Written by Kelly Holm
The spitting image of Saoirse Ronan, with a sound that calls to mind Dodie Clark, British chanteuse Florence Arman is one to watch. Her music videos bring to life the misadventures of any 20something, and her humor is of the sort that you’d want in your own BFF. “there once was a girl called flo/who had a best friend years ago/but unluckily/he’s a pile of pee/he left without letting her know,” reads a limerick in the description of her music video for “Naked.”
Arman was raised in the UK with her mother and in Germany with her father, both of whom worked in the music business and steeped her in the industry from an early age.
“[When] I was nine, [I] had just moved to Germany to live with my dad, so it was a huge change for me,” she shares. “[I wrote my first] song about how flat East Germany is and how I missed the mountains. And I wrote it in crayon on some drawing paper. Come to think of it, that’s still what I do, actually.”
She didn’t connect the dots right away that music would be her 9-to-5, though. Despite admiring Billy Joel and being encouraged to play instruments since she was too young to remember, she was still very studious, and envisioned herself one day having “a job where I wear a pinstriped suit and walk very quickly to important meetings.”
Only after a childhood of being shunted back and forth between countries did Arman consider otherwise. In the end it was Austria where Arman got her start in her own right, and where she’s still partially based today. As a teen, many of her formative musical experiences were as part of a band.
“We were 16 at the time, and sucked pretty bad,” she said. “We got 100 [euros] between us, which at the time felt like an unbelievable amount of money for playing crap covers in a smelly bar.”
Nowadays, though, Arman’s much more of a DIY gal. Both “Naked” and her most recent single “In a Heartbeat” were independently released, and she’s got an EP coming up soon.
“I wrote… all [of the songs] out of the same motivation, which was just to get out what needed to come out, so in that sense it’s a bit like journaling for me,” she says. “[I wrote them] in my old apartment, sitting on the floor by the radiator… the oldest song will be toddler age by the time the EP comes out, so it’s been a while… but most of the songs are more recent.”
Arman spent COVID-19 lockdown in the studio, baking beats while many others were baking bread. Standout tracks on the EP, in her book, include “Out of the Blue,” which she says is the most fun to perform live, and “In a Heartbeat.”
“It’s the latest song and the freshest wound,” she says. “It’s lyrically so straightforward and is exactly what I wanted to say at that moment… life can be crap sometimes and no one is alone in feeling that way.”
And as release day draws nearer, she takes to heart the advice that “part of being a good musician is thinking that you’re not,” but also, that it’s “only music and not brain surgery.”
After the EP drops, Arman hopes to make enough money to go to Dishoom every evening for dinner, and her 2021 New Year’s resolution is to add brunch into the equation as well.
As she navigates a new normal alongside the rest of the world, she’ll keep finding inspiration everywhere
she goes, and recording new melodies as they enter her head— whether she’s in the tube or on the loo.
Speaking of bathrooms? Arman says she’d pee herself if she ever got the chance to play at Glastonbury.
“That would be such a dream come true,” she says. We can only assume she doesn’t mean the wet pants part. Stay tuned for more information on Arman’s latest EP and be sure to keep an eye on this soon-to-be chart topper.
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