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New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop


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"ARMS - "Fleeced""

Though ARMS originated as a side project for guitarist Todd Goldstein (Harlem Shakes), it has since morphed into a melodic quartet which is set to release their first album as a full band. Summer Skills will be released on Nov. 8 and is filled with fuzzy guitars and poppy synthesizers.

The first song to premiere off of the album is “Fleeced,” a terrific song with harmonized vocals and a driving drum beat. Goldstein’s vocals mix into the music, forming one cohesive, memorable sound. - Paste Magazine


ARMS has never been a band to do things halfway. When it first started as the solo project of ex- Harlem Shakes guitarist Todd Goldstein, the '08 debut album Kids Aflame wove some complex guitar riffs, hazy overlays, and intimate, crooning vocals that won Goldstein comparisons to everyone from Neil Young to Andrew Bird to The Smiths. Not exactly a small feat for any musician, that's for sure. And by topping off his deeply personal- you could even call them melancholic- lyrics with catchy melodies, Goldstein proved that singing about love (even if it's lost) doesn't always have to be sad.

Now that ARMS has morphed into a full four-piece, we can only hope that the latest release from the Brooklynites will be equally as epic. Luckily, if the first few singles off Summer Skills are any indication, we won't be disappointed.

"Glass Harmonica" starts off slow with some lightly thumping beats, but quickly explodes into a crescendo chorus of magnificent proportions. The anthem is big, bold, but not overwhelming, which means you can listen to it over and over again. So get started now and download the song below.

"All Due Respect: ARMS"

There are things in life that we always seem to return to. Whether it’s old habits, a toxic relationship, or even the same order at your favorite restaurant, there’s something comforting about not giving up the past. But for Brooklyn musician Todd Goldstein, his past isn’t just about feeling safe and warm; it’s his ticket into all sorts of notoriety.

Goldstein moved to Brooklyn in 2004, making music under the moniker ARMS. That project released a small collection of singles before Goldstein joined the beloved Harlem Shakes in 2006. While busy with the band, ARMS released just one solo album, 2008's Kids Aflame. Although well received for its intricate and heart-wrenching themes, Goldstein all but left his side project at that. Cue the Harlem Shakes disbanding back in September 2009, and now, some two years later, Goldstein returns to ARMS.

This time around, though, it’s different. The band is now a four-piece, with Goldstein tapping drummer Tlacael Esparza, bassist Matty Fasano, and keyboardist Dave Harrington to complete the line-up. Their sound as well is different; the complicated, layered indie rock sensibility has matured, grown, and fleshed itself out. Years of work toward a return will commence when ARMS releases its sophomore album, Summer Skills, on November 8th.

For a taste of what to expect, CoS is premiering album track “Heat & Hot Water”. With a bubbly beat and a crazy distorted bassline, the track actually lives and breathes a fairly joyous existence. Yet despite the simplicity of the track’s roar, the cut tells a decidedly unique tale. ” ‘Heat & Hot Water’ is in the center of the album, when a beast appears in the couple’s basement,” Goldstein said in an email interview. “They need to feed it to keep it from harming them, and though they’re safe for now, it starts to wear on their relationship. As they fight, the beast gets stronger. They start telling it secrets about the other, trying to get it on their side. The song is when shit starts getting weird, pretty much.” Check it out below. - Consequence of Sound


Kids Aflame (LP) - 2008
EP (EP) - 2010
Summer Skills (LP) - 2011

Many tracks available here:



ARMS is what happens when the back burner bursts into flame. A one-time side project transformed into a full band, ARMS synthesizes Todd Goldstein’s years of bedroom experimentation and sharpens them into a single bright blade. ARMS’ full-band debut, Summer Skills, explodes the lo-fi pop of 2008’s Kids Aflame into a widescreen epic, telling a fractured tale of love under supernatural circumstances. Sonically generous and emotionally raw, ARMS’ Summer Skills lures listeners like a siren song and then pulls them into the deep.

Todd Goldstein has been writing and recording songs as ARMS since 2004 — although never quite like this. During his years playing guitar in NYC-based indie rockers Harlem Shakes, Todd quietly self-released his own music as ARMS, sneaking home-recording sessions in his rare spare time. Todd’s first album as ARMS – the luminous, ramshackle pop of Kids Aflame – was released on Melodic Records (UK) / Gigantic Music (US) in 2008 to enthusiastic Internet-praise. When Harlem Shakes disbanded in the summer of 2009, Goldstein expanded ARMS into a full band with the addition of Tlacael Esparza on drums, Matty Fasano on bass / vocals and David Harrington on keyboards / electronics. The group immediately began writing the songs that would become Summer Skills, holing up with producer Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells, Cults, Fucked Up) in Stoneback’s Treefort Studios in Brooklyn.

On Summer Skills, ARMS’ former emotional directness is abstracted and expanded into something more ambitious and ambiguous: a keenly observed fictional universe that shows more than it tells. With Stoneback behind the boards, drums pop and shimmer, analog synths cast audible shadows and ambient clouds glow on the horizon, rendering ARMS’ golden guitar pop something both lovelier and more ominous than before. Todd’s unmistakable baritone is the anchor; it swoops and slides into view, veering between vulnerable, seductive and, maybe, a little bit dangerous. The resulting noise calls to mind the atmospheric clarity of British pop experimentalists like Talk Talk or Kate Bush, with a nod to the minimalist melancholy of Red House Painters and the end-over-end urgency of early REM. But ARMS ‘ noise is all their own, taking the no-nonsense bones of tight songcraft and covering them in shining skin.

Amid the life-or-death stakes of Summer Skills, noses drip kerosene, chill winds blow sweet and razor-sharp teeth gleam in the darkness. It’s this terrain of texture and mood, set among the long purple shadows of August afternoons, that underpins the album’s sequence of haunting moments — little nightmares lit with the blurry shine of dreams. With Summer Skills, ARMS manages the elusive trick of weaving these threads into something both lush and beautifully, painfully alive.