Alex Arrowsmith
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Alex Arrowsmith

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Applewine review - Dec. 2006"

So first things first, wouldn’t an alcoholic beverage made from apples be considered cider? Well that’s not important and probably not true, so let’s continue onwards! Alex Arrowsmith playfully tickles your pop-rock funny bone with catchy tunes chock full of gnarly melodies and radical pop hooks. As catchy as the common cold, Alex Arrowsmith reminds you of They Might Be Giants especially on songs like “Coldplay Got Eaten By Piranhas”, which would be wonderful especially if you have to listen to any modern rock radio for more than six hours. Coming at us via Portland, Oregon, 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 (

"Applewine review - Jan. 2007"

Alex Arrowsmith is a man with enormous talent and potential. Currently one of the thousands upon thousands of obscure home recording artists toiling away in obscurity, this man's music stands out because there is substance in his recordings. Instead of merely throwing junk together and calling it music (which is what many underground artists are guilty of doing), Alex has a wonderful sense of melody, is astutely tight on the instruments he plays, and has a great voice. This is the fifth album that Alex has recorded and released. Applewine is full of nice, breezy, smart pop with a definite sense of humor. Although not a perfect album, listening to this CD is like watching a photograph develop...Alex may very well still be searching for his own unique sound and voice. But our instincts tell us that...if he keeps heading in the direction that this album hints at...he will very soon find himself a favorite with fans and reviewers. Our favorite tracks are "Land of Dainty Wonder" and "Corn Dog Shaped Like California." Our hope is that Mr. Arrowsmith will be encouraged...rather than a rating of four plus plus plus...because in creating this month's reviews we tossed quite a large number of CDs while opting to spin and absorb Applewine. Good stuff, well done. (Rating: 4+++) - Babysue (

""Update Your Blog" track review"

Alex is perfect for eartaste – he may have even invented the concept himself if we waited a few more weeks. His messages include – “Are you ready to start a revolution? Alex Arrowsmith will bring the musical dipping sauce” &“Alex Arrowsmith slurps musical coffee.” So, right away we know we’re in for fun. The song? “You never update your website! How can we be friends when you neglect to write! So, don’t neglect your blog! Don’t ignore your blog!” Great tune, great fun & pure up-to-date pop! Thanks, Alex! Shoutouts to Hills Of The Mind & Elysium. - Eartaste (

"Applewine review - Jan. 2007"

Score: 8 (of 10)

In 2001 Alex Arrowsmith moved from his hometown of Hood River, Oregon to Portland, Oregon in an attempt to refine his music. Since then the 24-year-old has released numerous albums on his own label, Ectoplasmic Records, many of which (such as Wharfless and The Albatross Project) are available through outlets like CD Baby and iTunes. Applewine is his latest record.

A musician comparing their sound to The Beatles is a long-standing tradition, but saying that a musician sounds like “The Beatles if they had been brainwashed in a CIA prison by They Might Be Giants and Ween,” is more quirky and original. Listening to Applewine this statement makes an odd kind of sense. It is obvious that Arrowsmith is a talented popsmith, as well as a bit of an oddball. His songs a satisfying mixture of pop, singer-songwriter and indie rock, with catchy melodies.

Arrowsmith’s vocals are well done; his voice has a nice even timbre that goes well with his mellow music. Lyrically Applewine is filled with gems that display both Arrowsmith’s talent and odd humor. The lyrics range from standard faire (“You can hurt me anytime you want, as long as you apologize”- “Plains Of Mostly Still Life”) to a bit zany (“It was a sad dark day/ I woke up, leaned over, then burped/ And I turned on the radio, and heard that Coldplay got eaten by piranhas”- “Coldplay Got Eaten By Piranhas.”)

Overall: A fun, well-done album from a quirky (possibly genius) pop singer-songwriter. -

"Missing Briefcase review - January 2008"

[RIDICULOUS POP] Local songwriter Alex Arrowsmith certainly isn't light on corniness—not to mention They Might Be Giants emulation—on Missing Briefcase, the album he celebrates the release of tonight. But regardless of his sometimes overly in-your-face quirk, Arrowsmith is funny and charming and awkward in the same sort of way a weird childhood friend is. But awkward or no (Mayhaw Hoons, the crazy-haired bass-playin' guy from the Shaky Hands, raps on one track, for crissakes), Arrowsmith is darn catchy on tunes like "The Zaps"—which, according to his one-sheet's "useless trivia" section, is about Zoloft withdrawal—and "High Speed Chase," which tries to legitimize his creation of a Wikipedia entry for local news anchor Jeff Gianola. Missing Briefcase walks a fine line between good-ridiculous and bad-ridiculous (and, oh, what a fine line it is), but Arrowsmith sometimes hints of Ben Folds or Fountains of Wayne—employing a smart sense of humor and lots of key-heavy pop hooks, which certainly isn't a bad place to start. AMY MCCULLOUGH. - Willamette Week

""Nuke Song" track review"

Alex Arrowsmith has self-released nine albums since 2001, with little assistance. He’s one of those guys that has to make music, whether it’s a bread-winning endeavor or not. Along the way, he’s learned to write a heck of a pop song, evidence of which can be found in “Nuke Song,” which Arrowsmith says he wrote the song while dogsitting for Mayhaw Hoons (of the Shaky Hands). “I probably watched too much CNN,” he says via email. “There wasn’t much else to do.”

