rhythm to it; even Vivaldi’s “Summer” movement from his “Four Seasons” (or “Verano,” as Arcano titles it) has a beat I found myself working out to just the other day.

I can partially credit my appreciation for Arcano to the fascination I have with any stringed instrument. However, I think anyone would agree that this talented young brother and sister duo have created a successful and lively compilation of cover songs very few classical music groups have pulled off before.

Granted, it was kind of a sketchy impulse buy made by my mother in an airport in Puerto Vallarta, but Arcano found their way onto my iTunes and into “mi corazon.” Gracias, mom.

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