Arms and Sleepers are an American indie electronic duo consisting of Max Lewis and Mirza Ramic. Their lush, evocative compositions often contain slow, crunchy breakbeats, atmospheric guitars, delicate piano melodies, and soft glitches. While much of their material is instrumental, they have incorporated vocals on occasion, particularly on the 2009 full-length Matador and 2017's hip-hop-leaning Life Is Everywhere. The duo resist easy categorization, but their work can be likened to trip-hop, the calmer side of post-rock, and the cinematic side of ambient music.
Lewis and Ramic formed Arms and Sleepers in Boston in 2006 after their previous band, Maine-based post-rock group the List Exists, split up after three years. They made their recorded debut with Bliss Was It in That Dawn to Be Alive, an EP released by New Jersey-based Fake Chapter Records. Several releases followed in 2007, including the EPs Lautlos and Arms and Sleepers, as well as the full-lengths Cinématique and Black Paris 86 (the duo's proper debut album, issued by Expect Candy Records on CD and Ericrock on vinyl). Following the 2009 EP The Motorist, the duo released second album Matador, their most vocal-based work to date. From the Inland Sea, a split EP with the American Dollar, appeared at the end of the year. Following limited releases of Matador B-sides and remixes, the duo released the full-lengths Nostalgia for the Absolute and The Organ Hearts in 2011, as well as the A Man, a Plan, a Canal: Panama EP.
In 2012, Arms and Sleepers went on hiatus. They returned in 2014 with the single "Hurry Slowly," which appeared on the full-length Swim Team, which emphasized syrupy beats and manipulated vocal samples more than their past work. The EPs Force Majeure and AAS X SG (a split release with Sun Glitters) appeared in 2015, with Miami, Tiger Tempo, and Swim Team Remixed following in 2016. The duo also collaborated with rapper Serengeti on a single titled "Hollow Body Hold." The song appeared on the 2017 full-length Life Is Everywhere, which also featured collaborations with MC Airøspace. ~ Paul Simpson