Review Summary: Do you believe in love at first listen? Or will you have to give Armistice another spin?
It really is just a matter of time. A sound this fresh, this inviting, and this heartwarming doesn’t come by every day. When it does, it is usually quick to find its niche on one’s rotation. For me, Armistice
was love at first listen, and its niche is “repeat” on my ipod. At just five songs spanning a mere sixteen minutes, the debut EP by this gifted pair of indie musicians is easily digestible, and it is bursting at the seams with reggae, mariachi, and flamenco influences that give the album a tropical atmosphere. There is not one moment that lacks intrigue, catchiness, and exotic imagery; and all of the songs are connected with the flow and grace of a soundtrack to a classic film. Lush and confident, Armistice
will sweep over you like a salty beach breeze, evoking a love-drenched feeling akin to watching the sun set with a beautiful woman by your side. In the meanwhile, the ice in your fruity cocktail begins to melt and slowly trickle from the lime wedge down the side of the glass, creating a dark ring in the sand below. Let Armistice transport you to this destination – a place where warmth is everywhere, from your sun-stained cheeks to the love swelling deep within your heart.
The liberating sound of ‘Mission Bells’ surges with a mariachi background and heavy strings that open the curtain to an experience completely free of restraint. It is this carefree sensation that manages to permeate Armistice
despite its disheartening tale of lovers caught in the iron grip of war. Almost as if to symbolize love’s conquest over the evils of mankind, the combination of gorgeous instrumentals and stunning duets between Beatrice Martin and Jay Malinowski are an absolute triumph; one that continues to pervade the record long after the opening track has expired. Throughout all of the songs, Martin and Malinowski’s vocal harmonies are what bring Armistice
down to earth, with a strong sense of humanity keeping the grandiose nature of the music from losing its relatable qualities. The unique lyrical dialogue also gives songs like ‘City Lights Cry’ an endearing sense of personality. Without the uplifting musical backdrop and the accompanying trade-offs between both singers, Armistice
would lose a good portion of what makes it such an accessible EP.
Fortunately, the young indie rockers of Armistice
know just where their strengths lie, and they play to them for the EP’s entire duration. ‘Neon Love’ just might be the best song here technically, with flawless integration of both vocalists and a tangible sense of chemistry not only between Martin and Malinowski, but between them and their music
. Their ability to envelop themselves within the sound of Armistice
results in the delivery of the EP’s best harmony, and easily its most memorable chorus. ‘Jeb Rand’ plays the important role of bridging the first and second half of the album, and it does so seamlessly – the desperation can be felt in their voices, and the ominous guitar strumming suggests a bleak horizon for the pair of lovers in the story. All encompassed within a brief 2:37 span, Armistice accomplish the most with the least on this haunting tune. ‘God Will Get His Man’ sums things up rather nicely, putting out a 1950’s mystery movie vibe – one in which you can almost imagine a cigar-smoking, top-hat-sporting gentleman prowling the downtown streets of a black and white city (and the title/lyrics also work in its favor). More than anything else, though, the song effectively closes out Armistice
, tying together the sprawling, free-flowing tropical vibes and Mexican influences with something more smug sounding – thus allowing the EP to leave us with a confident strut instead of a “its just kind of going to end” feel.
is an essential indie pick-up. A pleasant surprise has been bestowed upon us with this EP and, more importantly, with this band. Martin and Malinowski have Armistice pointed in an extremely promising direction, and to think that this album could soon be overshadowed by even greater things makes my head spin. Even as it stands now, Armistice
is a remarkable accomplishment that could easily end the year as the number one extended play. It is a great many things that I can’t even begin to describe – not due to the complexity of the arrangements or the profoundness of the music’s impact on my emotions – but because I am not a skilled enough writer. Armistice
has reminded me why I listen to music, and I am in love.