I’ve been into chill music lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love tracks that make me want to get up and dance, but nothing makes me happier than something I could fall asleep to while I lay in a hammock on a summer afternoon.
And traditionally, I tend to like music that pumps me up. When you label yourself as an EDM fanatic you kind of have to be. I need to be tapping my feet to music, if not bouncing in my chair a little bit.
I like extremely chill music and extremely pumped music.
Teneya! What if someone made music that did both?
No, hush. That doesn’t exist! You are either pumped by a song or you are calmed by it!
Teneya, you should listen to ALARMs!
Who? Oh. Oh, my. OH MAN. I see what you mean.
I’m not sure what exactly I get struck with when I listen to the I am Now EP. I am certainly not predisposed to sounds like MGMT and Passion Pit. I can appreciate them sure, but I’m not going to mark them up on my “favorites” playlists. But something about ALARMs keeps getting stuck in my head. Amongst the shiny new tunes from my favorite bands, ALARMs has slipped into my shower singing routine and the serenades I give to my cat when no one is home.
ALARMs, listen to them anywhere! Listen to “Hold My Head” during your private dance party. Listen to “Time” before you go to bed. Listen to it all, whenever! There’s not a context for it! And don’t get me started on “Darkly Dreaming.” I haven’t had a song invade my headspace that quickly for as long as I can remember.
It feels weird to have that 80s-influenced game of “Guess if this is a bass guitar or a synth” and enjoy it so thoroughly. ALARMs have applied their production skills to an understanding of bass and low-mid frequencies, and it sounds like a night out on the city streets. It’s a great combination of all kinds of well-processed acoustic and electronic elements.
If that weren’t already appealing enough, ALARMs pulls off a trick that, by itself, would make me buy the album. They use a voice not just as a means for conveying lyrics, but as an instrument in and of itself. I could fill a book with instances of breathy vocals that grate on my ears; but ALARMs has avoided that list so effectively, I feel like they deserve a personal note of thanks from me:
ALARMs, you have to stop this. I am not supposed to like your music. I am supposed to make a complaint about bands that are stuck in the past and I am supposed to call you out on your lyrics and how terrible your production is. You must stop whatever subliminal messages you put in your music to make me like it because it’s working. Bands don’t do this to me! I don’t get hooked to something in less than a week!
But no really, just kidding, I love this EP.