Armada Named Sound refuses to confine its musical reach to a single genre or style, thus the variety and colour of this EP comes from a creatively free direction – and there’s a refreshing energy about the whole thing because of that. Love Me, Hold Me, Dance With Me as an opener is the perfect place to begin, both conceptually and in terms of the unpredictable structure it presents.
Love Me, Hold Me, Dance With Me feels something like a classic or retro dance-pop offering initially. Vintage synths and a simple, almost mellow dance beat back up a delicate vocal melody and make for a calming bit of escapism. As the song progresses though, the underlying concept of this and indeed of the entire EP starts to stand a little taller, and the music veers off unexpectedly to reflect this evolution. On the surface, the song offers brilliant musical strength and a subtle but mighty hook.
SMS (Social Media Sadness), the project’s title track, features the same vocal familiarity and something similar musically, however there’s a definite sense of space and calm to this piece. Your focus is on the lyrics much sooner this time around, certain lines really strike hard among such a spacious ambiance. There’s also a mildly industrial feel to the drum work, which contrasts with the bright and optimistic melodic sections that appear intermittently. Contrast is well utilized throughout this entire collection. The music is always interesting, effective as alternative EDM but fascinating and well worth paying attention to for its details at the very same time. Great melodies and creative exploration walk brilliantly together.
Synth-led lightness leads the way for TLDR, the warm embrace of the ambiance is followed by a sci-fi like riff and a refreshingly organic beat. There’s a clear level of character to the instrumentation, even before the lyrics you can see the intention and the personality of the song. When the vocals enter, the song becomes something like a Massive Attack or Portishead piece – gentle initially, thoughtful and poetic, yet soaked in a certain sense of anticipation or oncoming intensity. The whispered spoken word vocal adds a touch of intrigue that makes sure to hold tight to your attention.
Bringing the EP to a close is the notably mellow ambiance of Too Many Words. This is perhaps a personal favourite, but again contrast is working its magic – there’s a quiet aura to this after all that came before. Even with that though, there are threads throughout this creative style that let you know who you’re dealing with. The eclecticism is in the writing, the mood and emotions implied by each piece, but the comfort is in the stylistics and the way each soundscape is crafted with such distinguishing individuality. The artistic expression of this piece is all encompassing, the title delivers on what it promises – the song adds nothing further to the lyrical content of the EP.
Social Media Sadness in full is easy to escape within and it showcases some superb creativity and professionalism from a music production perspective. There are also plenty of ideas within worth considering at this time in our lives. A definite recommend.