Music Spotlight: Armors
Indie-pop duo Armors, composed of Olen Kittelsen + Sam Beresford, released their debut album Who’s Gonna Love Me (When I’m Not Young) earlier this year, and it’s been our soundtrack to navigating all of our human feels ever since. The 7-track album, made in conjunction with producer + co-writer Ryan Spraker, features energetic synths + dynamic vocals that we can’t get enough of. The duo is currently on the road with Aly & AJ + will be wrapping up their tour with two LA shows June 26 + 27 at The Fonda Theatre. We chatted with lead vocalist Olen all about the album + tour.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on the release of your album! Can you tell us about Who’s Gonna Love Me (When I’m Not Young) and what it means to you?
Olen Kittelsen: Thank you! This record happened at a very strange time in our lives, and I think WGLMWINY is the manifestation of the fact that we’re both odd, odd people coming to terms with the fact we have very little figured out in life.
AM: What was the most memorable track to work on?
OK: Probably Portland. It started out on just an acoustic guitar with our producer and co-writer, Ryan Spraker. Throughout the process of making this record, Ryan became a close friend, and for all intents and purposes, the third band member. He’s not uncomfortable making us uncomfortable when it comes to the writing process. I think there’s no better way to get to know somebody than by writing a song with them. I tend to live a lot in the land of ‘what if.’ But the ‘what if’ is not ‘what is’, and that’s why Portland is my favorite song. Because loving someone who doesn’t love you back is a selfish feeling, and it took us writing that song for me to come to terms with that.
Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is a selfish feeling, and it took us writing that song for me to come to terms with that.
AM: You have a couple music videos for songs on the album and just recently released one for Portland. Do you have a favorite video that you’ve made?
OK: We made the Portland video in about a half hour after spending all day on our video for DOA, so the approach and attitude for that one definitely made it the most fun. Aaron Eisenberg directed, edited and shot all three of the videos we’ve put out, and art director Rob Fidel worked on Portland and produced all the set design and props for DOA. They’re the best people and amazing at what they do.
AM: How do you think this album compares to your last full body of work Collisions?
OK: Collisions was the first time we’d ever gotten to spend more than a few days on an EP. The entire process felt like we were learning as we went. We became great friends with producer Adam Castilla (The Colourist) in the process. He taught us a lot about what it means to be in a band. WGLMWINY just feels different to me because we’re different—a little more jaded, sort of more grown up. It’s funny how much life can happen in five years, and a lot of it was poured into this record.
AM: Are there any consistent themes you typically pursue through your music?
OK: A lot of our songs are based on relationships, not that we’re doing it consciously, but just because the experiences we have with others are usually the most potent and powerful.
AM: You're currently on a two month run with Aly & AJ. What have been some of your favorite moments so far, and what are you most looking forward to?
OK: Playing to a sold out House of Blues in Chicago is something we’ll never forget. [It was the] most people we’d ever gotten to play for in a city we’d never been to. And a bunch of little moments every day when we walk into a new venue in a different city. Aly & AJ and their crew are the sweetest people. So far, it’s just been like one extended road trip with your family. Tour ends with two shows at the Fonda in LA, and while we’re not looking forward to the tour ending, we can’t wait to play LA.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
OK: We made the record in Highland Park and fell in love with it. We both live in Orange County—can’t tell you how many times we’ve made that drive. We’ve definitely benefited a lot from growing up so close to LA.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self and your music?
OK: For me, it’s my garage at home. For Sam, it’s his studio.
AM: For first time listeners, how do you like to describe your sound?
OK: Self-conscious indie pop.
AM: What other musicians are you currently listening to?
OK: We’re huge fans of Vampire Weekend, anything Rostam has had a hand in, and Tame Impala.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
OK: As soon as we’re home, we’re getting started on our next record. Approaching it with an open mind and getting ready to embrace the weird.
// listen to Who’s Gonna Love Me (When I’m Not Young):
// Listen to more Armors on Spotify.