Portland artist Alex Arrowsmith is known for wearing scrubs on stage, then subsequently being asked in 7-11 if he just got off work. But he’s also known for off-kilter Beatles-style pop, lush production, and prolific album releases. With a thirst for music production starting at a young age, Arrowsmith has fully self-produced and engineered every album of the 12 he’s released.
Arrowsmith’s music has an anything-goes attitude, with an inexplicable affinity for disarming textures and animal sound effects. The songwriting is humor-tinged and adventurous, with lyrics such as, “If you want to claim Palestine/You’re gonna need some expert web design.” While Arrowsmith’s music often veers into the absurd (see: “Coldplay Got Eaten by Piranhas”), its true allegiance is to strong hooks and melodies. This unusual musical perspective is derived from hard-hitting innovators such as The Cure and They Might Be Giants.
Arrowsmith recently collected a drummer and a bass player (Mayhaw Hoons, bassist from up-and-coming Portland indie rock band The Shaky Hands) to complete his live band, Alex Arrowsmith and His Pugs. Arrowsmith’s live shows are entertaining and dynamic – soaring background vocals fuse with guitar bravado, delivering a clean and delicious sound. Sometimes, an electric razor will make an appearance.
In a shock twist ending that betrays his bedroom artist rep, Arrowsmith’s songs have aired on several radio stations, and on television shows such as NBC’s Today Show and the UK teen drama Skins. Arrowsmith also achieved internet celebrity status with the YouTube political satire “Bomb Iran,” which has garnered over 164,000 views and was briefly featured on CNN.