Atlas and Arrows
● By Style
Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
It’s been said that music, like all art, has the inherent ability to touch our souls and speak to us on another level.
There’s something special about up and coming indie/folk group Atlas and Arrows, something surpassing their obvious talent: They’re a sublime combination of the musician, the songwriter and the singer.
The group consists of five members: Madison Sipes (vocals, guitar, banjo), Jett Hagerty (violin, viola), Ryan Ladd (bass, piano), Kayla Warner (vocals, percussion) and Bryce Yaple (drums, vocals). When I first heard the groups’ five-song debut EP, Sunshine, I fell in love with their sound and was impressed to learn the songs were all written by the band. I was even more impressed to discover that the voice I was hearing belonged to 15-year-old Sipes, the band’s primary songwriter. The group formed in December of 2011, and with all but one of the members still in high school, it’s a tremendous achievement to already have a demo CD, music videos, and a series of performances under their belts. It might seem daunting to juggle all of this with the responsibilities high school demands, but the group says “promoting to a wide body of peers at various schools has helped get the band up and running.”
Songwriting is a gift that comes naturally to Sipes, who says she sometimes gets inspired enough to knock out 30 songs in a day. “Music is what I love to do...it is definitely my passion, and I think it is the greatest thing to ever happen to me,” she explains. “Last year I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer and for a while after I was in a dark place. Instead of focusing on the negatives in my life, I began to focus all my emotions into my music and writing songs.” Sipes seems to have mastered the art of weaving brokenness into beauty.
Atlas and Arrows strives to take their genre of music to the next level, and 16-year-old Hagerty plays a big role in that. A classically trained violinist, Hagerty’s “dream is to create an understanding amongst people that violin can do so much more than just play concertos and sonatas.” He proves his point well by infusing the violin so eloquently into Atlas and Arrow’s songs.
The band’s bassist, Ladd, graduated from Union Mine High School this past spring and recently headed off to Tennessee for college. “Over the years, music has become not only my joy, but my job, and is what I am pursuing in college.”
Without a doubt, this outstanding five-fecta will be reaching new heights in the near future, hopefully spreading their talent throughout Tennessee. In the meantime, catch them playing shows at local coffee shops and various events throughout the area.
Visit atlasandarrows.com for more information.