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ARTIST
TITLE
Kids Aflame
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
MELO 054CD MELO 054CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
7/22/2008

Kids Aflame is the debut full-length by Arms, aka Brooklynite Todd Goldstein. Inspired by a love of "sad/weird/insular genius types" like Neil Young, Stephin Merritt, and David Byrne, Arms' music cloaks catchy tunes in fuzzy, echo-laden production and Goldstein's melodramatic, crooned vocals. A true one-man band, Goldstein recorded Kids Aflame over a period of three years in various apartments across Brooklyn, playing all the instruments himself, save the occasional drum, sax, bass and keyboard part. A hazy, late-night mood runs deep in the record's 13 tracks, which range from the shoegaze-y gallop of "Whirring" to the lilting ukulele of the title track; from the country-inflected "Sad, Sad, Sad" to the soaring "Shitty Little Disco" and the noise-drenched "The Frozen Lake." Elsewhere, "Jon The Escalator" wears its Smiths influence on its sleeve, and "Pocket" blends dark lyrics with brassy, Aztec Camera-style pop. And although Kids Aflame is a lo-fi album -- and unashamedly so -- it's also one with a surprise around every corner, be it a drop-dead catchy hook or a total change of pace, as in "Eyeball"'s campfire chorus and bouzouki melodies. Goldstein is involved with other music projects, but Arms is closest to his heart, and an outlet for his most personal and idiosyncratic material.