Forgotten Songs of the ‘90s: emmet swimming
Coming out of Arlington, VA, emmet swimming were just a blip on the radar of modern rock in the mid ‘90s, but their moment in the spotlight, 1996’s “Arlington” would go down as one of the most underrated songs of the whole decade.
Kicking off with a springy riff, the band kicks in and bounces around like a mini-polka, but without the accordion and such. The music is just swingin’ and then frontman Todd Watts comes in. It takes some getting used to his voice at first, it’s like Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies singing with electricity behind him but once one does, it’s the only voice any one could imagine singing the song. The song talks about being a band in Arlington and watching as all the hipsters and industry people weasel their way in to sign the ‘next big thing.’
The only unfortunate thing about the track is that before you know it, the song’s over and you’re left humming the song forever. For the longest time, I wasn’t sure who the artist was or the song title, all I had was the riff and it went through my head for years until about three years ago when I finally figured out who did it. Ever since then, the song’s never left my mind.
For some reason, the song never became a smash hit, only a regional one around the D.C/Virginia area. The album, From Arlington to Boston, produced by the legendary Don Dixon failed as well but is one of the most overlooked records of the ‘90s. The band are still around, playing up and down the east coast and whenever they play “Arlington” the crowd still goes wild. And that’s the way it should always be.