Cleveland, Ohio duo Arms & Armour, which is comprised of Lauren Voss (vocals, guitar, synth) and HIRAM-MAXIM drummer John Panza (drum machines, samples, synth), are set to release their Into This Wide Unkown EP, dropping on June 21 via Panza’s own Erroneous Exegesis Records.
“As a band that began more than a decade ago as a guitar and drums act, we’ve moved deeper and deeper into electronics in recent years,” Panza says of the band whom some describe as equal parts Chelsea Wolfe and Claire Voyant with dashes of Emma Ruth Rundle, Blonde Redhead, and PJ Harvey. “We know that this blend of electronics and doom is what we want from our songs and performances.
“This approach also plays well into the themes we have explored recently, Panza adds. “From agency to pregnancy to motherhood to exegetical frameworks that compel us one way or another, make us feel pity, shame, envy, compassion, derision, and especially vulnerability. We work to find a melding of voice and music that unsettles as much as it inspires. Arms & Armour is flesh as much as it is protection.” Arms & Armour recorded the EP with Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Unsane, Violent Femmes) at BCStudios, producing the effort alongside Bisi. For mastering the band tapped Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland Oregon.
“The concept for this album is centered around the Divine Feminine and all the beauty, power, and horror that energy encompasses,” Voss explains. “It’s creation coincided with the birth of my daughter, and though much of the music had been written prior to pregnancy, it had a profound impact on the production of our EP and the direction we have been going. While the divine feminine is a more common and even widespread topic in music today, motherhood is less so. This is due to a lot of reasons I won’t go into here, but it was important to me to challenge the perception that women in music quit and disappear if we choose to become mothers. I am heartened by more mainstream musical divas showcasing their motherhood and more feminist music publications, like She Shreds Media, highlighting rock moms,” Voss adds. “For me, pregnancy was a time when I felt my most vulnerable but also most powerful and I feel that came through in this [effort].”
Today the duo shares the video for “Shape Shifter.” Voss had this to say about it:
“I filmed myself all by myself in the August heat at nine months pregnant. That’s what came out of my ‘nesting phase’ of pregnancy.”