— Chris Arndt shuffles his feet down the corridor at White Lake Music & Post in a woolen poncho with a freshly poured cup of coffee in his hand. “Mmm. Coffee,” he says to no one. It is, to all coffee drinkers, a required acknowledgment to the magic behind the hot brown morning potion. So what if it’s noon.
He exudes a sense of comfort as he steps into the recording room behind his sister as they both prepare for a mid-day interview. It’s their second of the day, wedged into just a few days in which they find themselves off the road from their Sugar and Spice Tour. It’s not a day for rest.
Since launching the tour in July, they’ve added more stops. The two analog souls are hell-bent on inciting a new rock revival this fall – and they’re bringing their unique retro-inspired original rock sound to the Palace Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 5:30 p.m. to prove it. The show is a fundraiser for Cash for Coats, a community event collecting funds toward the purchase of new winter items for Albany kids in need.
Their latest single is their fourth to chart in the Billboard AAA Top 40. Since debuting in August it has remained on the chart. Right now, it’s at No. 26. The single is also the artist’s first to chart in Billboard AAA Monitored airplay, a panel comprised of radio stations automatically monitored by Neilsen. The video for the single was also added to rotation on MTV.
The video is a peek into Jocelyn and Chris’ recent retrovibe of warm colors, psychedelic trails and soulful backup singers. Hip huggers. Bell bottoms. Long hair. Fresh guitar licks that dip into the blues. It trips one back into the icons of a decade neither one had experienced before, walking through a cloud as silhouettes of Grace Slick and David Bowie.
“I just love the aesthetic of it,” Jocelyn said. “Chris is going for a more androgynous style [and] We feel that our music is authentic and that aesthetic matches the vibe of the sound we’ve created. We’re not trying to write music from the 70s, we’re trying to write music from now. But, I think, harkening back to that authenticity.”
The threads they both wear on stage are authentic to the time too. They said they score their best outfits through the thrift stores they are able to visit while on the road. The clothes pre-date today’s fast-fashion clothing that falls apart after a few tumbles in the wash. The era has come alive and other artists have latched on to the groove — and the comfort of elastic waistbands. Chris said he finds the best outfits in the women’s section. There’s far fewer glances darted his way, considering the sight of his 6-foot frame studying through the racks. Large pants work well, but finding a top that matches can be more difficult for him.
“You tall people,” Jocelyn quips. She said her driver’s license generously records her as 5-foot 1-inch. “I have no sympathy for you tall people. [Laughs.] I can not relate to that.”
The past few years have been monumental for the Arndt siblings, who made their national TV debut on NBC’s Today Show in addition to featured coverage in Relix, The Daily Beast, NowThis, Paste, Parade, and countless others. The release of their 2019 album “The Fun in the Fight” debuted at No. 1 on the Jambands Top 30 and in the Top 20 on the iTunes all-genre chart, landing them tour support dates with X Ambassadors and Jimmy Eat World along with festival and event performances nationwide.
Going into 2020, Jocelyn and Chris had big plans – but as it turned out, 2020’s plans were bigger than any of us could have imagined. Instead of giving in, the two chose to step up, streaming online 7 days a week and cultivating a connection with their fans around the globe that’s now deeper than ever. “Sugar and Spice” not only marks the lead single off their upcoming album, Favorite Ghosts, but also a decisively confident return to musical life for the siblings.
were bigger than any of us could have imagined. Instead of giving in, the two chose to step up, streaming online 7 days a week and cultivating a connection with their fans around the globe that’s now deeper than ever. “Sugar and Spice” not only marks the lead single of their upcoming album, Favorite Ghosts, but also a decisively confident return to musical life for the siblings.
Since returning to live performances, the two have continued their interaction with an audience once relegated to Facebook Live. Maybe bringing their living room sofa — another bygone relic — to the stage has added a familiar comfort. David Bourgeois has noticed something else.
“[Chris’] guitar play,” which has always been exceptional, Bourgeois said, “has increased exponentially.”
As the pandemic continued to grip everyday life and sequester artists into their homes, we’ve all been told to anticipate a renaissance of music. Prior to the shutdowns, Chris had been featured in various publications. But, bourgeois attributes Jocelyn and Chris’ continuous livestreams to the quality he’s seeing on stage.
“Playing these songs as just a duo [during the pandemic] has forced me to get very used to playing the foundational parts of the song,” Chris said. “They’ve become so ingrained. … [And] being in front of people was not always the most natural skill for me. Having to talk so much, I’ve gotten really more comfortable in my own skin. So now when we’re playing the live shows, I feel like I can go that much more deeper into the music, just get super into it and feel it more.”
Jocelyn and Chris will perform a set at the Palace Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 5:30 p.m. Fans who pay a monetary donation of over $25 towards the cause can get their names on the guest list and attend. To donate online, visit https://app.mobilecause.com/form/ZoLuBg?vid=mgtxq.
“We’re so excited and honored to be part of such an important fundraiser, especially one that impacts our hometown community,” the siblings said. “We can’t wait to play! We’ll be jamming to some older originals as well as some brand new songs from our upcoming album, ‘Favorite Ghosts.’ See you there!”