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Lawrence Arabia

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Biography

Lawrence Arabia is the musical pseudonym of New Zealand artist James Milne.

Born in Christchurch, NZ in 1981, Milne played briefly in a Auckland indie pop group called The Brunettes in 2002. He also played with fellow Brunettes member Ryan McPhun in a side project called Ruby Suns. Milne played bass for both bands on tours in the US but upon returning to New Zealand, he gathered together some local musicians (including McPhun) to form a new group called The Reduction Agents. In 2006, Milne released a record called “The Dance Reduction Agents” with the band and also a self-titled solo album.

Both records were critically acclaimed in New Zealand but failed to make much of a splash outside of his home country. Milne decided to move to the UK, setting up shop in East London, in Shoreditch where he began writing his second album. During this time, he toured with Okkervil River and Feist to pay the rent, playing bass. The second album, Chant Darling, was recorded in Sweden and London and released in early 2010. It had strong reviews in the Guardian and the BBC and the single “Apple Pie Bed” won an award in his native New Zealand.

In July 2012, he released The Sparrow on the Bella Union label. The album is nine quirky indie pop songs that received good reviews in NME and Drowned in Sound.

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