February 27, 2024

Armand Hammer - "Doves" (ft Benjamin Booker)

Armand Hammer have dropped a bonus track that's been tacked on to last year's excellent album, We Buy Diabetic Test Strips.

ELUCID and billy woods are two of the hardest working dudes in hip hop. In addition to dropping their excellent record last year, woods also released his own album (my favorite of 2023) and the year prior, they each had solo records as well. Just last month, the duo announced a tour-exclusive vinyl-only album that would be available in limited quantities at their upcoming shows (they also have a pop-up announced for New York City this coming Friday where it seems the album will be for sale as well). Despite this exhaustive list of releases and a tour to boot, Armand Hammer are back today with the sprawling track "Doves" which was recorded in the same sessions that resulted in last year's We Buy Diabetic Test Strips. Always ones to push the envelop, "Doves" doesn't feature any drums and is almost beat-free. For the first three and a half minutes, we hear some muffled vocals and distant melodies which finally crack into some warped guitar notes, dissonant pianos, and the duo's distilled vocals. There are some notes that resonate with "Stonefruit," the epic closer to 2021's Haram which was produced by The Alchemist, and it feels as if this could be cut from the same cloth, although this was produced by Kenny Segal (the man behind the decks of woods' last record as well). It's a loose joint filled with smokey atmospheric production, dusty grooves, and minimal rapping. Still, it's a profoundly impactful track that builds a world around itself, not quite as abstract and intimidating as you'd might expect, but still a far cry from something you'd expect to hear on the radio. The video for the track comes from Japanese director Ryosuke Tanzawa who commented: "I was very much looking forward to doing a video for Armand Hammer ('Tabula Rasa' & 'Stone Fruit' are important tracks me), but I never expected something nine minutes long, with basically everything… It’s quiet and loud, intimate and vast, beautiful and ugly — all of those things in one." The shots from the video were captured on iPhone and Super 8 camera and the black and white imagery is a perfect companion to the dystopian vibes that are so elegantly on display.

"Doves" has been added to steaming versions of We Buy Diabetic Test Strips and will be added to physical versions soon.

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