Armstrong is one of those mysterious and elusive bands that stays well beneath the surface, but anyone willing to dive a bit deeper is richly rewarded with pearls of great value. The new Armstrong album is eagerly anticipated and a welcome return.
The band is centred around singer/songwriter Julian Pitt. Having released two critically acclaimed albums ‘Under Blue Skies’ and ‘Songs About The Weather’, Armstrong will soon be releasing its third.
“My aim is always to write 12x strong songs for an album and make each album a kind of journey for the listener. In the same kind of way that a good movie travels with its ups and downs” says Julian.
Songwriting influences are many, including Aztec Camera, The Beach Boys, The Smiths, The Beatles, Chris Montez, Simon & Garfunkel, Red House Painters, XTC, Earth Wind & Fire, Burt Bacharach, Scott Walker, Jose Feliciano, The Isley Brothers to name a few.
Armstrong’s debut album “Under Blue Skies is one of the most satisfying and melodic albums in recent memory……Armstrong’s lustrous debut presents Pitt as the new unheralded prince of pastoral pop. With a voice that lilts and soars like Roddy Frame or The Pearlfisher’s David Scott, Pitt is truly a splendid find.” -Alex Green*
The follow up release ‘Songs About The Weather’ was released here at TBM. “Can Pop music get any better than this? This is a collection of Perfect Heavenly Pop songs, that would make the ideal soundtrack for this summer……Pop has not sounded like this in years, bringing back the fond memories of Early Aztec Camera or The Pale Fountains, or if you go back further Chad and Jeremy. There are also traces of the Trash Can Sinatras, The Pearlfishers, Prefab Sprout, Lloyd Cole, Swan Dive, The Dream Academy, The Zombies, The Searchers, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and more – what a blend of influences” -Wally.
An old NME review made a similar comparison to Aztec Camera as well as Teenage Fanclub and Ash in reviewing an earlier 7” single. BBC’s Tom Robinson added “Classic, Vintage, Orchestral Pop Songwriting”.
If you enjoy wistful ballads and sun-kissed melodies that are brimming with emotion you’ll want to listen to Armstrong.**
*ALEX GREEN, EDITOR, WWW.caughtinthecarousel.com – California based Music Magazine