Tom Thumb
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Tom Thumb

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Tom Thumb, who is really a New England musician named Andy Arch, specializes in lo-fi indie rock that has been compared with everything from Spoon to American Music Club.

He once recorded alone, a la The Mountain Goats, but employs a supporting cast of musicians for this six-song EP.

"Growing Boy'' immediately proves that the addition of the Latter Day Saints was a wise move. The band adds some meat to the song's spare rock feel, which evolves from its lonely-sounding piano introduction into a more intense backdrop of chiming guitars and shuffling drums.

"Times do change,'' is the catchphrase in the lyrics that meander in cerebral fashion alongside the music.

Kindermusik was recorded directly to an eight-track recorder in the Sea Road Church in Kennebunk, Maine. The hypnotic feel of songs such as "Preach'' and "Dark Rooms'' sounds as if it is a product of the environment.

Yet Kindermusik also manages to inject some caffeine into the upbeat rockers " '78'' and "Gracie's Mine,'' the latter flavored by maracas.

The disc closes with a somber cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City,'' which doesn't take the song in too much of a different direction from the Boss' Nebraska version. It's kind of a baffling choice, as the original material is more compelling than Tom Thumb's angle on someone else's vision.
- Orlando Sentinel


Compelling rhythms with fitted melodies and vocals that sound like Thom Yorke was singing them. “Kindermusik” is a fair singer/songwriter joint that’s done by a band. Recorded in a church over a weekend, the album surprisingly sounds quite good. The guitar tones are really rich and speak to you with clever clarity. A good pop adventure to start your day off with.

- Smother


That Three Ring label, they really know what they're doing. Kindermusik is another solid release from the young imprint, who can count Tom Thumb and the Latter Day Saints as one of their most promising assets. They boast a mature pop sound drawing from the likes of Wilco, Calexico, and even Nick Cave. Keyboards are at the heart of the band's formula, which builds wonderful melodies over key-based compositions, producing a dusky, noir-esque yet hopeful mood. Examples of these strong songs are the moody opener, "Growing Boy," instantly catchy "Real Small Talk," and "Dark Rooms" with its mesmerizing breakthrough chorus. Heartfelt "Preach" is also completely wonderful, with a beautifully passionate boy/girl harmony ensuring immediate approval. Nothing about the Kindermusik EP disappoints, and you'll be beaten to a pulp should you ignore music this fine. - Indieville.com


When Tom Thumb, aka Andy Arch, last put a record out, it was a solo acoustic outing, bedroom folk music, one guitar and one voice. I’m not sure what happened between then and now — I guess Tom made some musical acquaintances — but his new album, Kindermusik EP — is a full-on band effort and a really good one at that. Surrounded on all sides by bassist Josh Goldman, drummer Justin Kehoe, and singer/keyboarder Molly Seamans, Arch is totally comfortable in a band context. His sound, still quiet but with an innocent, rootsy growl, recalls bands such as American Music Club, Wilco, the Saddle Creek stable, and on occasion Yo La Tengo. That is, it’s plainly indie rock with a hefty standard of quality. Goldman’s drums are beautifully tracked and captured, as is Seaman’s electric piano. The songs, rich and layered, resonate with depth and texture without sounding unnatural or too polished. “Growing Boy” opens the album, and it holds all the charming characteristics Mr. Thumb and the Latter Day Saints can muster: delicate, passionate vocals, strong lyrics, peaceable melodies, and periodic rockin’ interludes. You can gleam deep down, perhaps, that Arch still longs to be a quizzical ghost-cantor a la Palace’s Will Oldham, and he’d actually get close if his songs weren’t so damned complete. “Dark Rooms” rumbles passively, thanks to Goldman’s shuffle and Arch’s pretty, arpeggiated guitar motif. Ditto for “ ’78” and the sweetly harmonized “Preach.” By the time you get to the closer, a cover of Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” some 27 minutes and seven tracks in, you realize you’ve just listened to a really special collection of songs.

Recorded and mixed in two days at the Sea Road Church in Kennebunk, Maine, and mastered impeccably by Chris Cline, Kindermusik EP is a highlight of the year and a must for fans of indie rock. Catch ’em before their success catches you by surprise. You can check out some songs at tomthumbmusic.com, and I’ll keep you apprised of local gigs.
- Bob Gulla


Sometimes albums don’t settle in the first time you listen to them. The Kindermusik EP put out by Tom Thumb and the Latter Day Saints was like that. At first listen, nothing really settled in. The second time around, everything worked perfectly.

The CDs opening track, “Growing Boy,” opening with a slow drawling piano that lasts maybe five seconds, but completely overtones the song. The song itself is an excellent blend of punchy drums and a somber piano mixed with scattering guitar. Vocalist Tom Thumb conjures the sounds of pain from nostalgia and a dead feeling in his life. “‘78,” the albums second track blasts back with bouncing electric organ that pushes blend of the likes of Wilco into Ted Leo.

