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The Arcadian Wild "Dopamine"


Release Date

Record Label



Kristin Smith

Album Review

Calling all lovers of alternative music out of the woods. 

From the hills of Nashville comes a group called The Arcadian Wild who blend indie, folk, bluegrass and pop in their signature sound. Made up of songwriters Lincoln Mick and Isaac Horn, along with fiddle player Bailey Warren, this acoustic-loving trio have two and an EP albums under their collective belt. 

They also have a new album on the way, set to release in July of 2023. And their lead single from said album is titled “Dopamine.” 

This is a quick, deceptively lighthearted tune that actually explores a deeper theme: the powerful device we all carry in our hands, our obsession with dopamine hits and the discontentment all of this creates. 


You don’t want to miss out on your own life, right? Turns out, the device in your hand was created (according to The Arcadian Wild) to keep us distracted from that life, to “hit ‘em with a little bit of dopamine to keep em lookin’?” It has somehow taken away a small piece of our humanity as we’re constantly “second guessing,” trying to “meet the expectation of the age of information.” 

Although it can be fun to look at random videos (“Show a video of a corgi wearing a knitted sweater”), they can become consuming and addicting. 

The call here, then, is to “wake up and break yourself” out of the delusion that your phone is more important than people  and to make changes for the better (“Don’t be one of the cold souls who disappears/Stop believing and telling the lie/Why don’t you look your life in the eye?”). 


There isn’t anything concerning here, in the way of questionable content. However, this group presents a very valid concern in that we should all pay attention to how much our devices control our feelings, our expectations and the span of our attention. 


“Dopamine” is a very creative effort. The beginning of this song sounds lighthearted, almost like something from Jason Mraz, and it continues with the same feel as vocals are added and layered. 

The sound is intentionally chaotic as three voices fight to sing different lyrics. But that’s the point. Just as their layered lyrics cause chaos, so our phones constantly cause chaos as they vie for our attention. 

But the takeaway here isn’t to remain in chaos. Instead, it’s to put our devices away and have the courage to look our lives “in the eye.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).