Single Review: ‘Olivia Hutton’ Sees Arms and Sleepers Return To Their Cinematic Trip-Hop Roots

Arms and Sleepers | Olivia Hutton (single) | Future Archive Recordings

Release Date: 29 May, 2020

For American electronic duo Arms and Sleepers, shaping immersive, lavish atmospheric soundscapes seems almost effortless at times: their intricate blend of blissful minimalist percussion and trip-hop-esque beats, detailed layers of thoughtful instrumental ambience rich with texture and a very particular melodic introspection, with hints of ambient post-rock influence, has showcased a unique craft by the ever evolving artists.

The duo, made up of Mirza Ramic and Max Lewis continuously demonstrate their prowess when it comes to shape-shifting and genre-bending, with each release showcasing elements of their distinct musical personality yet presenting listeners with ultimately different themes and experiences.

Their latest single ‘Olivia Hutton‘ – a reference to a character from director James Schamus’ 2016 film ‘Indignation‘ – was released as a brand new track specifically for independent, artist run label Future Archive Recordings(in which the duo are a part) most recent compilation FUTURE ARCHIVE, VOL. 2. The 15 track compilation also features original tracks from artists such as Sun Glitters, il:lo and Yppah, a wonderful plethora of different electronic genres all rolled into one.

Arms and Sleepers ‘Olivia Hutton’ is a standout track from the duo, following their most recent 2020 album release ‘Safe Area Earth’ which sees the artists expand on their signature auditory personality: with both ‘Safe Area Earth’ and ‘Olivia Hutton’ showcasing the stunning glow of their musical roots combined with clear, radiant evolution into striking new releases.

The introduction to ‘Olivia Hutton’ sets the thoughtful, halcyon tone of the track; engulfing listeners in a euphoric trip-hop bliss, the steady heartbeat dotted with percussive static, segueing into a smooth, dreamlike soundscape. The embrace of an airy, atmospheric ambience, glimmering with gentle hues of melancholy, brings to mind some of their earlier works such as ‘Matador’ and while the return to certain elements of their previous roots is beautiful within itself (there is definitely nostalgia slumbering within the rich ambience), there is a noticeable evolution from the artists in ‘Olivia Hutton’ – it’s absolutely, inherently them, however it demonstrates a lovely sense of growth and modernity.

The reverb-soaked female vocal samples and background harmonies move in a velveteen dance with the smooth fluidity of the electronic textures, hypnotic in nature. The track blossoms into a cinematic crescendo with the introduction of an affectionate synthesizer melody, glimmering with a honeyed melancholia; ‘Olivia Hutton’ is beautifully bittersweet, hearing Arms and Sleepers return to their roots with this track is one of the ultimate highlights of this release.

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Rating: 8.5 / 10

Review by Jenna Dreisenstock

Feature Image: Arms and Sleepers / Press via Facebook