The strength of “Western Children” is its rotational use of group vocals. Arkivist is a trio in which all three members have the skills to be lead vocalists. When one or two of the members sing, the sound is pleasing. When the three harmonize, the result is soothing and drop-all-activity dazzling. During “Western Children,” the simplicity of the instrumental support allows the voices to stand front and center. The instruments are interesting, but nonintrusive. This leaves the message of the song unmasked. According to Arkivist’s submission on SubmitHub:
"This song was written after Jonny (keys/vocals) came out, publicly sharing that he was gay. His announcement brought the band closer together, starting a new era for both Jonny and the group. Rallying to support Jonny, Ben (guitar/vocals) wrote this song. Ben’s newfound connection with Jonny’s personal story caused him to reassess his own experience with some of the people in his life who were less accepting (older mentors and friends). This song is in support of Jonny, directed at people in the older generation who are less accepting of homosexual love. It both seeks to support acceptance and also acknowledge the complexity of these issue in our culture today."
Arkivist is based in Los Angeles, but identifies their hometown as Portland, Oregon. The members are Ben Weyerhaeuser (vocals, guitar), Jonny Hicks (keys, synth, vocals), and Chris Neff (drums, vocals).