“Real Small Talk” and “Dark Rooms” both sound like they’re being played in a giant, empty auditorium. While the space of the CD feels almost hollow, it’s also filled with so much feeling, like before you cry and your head feels like it’s going to cave in.
The CD ends with a cover of The Boss’s “Atlantic City.” It wasn’t really noticable until well into the song. The somber piano with a beautiful guitar riff backing it up, and faded into the background, a deep drum keeping a rhythm from down the hall till the chorus finally crashes onto the stereo.

Kindermusik EP didn’t quite grab hold the first time. It felt lost at first. But the feel finally hits like a mack truck, and sends you back to throw yourself into the CD and dive into every song. Tom Thumb has put out a truly captivating CD that needs to rest in your stereo till you can really appreciate it. (Three Ring Records)

-Matthew Ozelius - Northeast Performer


There are certain albums that you can only really dig on a lousy day. Records like Coltrane’s A Love Supreme eloquently explore and capture the beauty of what we would otherwise consider ugly and depressing. While Kindermusic sounds nothing like that record, it does same job. These barren, lethargic, and grey soundscapes do not belong at a beach party; they instead capture winter skies, solitude, and decay. Nonetheless, they radiate with beauty and hope. Tom Thumb and Molly Seamans harmonize like they’ve lived through 500 pages of The Grapes of Wrath. With simple sing song melodies, they float like ghosts over the music propelled by feather light drums and pianos. It sounds effortless, but upon repeated listen, you’ll find it certainly wasn’t. These tunes aren’t all slow and sad; “Gracie’s Mine” is a peppy nugget, and in the context of the record, “Preach,” feels like the first warm day of spring. Undoubtedly, this record will break your heart and you’ll come back for more. - Boston's the Noise


Tom Thumb and the Latter Day Saints’s Kindermusik fills me with nostalgia before I even put it in my CD player and press play. When I used to front a band, I would give copies of our one and only demo to anyone who showed the tiniest bit of interest. I even managed to give demos to some of my favorite bands, inscribing them with, “From your next support act!” Listening to Tom Thumb, I am reminded of the hopeful and, at times, frustrating struggle to have as many people listen to and talk about my music as possible—and as Tom Thumb’s EP begins to play, I hold my breath, hoping to not be disappointed.

Kindermusik is a CD-R. It comes in a plain cardboard sleeve with a string of X-mas lights across the front and back. Seven songs, 27 minutes, six originals and an absolutely astounding cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” It proves to be a small box of wonders of the kind that is not dropped into my mailbox every day.

The songs have that typically intimate and delicate sound of a live recording. According to the band’s website, Kindermusik was recorded in a church in Maine. Although this does not necessarily add anything to the EP’s sound—I’m sure it would have sounded the same if it were recorded in someone’s basement or kitchen—it does enhance the mood of the music. Andy Arch, the man behind Tom Thumb, writes melodies that sound extremely fragile. They are so bare and simple that you expect them to break and dissolve as they travel from the speakers to your ears. Even the instrumentation is kept to a minimum (in contrast to his debut, Songs from a Holiday, which was a solo endeavor, Arch is backed on this EP by a full band). Yet, the more you listen to them, the more they solidify, like a landscape slowly coming into view. At times it is hard to make out the words, but Arch’s gorgeous voice alone is enough to generate an array of emotions. Opener “Preach” has a vocal line so catchy you will be humming along with it before the CD hits the one-minute mark. “Real Small Talk” features a chorus that is so tender and sung so gently it is as beautiful as a winter dawn. The EP closes with “Atlantic City,” a difficult song to tackle. Played over minor chords on piano, Arch infuses the song with a slow-rising suspense: one expects the song to burst out into a loud guitar jam at any moment, but it luckily never does.

Kindermusik is a stunning little collection of songs that will unfortunately not be heard by many people. Tom Thumb deserves more attention than he will get, but at the same time, his anonymity makes this EP even more special. Listening to something not many other people are listening to can almost make you feel like you own a private treasure—and a treasure is exactly what Kindermusik is.
- Loose Record (http://www.looserecord.com/AlbumReview_Indv/AlbumReview_Indv.php?docid=67)


http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid30055.aspx

There were lots of great records to choose from, so I decided not to limit the list to 10 selections. In addition to the records below, I also really liked 2006 outings by Black Forest/Black Sea, Hawkins Rise, the Providence Wholebellies, Lightning Bolt, Neo Nouveau, Erin McKeown, and Tanya Donelly, the latter two no longer qualifying as “local” but still know their way around town.

