Prolific Portland artist Alex Arrowsmith follows up his positively-reviewed 2006 record Applewine with Missing Briefcase, his tenth album of off-kilter Beatles-style pop in six years. Arrowsmith spent the first half of 2007 recording the record as he has all previous records--by himself, cooped up in a tiny overpriced studio apartment in NW Portland. Despite the distraction of people wrestling in the apartment next door, the songs sound as clean and shiny as possible. Mayhaw Hoons, long-haired bassist from up-and-coming Portland indie rock band The Shaky Hands, also contributes vocals on the faux-hip-hop song "Still Pushin," coining soon-to-be-hot-in-2008 phrases such as "take a ho to the bank."
Arrowsmith's humor-tinged songwriting on Missing Briefcase is subtle and sardonic, with lyrics such as, "If you want to claim Palestine/You're gonna need some expert web design." But Arrowsmith often eschews the self-conscious wittiness for the earnest ("Skybridge," "There May Be A Place"), sometimes veering into pure absurdism ("Going Insane For The McCain Campaign"). These themes are all tied together with lush production and the consistent sensibility of melody and adventurousness.
In a shock twist ending that betrays Alex Arrowsmith's bedroom artist rep, his music has been used by various television programs, such as NBC's "The Today Show" and PBS Kids' "DragonflyTV." He also acheived sub-Internet-celebrity status in 2007 with the YouTube satire/parody "Bomb Iran," which has reached over 27,000 views to date.
"You simply can't deny Arrowsmith's pop savvy."
-Casey Jarman, Willamette Week
-Graham Bailey, Pucknation.com
"Alex Arrowsmith is a singer/songwriter that is infatuated with setting a new standard in the relatively stagnant alternative pop scene where too many artists take themselves far too seriously to have any fun."
-J-Sin, Smother Magazine (smother.net)
"[Applewine] proves Arrowsmith is an eclectic songwriter that refuses to be pigeonholed."
-Rachel Surwit, Music-reviewer.com
"Beatles songs. Geeky, geeky Beatles songs."
-Matthew Johnson, Grave Concerns E-zine
"This guy both cracks me up and makes me want to listen to his wit and wisdom over and over."