“Nuke Song” is one of Arrowsmith’s less-goofy numbers, actually, when compared to tracks like “Engulf the Manatee” and “Coldplay Got Eaten by Piranhas.” The latter tracks bring Weird Paul (who wrote the timeless classic, “Piece of Meat in the Tang”) to mind. The production on this particular track reminds me of early REM (or They Might Be Giants—an influence?—on the casio-sounding drum track and vocal effects). Comparisons aside, you simply can’t deny Arrowsmith’s pop savvy. It’s the kind of thing that can make a guy a YouTube celebrity (see attached video below).

“Nuke Song” is set to appear on Alex’s next album, the working title of which is Missing Briefcase, due out later this year. - The Willamette Week

"Applewine review - May 2007"

Alex Arrowsmith’s October 2006 release, Applewine, is a feat of smart songwriting backed by catchy tunes that form hilarious tracks from a young singer-songwriter already reaching his prime.

While he cites the Beatles as his major influence, his website’s claim that he sounds like “The Beatles if they had been brainwashed in a CIA prison by They Might Be Giants and Ween,” is more on target with his quirky vibe.

Applewine carves a window into Arrowsmith’s creative mind, depicting original ideas such as Coldplay getting eaten by Piranhas and a corndog in the shape of the state of California. The songs are both adventurous and entertaining.

However, the discrepancy between hilarity and absurdity is a fine line—one that a few songs do cross. Props to Arrowsmith for pushing limits and testing the waters, nonetheless, it results in a few questionable tracks. “Engulf The Manatee,” for instance, spins a tale about someone frozen with Uncle Jesse (yes, I presume from Full House) who wants to engulf a Manatee, singing, “And oh the things I'd make you do with a manatee inside of me. I'd make you kiss my grits.” The frozen character would stop short of eating a seacow or penguin, however. If there is a deeper message to this song, I would like to know it.

While Arrowsmith’s niche may be comedy, his music is also aesthetically pleasing. Songs such as “Fearful Symmetry” and “Your Spell” weave whimsical melodies carried on engaging lyrics. Both songs remain in a comedic vein, approaching romance with a unique and compelling angle. The upbeat “Hills Of The Mind” is a favorite, with an optimistic vibe. Whereas, “All I Have To Do Is Hurt You” reveals Arrowsmith’s serious side featuring a somber stance on relationships. This diverse mix of songs proves Arrowsmith is an eclectic songwriter that refuses to be pigeonholed.

Much of the album taps into the child within us. “Land Of Dainty Wonders” takes listeners to a mystical place where the board game Candy Land comes to life. No one wants to leave a place with marshmallow trampolines, brown sugar beaches, and a ground of chocolate pie—likewise the song may stay on repeat.

While the songs may seem juvenile, they are laced with hidden messages from politics, cultural references and emotion laden life moments. All amongst pokes at modern conveniences like blogs and ringtones, implying our technological reliance. The songwriting is genius.

Arrowsmith has already released nine self-produced albums on Ectoplasmic Records, his own independent label. Now, the Portland artist is gathering acclaim, recently featured as a Sonicbids spotlight article. Plus, another album is near completion with the tentative title Missing Briefcase, due out in 2008.

While Alex Arrowsmith is just one of the countless artists self-recording in the music landscape today, the thoughtful content of his lyrics will carry him far—perhaps not to his Candy Land fairytale, but fame and esteem will have to do. -

""I Am The Ice Age" track review"

You’ve got to admire musicians like Alex Arrowsmith. The 23-year-old Portland, OR artist has offered a number of reasonably lo-fi, self-released efforts, providing singer/songwriter material alongside more up-tempo rock songs, all with a sly sense of humor that brings to mind They Might Be Giants and Jad Fair.

There’s an affecting edge to “I Am the Ice Age” that works remarkably well. Thick guitar chords mix with head-bobbing rhythm, and some odd-ball keyboards are thrown into the backdrop. But the production, which gives Arrowsmith’s vocals a kind of late-80s new-wave edge, really highlight the song. It doesn’t hurt that “I Am the Ice Age” has an undeniably catchy chorus: “Hey, yeah, I am the ice age.” You’ll find yourself repeating it after the song’s over for sure.

I like this track. It’s short enough not to outstay its welcome, yet it’s catchy enough to linger when it’s gone. There’s hints of late-80s/early-90s new-wave and college-rock here, and I’m always a fan of that. A listen to other tracks on Arrowsmith’s website reveals a number of fun and clever songs, all played with a hint of ironic smile yet not sacrificing the talent. Fun stuff. I recommend a listen.

