Yes, ACME has a generic name. But it’s intentional. The D.C. electronic-soul-pop duo really does identify with “A Company That Makes Everything.”
Why? “We can’t really be defined to one genre or one sound,” says member Joshua Davis. “It’s a statement of not limiting oneself.”
Yet ACME’s new single, “Girlfriend Tonight,” limits itself to a reliable, seductive template: a lothario’s pitch. “The song is about, pretty much, a guy approaching a girl,” says singer Cheakaity “Che” Brown. “It’s kind of a long shot, but she actually goes along with it.”
It turns out that’s how the song’s new video came together, too. “This all kind of fell together in a week,” Brown says. He and Davis had a friend with a small Petworth basement decorated with tiger print. Check. Through Laughing Man’s Brandon Moses—who fills in during live shows—they found a director and a lighting technician. Check, check. And they happened to meet a woman who was willing to star as Brown’s pretend girlfriend in the video. Major check. (His line, as he puts it: “I know we just met, but I want you to be my girlfriend tonight in this video.”)
“If it all comes together,” Brown and Davis thought, “it was meant to be.”
The band unveiled the video today, along with its new website, and it’s just as much of an earworm as its earlier single, “All Around the World.” But unlike that track, it doesn’t appear on an EP—yet. ACME’s new strategy is to focus on singles, some of which the duo plans to release this summer with more videos. They may release an EP closer to the fall. It’s all part of wanting “to keep people on their toes,” Brown says.
Another part of ACME’s strategy: awesome clothing. “That’s just how I dress,” Brown says. Davis, meanwhile, “trusts me to put clothes on him.” Did Davis not look cool enough before?, I ask. No, no, no. “His eye just took it to the next level,” Davis says.
Picking one’s own wardrobe: It comes with being a company that makes everything.
“We’re our own manager, our own PR guy, our own stylists,” Brown says, and their songs are just as DIY. “We get, like, 99 percent of the credits.”