The Arms of Someone New isn’t a new band in any literal sense of the word, but they’re (sort of) new to me. Apparently, according to Last.fm, I briefly listened to them back in the spring of 2010, but I have no real recollection of it, so to call it a rediscovery would be a stretch. A new discovery it is.
But who are they? TAoSN was a duo from Chicago, IL, consisting of members Mel Eberle and Steve Jones. They played a sort of ethereal mix between postpunk, cold wave and dream pop. Chilly synthesizers, drum machines, jagged guitars. Soft vocals. Lots of atmosphere.
They formed in 1983 and released their debut LP, Susan Sleepwalking, in 1985, on indie label Office Records. A follow-up, Promise, was released in 1988. I have yet to listen to the latter, but I have nothing but praise for the former. The reissue, available on Spotify, consists of the original album as well as an EP, Burying The Carnival, also released in 1985, and a 7-inch, Holy Dance, from 1984.
The music on Susan Sleepwalking is subtle, dreamy, melancholy without being gloomy, hard to grasp, but easy to get lost in. Despite sort of moving in the same sphere as the goth music of the era, TAoSN is more a walk along the sea shore at dusk rather than a midnight trip to the abandoned asylum or the church yard. It’s romance rather than nihilism or cynicism.
They never made it big. They probably didn’t make a living out of TAoSN. They have 111 listeners on Spotify. Despite its obvious beauty, this is not music for the masses. That says a lot more about the masses, though.
Listen to them on Spotify. Spread the word.
Photo retrieved from http://www.ssmt-reviews.com/artist/arms_of.html