-Jeff Marsh
05/09/06 - Delusions Of Adequacy (

"Applewine review - Dec. 2006"

By Jennifer Layton

For the first couple of tracks, I found myself wanting to do a psychiatric evaluation on this poor boy who writes songs with titles like “I Wasn’t Meant to Be” and “All I Have to do is Hurt You.” But after hearing “Coldplay Got Eaten by Piranhas,” “I Hope You’re Never Crushed by Something Heavy,” and “Update Your Blog,” I realized I seriously needed to lighten up.

Alex Arrowsmith is quirky, intelligent, and fun, writing playful and often childlike melodies surrounded by jangly guitars and sophisticated pop. Oh, and when he decides to kick it with electric guitars for a full-blown rock and roll assault, get out of his way. The boy can play. I believe the line in his bio stating he does a mean version of “Welcome to the Jungle.”

Arrowsmith can be emotionally dark at times, but I’m never completely sure if he’s really being sad or just ironic. Take “Coldplay Got Eaten by Piranhas.” Before you Coldplay fans start spamming his MySpace page, keep in mind that Arrowsmith’s not thrilled about the band’s demise either. The tone is what makes this song so funny. He runs through a litany of bizarre and often tragic events that he’s had to put up with all week, and then to top it off, wouldn’t you know it, Coldplay had to go and get themselves eaten by piranhas. Ever had one of those weeks?

I had to skip ahead for “I Hope You’re Never Crushed by Something Heavy” and received another lyrical surprise. I expected to hear a very awkwardly-phrased love song and instead heard from the point of view of a self-righteous religious fundamentalist, smugly observing someone else’s less than holy lifestyle and delivering the back-handed blessings such people seem to deliver so well: “Satan waits for you under my Chevy, so I hope you’re never crushed by something heavy.” I live far enough in the South to deal with that attitude almost every day, and this was the first time I laughed out loud upon hearing it.

It was hard picking a favorite track, but being the internet addict that I am, I had to choose “Update Your Blog.” This song is an interesting contrast: roaring 50s guitar rock about a modern-day annoyance. “Where’s my Christmas update? Where’s my birthday update?” Arrowsmith rants, “I don’t know who you are anymore!”

Maybe Arrowsmith really is sad in tracks like “I Can Kill Enemies With My Mind,” but he sounds mighty cheerful about it. Psychoanalyze this if you want to, but I get the feeling Arrowsmith would just tell you to chill out and offer you a beer instead. Take him up on it. This is an artist to keep an eye on, if for no other reason to make sure he doesn’t lose his sense of humor and try to hurt himself. -

"Applewine review - Dec. 2006"

Alex Arrowsmith is a singer / songwriter in the vein of Ben Folds, with a very quirky way with lyrics. I guess you could say he even has a touch of Weird Al, which in my opinion is a positive thing. Nice, laid-back college rock with a sense of humour and effortless talent. One of the funniest/quirkiest songs is "Coldplay Got Eaten By Piranhas", which is the singer's bad day made worse when he found out the news that Coldplay got eaten by piranhas. Most of the songs continue on this route, with a few clunkers along the way, but nothing to make me avoid this release. A nice refreshing blast of fun.
-- Grog Mutant (2006) -


Make Me Dinner EP (March 2008)
Missing Briefcase (Jan. 2008)
Applewine (Oct. 2006)
The History Of Fishes (Nov. 2005)
Wharfless (June 2005)
The Albatross Project (Sept. 2004)
A Bunch Of Songs (Nov. 2002)

These albums are available on CD Baby and online download stores including iTunes and Napster.



If you could imagine one artist that took the best of the 60’s, 70’s, late 80’s and early 90’s to create quirky, edgy pop sounds, you’d find yourself listening to Alex Arrowsmith. This insightful and often humorous singer/songwriter is making music that emphasizes an ‘anything goes’ attitude not often found in the more recent music scene.

Currently residing in Portland, Oregon, Alex’s music is an eclectic blend of the best from the past several decades, incorporating his unique and unabashed sense of humor into his lyrics. His sound is engaging, yet funky, hook heavy, but certainly edgy. With inspiration spanning from Pink Floyd to U2 to Weezer, Alex’s unusual musical perspective offers listeners much more than a catchy beat, but rather a journey through modern life, esoteric philosophies and political/social satires. His unconventional lyrics and vocals keep listeners on their toes, awaiting what musical tricks he has up his sleeve.

Having studied radio broadcasting, Alex has self-produced and engineered eight of his ten CD releases. His most recent Applewine (2006) and Missing Briefcase (2008) were professionally manufactured but still self-released.

With his fresh sound, Alex has garnered great success, having had his songs air on several radio stations, on specialty programs and television shows including PBS’ Kids’ DragonflyTV in 2006 and NBC’s Today Show in 2007. Alex has also received internet celebrity status with his political satire video “Bomb Iran” on YouTube, which has earned over 75,000 hits and was briefly featured on CNN.

When asked what sets him a part, Alex says, “I take pride in not being ‘cool’ because it makes me stand out in a scene full of hipsters and flavors of the week.” The singer/songwriter hopes his music will continue to book television and film placements, earning him a consistent following.

Check out Alex Arrowsmith on CDBaby and iTunes or visit and