Treading the well-travelled path to London out of the Oxford music scene (in the footsteps of Oxford scene staples like Foals and Glass Animals, to name but a couple), Artemas has been nurturing his sound carefully across the few singles out so far.
With calling cards including the kind of confessional yet easy-going lyrics favoured by the current alt-pop bunch and carefully crafted guitar grooves, “I’m Sorry” is a masterclass in how to make cliches really work for you. “I’m sorry I’m like this” feels like a jaded statement, but across his musings on friendship and honesty, Artemas makes it feel genuine and charming.
No frills, just simplicity and a sub-two-minute runtime that does precisely what it needs to – Artemas fits a lot into the time, without overdoing it. The vulnerability akin to Rex Orange County saturates the lyrics – and it’s no surprise that this influence shines through, with the track having been produced by Two Inch Punch, who’s worked with Rex alongside the likes of Kali Uchis and Years and Years – but then there are moments of indie-rock insistence in the bass and a sunny slickness that injects the track with a hint of R&B.
“I wrote this one night after going out with some old friends I hadn’t seen in years,” Artemas tells BEST FIT. “It’s one of the more personal songs on the record and a reflection on the years I’ve spent making music in my bedroom and the ‘fomo’ I sometimes feel. The verses were freestyled and on listening back the melodic guitar lines remind me a bit of Albert Hammond Jr “I’m Sorry” is a tribute to the people who stick by you when they have every reason not to.”
It might be the most varied we’ve heard from Artemas so far but blitzed up through a lens that feels super personal, it also feels like he’s at his most focussed – a fine lead-in for his debut mixtape.