Peter Buck and Joseph Arthur have known each other for about 20 years, but apart from Arthur's opening slot on R.E.M.'s 2004 tour, they haven't really worked much together. That's changed with the formation of their duo, Arthur Buck, which started when the two ran into each other in Todos Santos, Mexico.

As Rolling Stone tells it, Arthur accidentally left behind a guitar after playing a festival in Mexico last year. When he returned to pick it up, he crossed paths with his old friend, who has a house there. A jam session started and they wound up writing eight songs in as many hours. Then they performed the new material for Buck's neighbors.

"It was really spontaneous and kind of magical in its own way, as [being in Mexico] we were kind of disconnected from everything," Buck said.

Arthur had been working on a highly personal album, and he found that collaboration allowed him to open up in a way that he hadn't been able to on his own, while still reflecting the themes of his solo record.

"All of a sudden it was like I had this musical partner and friend," he said, "and that relieved the music of the burden of the self, if that makes sense."

"Joe is going through that searching period we all go through in life," Buck continued. "And those experiences he's having make this a very forward-looking record, lyrically. The music has a questing kind of feel. We were making it up as we went along."

They got signed to New West Records on the strength of the demos and began recording an album that's currently being mixed. They plan to support it by touring North America and Europe later this year.

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