Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Armand's new project "It's Beauty in Destruction" feels like the perfect sparkplug the hip-hop and pop intersection really needed. This latest body of work from Armand is ripe with commanding synth-work and wide vocals that gracefully cut through not only the mix but also one's introspective sense. Each track remains internally repetitious while managing to evolve by the minute with clever drum minimalism that really allows the perfect space for Armand's sticky melodies.
Armand's wine-and-dine with pop-music is evident just seconds into the fist-bumping intro "A Cold July" that explodes perfectly just after the minute mark with indie-rock drums before returning to what will be the center for the rest of the project-- beautiful vocal texturism.
"Sometimes" is next, with the help of singer Daniel Hex who absolutely meets the moment. Both this track and the following track "Dreamland 2020" draw a little closer to the bounce present in rap at the moment, with the former colored with a tweeded guitar melody that could fit in 90s rock song. "Sometimes" also doubles as a space for Armand and Daniel to reflect on growth and progress, resulting in what I can only describe as a bonfire worthy track that should totally be sung with your friends.
"Dreamland" feels like an extension of Armand's perspective of the world around him as he chants "these streets won't take my soul".
"Alive" as a middle point gives us that punchy synth bass that always anchors synth-pop hits, backed by Majid Jordan/Partynextdoor reminiscent cadences. While this track is perhaps our least favorite in terms of stickiness, its still a steady point for this projects middle.
"Sunrise Interlude" to "Scarlett Meadows" is likely our favorite stretch on the project, and feels like such a full lean into the pop-anthem showmanship of artists like Benny Blanco and Jack Larsen. For us it feels so fitting to finish with these three records. The guitars sound like the end of summer and Armand uses these last 3 tracks to lay all of his cards on the table. Colorful arpeggios skip through the mix of "Scarlett Meadows" painting the final scene of a modern John Hughes movie.
Overall, "There's Beauty in Destruction" is a wonderful marriage of the introspection and pop showmanship that has a lot to offer in its 24 minute runtime. We're totally suggesting you check out this album!
Stream "There's Beauty in Destruction" below and follow Altnubian on Spotify for more indie tunes