Tom Thumb And The Latter Day Saints | Kinderkusik | Three Ring
It’s only a handful of songs, but its quiet rasp and potent dynamic really radiate. Captain Andy Arch and his crew heap layers of richly textured indie rock one atop the other, creating a ghostly monument to blissed-out, understated greatness. - Providence Phoenix


Tom Thumb -- known off stage as the similarly alliterative Andy Arch -- earned his stripes as a songwriter performing on the New York City bar scene. Now he's come to New England to potentially freeze them right off. No worries: Arch's emotionally rich and musically compelling compositions are heartwarming and resilient.
As the album title implies, these songs have a breezy quality, but that doesn't undermine their meaning or intensity. Arch is an exuberant performer, his mood reflecting his enthusiasm for life. "A toast to ourselves, here's to our dreams," he proclaims on "Moonshine", which draws a warm landscape of summer days and field trips in a free flow of recollection unbounded by chorus or verse. Camaraderie, nostalgia and affection are all on parade here, and Arch, his Josh Rouse-like voice accompanied by hearty guitar, is an adept band leader.

Holiday romanticizes transience. "Motel in Phoenix" is a syrupy, windows-down road-tripper, while the fun "Boot Camps" relays innocent tales of schoolyard and summer camp innuendo. Lines like "I'm too young for the physical science / So I'll just act in full compliance with her" show off Arch's witty poetics. Emotional transience is explored on the slow, tender "Flagellites", in which Arch admonishes a promiscuous sometimes-lover, "You don't want me / But there's something that you want from me." Weightier topics are not ignored: the gentle "Time's Arrow" studies life, death and rebirth in hushed, acoustic lessons. The album's only weak point is "Weary Traveler", in which Arch's otherwise tight songwriting dissolves into a bleary tangle of hard riffs and slurred lyrics. For the most point, though, his songs are as memorable as the playgrounds of life and love that they evoke.

The breadth of feeling Arch explores is wide, and though...Songs From Holiday is short (just nine songs in under half an hour), it feels longer by virtue of his ability to pack a three minute song with years of feeling and memory. That's no small feat.

- Slendid (http://www.splendidmagazine.com/review.html?reviewid=1106565213827823)


Tom Thumb -- known off stage as the similarly alliterative Andy Arch -- earned his stripes as a songwriter performing on the New York City bar scene. Now he's come to New England to potentially freeze them right off. No worries: Arch's emotionally rich and musically compelling compositions are heartwarming and resilient.
As the album title implies, these songs have a breezy quality, but that doesn't undermine their meaning or intensity. Arch is an exuberant performer, his mood reflecting his enthusiasm for life. "A toast to ourselves, here's to our dreams," he proclaims on "Moonshine", which draws a warm landscape of summer days and field trips in a free flow of recollection unbounded by chorus or verse. Camaraderie, nostalgia and affection are all on parade here, and Arch, his Josh Rouse-like voice accompanied by hearty guitar, is an adept band leader.

Holiday romanticizes transience. "Motel in Phoenix" is a syrupy, windows-down road-tripper, while the fun "Boot Camps" relays innocent tales of schoolyard and summer camp innuendo. Lines like "I'm too young for the physical science / So I'll just act in full compliance with her" show off Arch's witty poetics. Emotional transience is explored on the slow, tender "Flagellites", in which Arch admonishes a promiscuous sometimes-lover, "You don't want me / But there's something that you want from me." Weightier topics are not ignored: the gentle "Time's Arrow" studies life, death and rebirth in hushed, acoustic lessons. The album's only weak point is "Weary Traveler", in which Arch's otherwise tight songwriting dissolves into a bleary tangle of hard riffs and slurred lyrics. For the most point, though, his songs are as memorable as the playgrounds of life and love that they evoke.

The breadth of feeling Arch explores is wide, and though...Songs From Holiday is short (just nine songs in under half an hour), it feels longer by virtue of his ability to pack a three minute song with years of feeling and memory. That's no small feat.

- Slendid (http://www.splendidmagazine.com/review.html?reviewid=1106565213827823)


http://tomthumbmusic.com/tomthumb_metro_profile_9-11-06.pdf - Metro


http://tomthumbmusic.com/tomthumb_metro_profile_9-11-06.pdf - Metro


Discography

The Taxidermist (new CD)
Songs from Holiday (solo LP)
Kindermusik (EP)

Streaming live radio performance-http://www.bsrlive.com/archives/playlist.php?p=5618

National college radio airplay, as well as numerous mp3 blogs and podcasts.

Photos

Bio

Tom Thumb is the project of singer-songwriter Andy Arch, with a range from infectious indie pop songs to harrowing folk ballads. It's the voice that arrests immediately and the songs that slowly dig into your head and take root. Solo and full band performances in New York, Boston and throughout the Northeast from rock clubs to church halls and house shows have developed a voice that fills any room and cuts through listeners. A solo full length as well as an EP released by Three Ring Records garnered glowing reviews from around the country in press and blogs. He has played with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Jens Lekman, Dr. Dog, Early Day Miners, and more, and is touring across the country in Spring of '08.
A new full length, the Taxidermist, is now available.

Tom Thumb’s sound has been compared to that of M. Ward, Will Oldham and Wilco.