Arms of Kismet have today premiered their new video and single titled ‘Dreamland’. As if written by a dream the track gives that earnest feel from a group of honest songwriters with a solid hook and ‘glidelike’ nature within the chorus that gives that feelgood sound that summer really needed at this moment.
The visuals within the video are both nostalgic and artful without distracting from the song. They had me at the intro! Who could not remember Wolfenstein 3D from 1993!!!! The combination of kaleidoscope and vivid artwork really match the song not only in rhythm but in reason.
A few questions…
There are some really great influences on your new track “Dreamland”. There’s a bit of Americana ala Tom Petty or The Replacements but with a touch of more modern guitar pop production, at times like Wild Nothing. It’s lush and personable. Do you produce your own music or do you work with someone?
There’s a stylistic line that runs from Bob Dylan to Roger McGuinn to Tom Petty. I’m around that sequence, although I don’t try to be. McGuinn couldn’t have written “Chestnut Mare” without Dylan, and Petty couldn’t have written “American Girl” without McGuinn. Paul Westerberg and the Replacements were like the Heartbreakers with some Clash and Alex Chilton thrown in.
My stuff is in that neighborhood, but with some genre-bending and sonic randomness and a blend of modern and retro sounds. I produce the records myself and have built kind of an offbeat approach through a lot of tinkering. Brian Lucey (Elvis Costello, Liam Gallagher, the Black Keys) mastered the track — he does distinctive things with harmonic distortion.
Tell us what inspired this track? What’s the story behind it and how did you start writing it?
“Dreamland” has this poppy female backing vocal (by Audrey Karrasch) that softens and sweetens the edges and makes it shine more like a straight pop song. I like records that go a little against the grain, that seem straightforward until you listen to them a second or third time… and then you hear more depth. The song is about a dream I had in which I thought I saw an impoverished Wall Street CEO stumbling down the streets of Manhattan.
I woke up and thought, “Is it even possible that a billionaire could end up on the streets like that?” Then I thought, “Sure, yeah… but maybe only in dreamland.” It’s a song about whether or not people ultimately get what they deserve.
Let’s leave off with this; what do you have scheduled for the rest of 2020? Did you have any other plans originally before the whole world shut down? What are you most hopeful for in 2021?
“Dreamland” is the first in a series of singles. I’m going to do four or five of these catchy, topical things, culminating in a new album, probably in ’22. Live shows will come back eventually, so I’m going to hibernate for now with the tape and tubes. As for hopefulness, our leaders have dunked our heads in the pool and we need to find our breath again. I’m hopeful we’ll say “no mas” in November.
About Arms of Kismet
Arms of Kismet first landed in 2004 with the release of the ‘Eponymous’ album and a six-week U.S. tour. Since then it has put out four more records on Wampus, plus a couple of off-the-wall entries under the alter-ego Waterslide. Like Giant Sand or Smog filtered through a pop lens, Arms of Kismet might sell records in an alternate universe — stubborn, literate, oblique, and stalkingly catchy. Guitars coat sugary melodies and fractured lyrics, blending genres in offbeat and revelatory ways.