To many producers in the industry, the churn and burn EDM machine is a necessary evil: find a niche, keep up with trends, make the music your fans want, rinse, and repeat. But for Unlike Pluto, this echo chamber became a personal hell. The 26-year-old artist (born Armond Arabshahi) recently gave a very candid interview to Billboard in which he admitted to "dying a little bit inside" every time he made EDM. He recounts a story of listening to Underoath for the first time in years and experiencing a total worldview shift. He was done making music for anyone but himself, and it was time to get back to his rock roots. "I spent my whole life playing guitar until my fingers bled," he tells Billboard. "When I was in high school, I would sing until my vocal chords would be dry. Making these songs with my voice was the only win that I had."
Unlike Pluto's rock renaissance begins with the aptly-named single "I Need A Win." Subtle shades of electronic influence remain, but the star of the track is undoubtedly's Arabshahi's own raw, pleading vocals. I'm immediately transported to very tender place in my heart occupied by mid-2000's emo. "I Need A Win" elaborates on modern punk sensibilities with crisp, intriguing sound design, forging a moment that is at once completely nostalgic and totally unique. He sings, "I needed to find all my friends, I needed to find where I left them behind. I don't know why I do this, lock myself outside of life. Look at everything I'm losing. All I need's a win." You can feel the truth in your bones when an artist is making the music that satisfies their soul. With five more releases on the pipeline and a slew of demos in the works, Unlike Pluto is poised to make a seamless transition from DJ to rockstar.