Arms of Kismet

“Witty, idiosyncratic indie rock that is to a band like Maroon 5 what a film like Sideways is to one like Miss Congeniality 2… These are songs to not just listen to, but explore, a series of musical masks donned by an artist with keen insight and an outsized sense of playfulness.” —The Daily Vault

Ballast and Bromides (2018)

Ballast and Bromides delivers equal measures of snark and sweetness, nostalgia for a less abrasive time and blunt assessment of the one we’re living through. For all its dire moments, it’s an album that ultimately urges that we still believe, as rough as things might be at the moment, that we can and will do better again one day.” –The Daily Vault

“We've been nuts about Doyon's previous releases, and we have the exact same reaction to the strangely-titled Ballast and Bromides. The tracks on this album feature totally cool winding melodies, thought-provoking lyrics, and well-crafted arrangements. This man knows how to put all the pieces together, effectively creating a whole that is far greater than the sum of the parts… In a perfect world, Ballast and Bromides would be an instant bestseller. In the real world we live in... it will be cherished and appreciated by the chosen few. Recommended. Top pick.” –Babysue

The Helium Age (2016)

“Arms of Kismet plays with expectations without ever surrendering to them, delivering idiosyncratic, more than a little subversive indie-rock that’s simultaneously sunny and dark, insightful and whimsical, that stares into the frozen eyes of a horse on a merry-go-round and describes both the terror and the joy of riding around in circles.” –The Daily Vault

“Listening to The Helium Age, the only other artists that come to mind are Mitch Easter (Let’s Active) and Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog Band, The Rutles). But that only hints at what’s going on here… Arrangements instantly set this music apart from competitors. Recommended. Top pick.” –Babysue

Play for Affection (2010)

Play for Affection is as apt as a title could be; this album is both playful and multi-layered, its winks and nudges keeping you open and ready to absorb its sadder, stranger and deeper moments. It’s also Arms of Kismet’s finest moment on record so far. AoK delivers music that doesn’t so much make you want to tap your feet or dance or sing along—although there are chances along the way to do each of those things—as it makes you think. Mostly, things like ‘Are beauty and sadness really two sides of the same coin?’ and ‘I’d really like to buy Mark Doyon a beer sometime.’ (Independent Album of the Year)” –The Daily Vault

“Perhaps the most impressive attribute that the disc has is its ability to straddle the line between comedy and tragedy. It tells fully formed stories that will impact your soul… Doyon’s comfort with and ability to create distinct-sounding songs is a talent that most artists would kill to have.” –

Cutting Room Rug (2005)

“Arms of Kismet features the genius of Mark Doyon. This stuff is so good that it almost defies explanation. On the surface, it’s great power pop. A little below the surface is a whole other species of musical madness.” — Mike Perazzetti, The Fevered Brain of Radio Mike

“The latest installment of wittily intelligent, wryly humorous and unabashedly romantic pop music from Mark Doyon’s Arms of Kismet… The high standard set with last year’s Eponymous is maintained with sharp songwriting, ear-catching arrangements and deft production touches. Although producer Doyon has given the record a Beatle-y sheen, there’s enough real emotion in songs like ‘Life Imitates’ and ‘Pinnacle of Same’ (my two favorites — they’re all pretty darn good) to keep the listener from forgetting there’s a man behind the curtain. And speaking of things Beatle-y, the aural and lyrical thematic links strewn like musical clues throughout the record make this more than just a collection of songs.” –Norman Famous’ Reviews

Eponymous (2004)

“Inspired song structure, thematic consistency and depth, excellent instrumentation, original and compelling lyrics, the human touch, rock tradition, songwriting superiority, vocal harmony, ironic smiles, America, sadness, beauty, and an enveloping sense of personal involvement and connection… Anyone who likes Smog, P.J. Harvey, Dylan, Tom Petty, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, or any of the songwriting greats, will love this… Wampus must now be one of the strongest indie labels in the country.” –

“Comprised of a wide range of sounds from alternative rock (‘Alive and Awake’ and ‘Are You My God’ are notable examples, as is ‘Sail Seven,’ which contains more than a few echoes of late-1980s They Might Be Giants) to hip-hop-inflected tracks like ‘Karma Never Forgets’ and ‘Beautiful Career,’ which a cunning, daring DJ might slip into his dance mix, Eponymous is a magical collision of styles and sounds that careens down the tracks without ever derailing. What takes this disc to the rarified air it occupies is the care with which it was obviously created… ‘Cuckold of Titan’ and ‘Sepia Eyes’ paint vivid pictures with an economy of words. They are both beautiful tracks, and ‘Sepia Eyes’ serves as a stunning closer… Eponymous is a classic, one of the first great discs of 2004.” –

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Song Catalog