Photo by Arms Akimbo’s Bandcamp Page
Written by Ljubinko Zivkovic
Up until recently, as an aspiring new act, it was almost impossible to get anywhere meaningful unless you had the backing of the big record companies. They had all the key cards in their pockets and showed them only if they smelled big money. These days, big record companies are in big trouble. The cassettes are long gone, CD’s are in clinical death, paid downloads seem to be following them quickly. While vinyl records are showing signs of revival, they probably won’t help them much.
It’s the streaming services like iTunes and Spotify that are dominating the platform, as they are having a problem in controlling something that brings in a more random listening experience. It’s no wonder why many kinds of musical acts, regardless of their represented genre, are going straight for the streaming jugular — get yourself on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, etc., and go from there.
Los Angeles quartet Arms Akimbo are no exception. Inspired by what seems to follow the more Pop-influenced sound similar to Local Natives and Portugal The Man, they started out by pushing their initial EP Vignettes mainly through Spotify and then followed it by a series of singles, of which ‘Michigan’ hit nearly a million plays on Spotify Global.
They have recently come up with their sophomore EP, The Wrong Kind of a Dance Party, which again seems to be perfectly adapted to the random-play concept streaming services are based on. The six songs on the EP do not necessarily stick to a strict genre rule while accentuating all the genres that could fall under the alternative category — Pop (‘Seven Mirrors’), Rock (‘Parachute’), Balladry (‘Cedar Point’) or Folk (‘Rearrange’).
Although, the tying characteristic is the fact that Peter Schrupp, Chris Kalil, Colin Boppell and Matthew Sutton sound like they have been around for much longer than two EP’s and a few singles, and more importantly, that they have the compositional skills and melodic sense to come up with songs that would actually end up on anybody’s streaming playlist, no matter what kind of music they like. Ending up with almost million plays per song seems to prove their point.
Ljubinko Zivkovic is a Freelance Journalist and Copywriter. You can follow him on his Medium page by zivljub (https://medium.com/@zivljub).