Artist info


Indie, Roots

Sounds like

Death cab for Cutie, Sufjan Stevens, Copeland

band members

Steven Barnard - Vocals, Movement, Songwriter James Hutchinson - Pianos Josh Bonnefin - lead guitar Tim Bradley - Drums Tom Swanton - Bass


John Mayer, Chet Faker, Glass Animals



Arbori is music and dance, in equal measures nostalgic and innovative. Raised on a creative diet of Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Neil Young and Paul Simon, these men were model entertainers, romancers, vagabonds and his gatekeepers to jazz, folk and dance. With little concern for the high school social stigmas, his mother was smart enough to persistently enrol him in dance class while his father took him guitar shopping and shared all his favourite songs. Sadly Arbori’s dance life was repeatedly disappointing and with a heavy sigh he did what any 17-year-old ex-ballroom dancer would; he started a ska punk band – which, like all ska punk bands, ended. He went on to scramble his way through a degree in theology and a diploma in counselling, and got a job as a youth worker.
Despite the rewards of his work, he felt like he had missed his calling. So at 25 he quit his job and went to train fulltime in performing arts being told “we don’t think you will ever be a dancer, but prove us wrong.” Two years later, he was in Las Vegas representing Australia at the International Hip Hop Championships. He’d fallen ass first into the hip-hop dance scene. A white ballroom dancing, ska punk playing, theologian/youth worker trying to get the swagger back he doubted he’d ever had in the first place to lose. Being schooled on popping, locking, new school and break, he was meeting his gatekeepers to all thing dope, buck and fresh.
Naturally Arbori’s jazz-folk inspired melodies and R&B influenced beats are like just like drinking tea with your Nanna who is wearing a snap back and a hoodie. People don’t expect jazz, folk and hip-hop to combine but his dancers are among the best in the country, and their diversity and musicality is what sets them apart and makes Arbori make sense. Friends
have comically, but accurately, coined him as 'Justin Timberfolk'; a title he carries with humility and honour.
Having shared the stage with the likes of Matt Corby, Stu Larsen, and The Falls, as well as collaborating with a number of award-winning dance acts including Phly Crew, Sisqo and Sarah Boulter, Arbori has been noted as “one of Sydney’s most exciting young bands” (Timber and Steel) and “what the Australian music scene is missing” (The Ripe) - Arbori is captivating some of the world’s best with this unique aesthetic.
Known for audacious recording projects involving large bands in live environments, Arbori is set to release the debut EP "Walls" in August 2014. This collection is to date the most comprehensive showcase of the life that has influenced the movement and music of this Renaissance Man. With such a diverse EP, and a live show featuring some of Australia's strongest dancers, Arbori is set on a trajectory to become one of the country’s most engaging and emotive acts, both live and on record.
Biology Of Memories (2010)
In the Places You Fold (2012)
Polar Bear Swim (single & dance film 2013)
Flannelette and Feather Beds (Oct 2013)


Biology of Memories (Radio ...


Reviewed by Dom Alessio Dom Alessio

04 Jul 2011

Super Reviewer

If you like Darren Hanlon you might dig this band. A sweet, fragile slice of Australiana folk.

If you like Darren Hanlon you might dig this band. A sweet, fragile slice of Australiana folk.