Boston duo Arms and Sleepers are some of the hardest working people in the music scene. Putting heart and soul into their music, this year the project turned 10 years and things seem to be growing stronger than ever before.
Today's highlight is their new slow-motion delight "Time Will Tell" (probably a reflection on that key anniversary date) and the announcement of their upcoming release Life Is Everywhere which will be released sometime in 2017.
My friend Eda passed me this touching message from Arms and Sleeper's founder Mirza Ramic and there's no better way to share this with you than just pasting everything as it is:
This year (2016), Arms and Sleepers turned 10 years old. We celebrated with a special 10 Year Anniversary Tour across Europe, performing with the full live band for the first time in four years and digging deep into our back catalog. Prior to this tour, I performed the final stretch of shows on my own in support of our 2014 album ‘Swim Team’. The last 2 years since the release of ‘Swim Team’ have been incredibly hectic and deeply memorable: touring the world across several continents, raising funds through Kickstarter to release even more new music, and preparing for the 10 year anniversary celebrations. This summer was all about processing it all, reflecting, and getting back to writing new music. The result is ‘Life is Everywhere’, due in early 2017.
Every piece of music is personal, but ‘Life is Everywhere’ feels especially so. Last summer (2015), I took a three-month break from the ‘Swim Team’ promo journey to do a fellowship in Chicago, Illinois. I worked with underprivileged youth through a non-profit educational organization, many of them coming from the notoriously dangerous South Side. It was a life-changing experience, meeting young people with incredible passion, talent, and energy, but also facing incredible obstacles erected by years of systemic racial discrimination. In the midst of a city known to many visitors as a progressive, modern, and “cool” place—especially in the summer—I found myself feeling uneasy and often angry. There was a whole segment of the population lacking access and opportunities that their northern white neighbors enjoyed without much thought. Porsches in the north, empty fridges in the south. This was and is the true America, and Chicago continues to be in the midst of it all (along with acquiring the unfortunate nickname “Chi-raq”). Arms and Sleepers’ music was never intended to be political in any way, but perhaps all art is political anyway. ‘Life is Everywhere’ is certainly an inevitable reaction to the deeply fundamental socioeconomic problems facing the United States, as experienced in one point of time last summer, in one place that is Chicago, and by one guy that is me.
Another transformative experience over the past two years has been working in the music industry. Actively being involved with music in the last 10 years has given us a plethora of insights into the wonders and pitfalls of the music world. We have met many wonderful human beings that deeply care about underground and independent culture, and on the flip side, we have also come across more than a few folks that heavily prioritize business over art and exude a destructive sense of greed. As with every artist, we have made countless mistakes in our careers dealing with people that should have no business being involved in music, but for better or worse, we are still standing on our feet 10 years on. What we have learned is that trust and humanity are the two most important elements of our little music bubble. The people that we continue to work with actively to this day - concert organizers, record labels, fellow musicians, graphic designers, video directors, sound technicians, booking agents, venue owners, etc. - are the people that have always been honest with us, that have always honored our agreements, and that have connected with us on a personal level. In short, no bullshit. After 10 long years, we have realized that the only way to survive as artists and to preserve a sense of humanity is to cut out the music business bullshit and those willing to prioritize money and business over personal relationships and art. And, at the same time, to deepen our relationships with those working hard to support independent and underground music and culture, whether they be in Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, Luxembourg, or Boston. Integrity has no borders, and meaningful life experiences have no room for pretenders.