One(s) to Watch : Arman Bohn

      Sometimes things simply slip through the cracks. Like the fact someone I've known for years quietly crafted one of the best albums of 2009.  Arman Bohn's debut solo album (after years of playing in scores of bands and pressing careers in film making and a degree in physics) Bits is a retro-futuristic pop blast from start to finish.  Let's get this part out of the way since it seems like the inevitable comparison: If you liked the lone Postal Service album you'll love Bits. Inevitable as Arman Bohn played in Eureka Farm with Ben Gibbard and Nick Harmer (both now of Death Cab for Cutie, Ben also of Postal Service fame.) Truth be told, despite all the hype around that Postal Service album it only had about three really good songs on it in my opinion where as Bits is solid from start to finish.

   From the opening strains of "Combat" to the last refrain of "Demon Attack", Arman Bohn establishes himself as a pop perfectionist. The album inspired by the early days of Atari video gaming has all the late-70s-early 80s sunshine guitar rock filtered through a synth pop soundscape. Alternate tuning and custom built instruments (like "the Magical toolbox" ) abound as tales of forlorn love and destroyed cites jump from the stereo.  Songs like "Kaboom" feature instantly catchy sing-along choruses and "No Escape!" (the second equally infectious single from Bits ) counter the pop orchestration of a gorgeous melancholy song like "Lost Luggage" or the equally plaintive "Night Driver".  This is a criminally underrated and unheard release.


Check out two stellar videos from Bits after the jump.

Combat - from the album "Bits" by Arman Bohn from Distropolis on Vimeo.

No Escape! - from the album "Bits" by Arman Bohn from Distropolis on Vimeo.

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