ARMS and her mastermind Todd Goldstein continue their near-spotless string of releases with the upcoming and aptly titled EP2, one that further encases in cement the band’s status as New York’s most underrated band. Here’s a brand new song, “Comfort” »
Good music rewards patient listeners. Great songs are alive with the multiplicity of meaning; they shapeshift with each listen, grow like wildflower vines into unique patterns inside each unique head, and the best songs, in my opinion, perform this invasion as stealthily as possible. We all know that bands like Yeasayer and Animal Collective produce head-spinning, endlessly layered and progressively unfolding music. It’s rewarding, but obviously so, and in that presence of potential there’s a dearth of the excitement of discovery. It’s not really unfolding possible meanings or sounds, it’s a race to inevitable ones.
To me, this is what has always made bands like ARMS so endearing and exciting. On the surface it’s pretty straightforward music — guitar, bass, drums, vox. It’s easy to take for granted, to think you know the form, to assume you know where it’s going. That’s where the excitement of discovery piques and peaks: the little moments you didn’t see coming because you weren’t looking for them. On “Comfort”, perhaps one of ARMS most deceptively straightforward songs, it’s the treble of cascading notes at 2:13, and the faint ooh-oohs that follow; it’s the uplifting chord progression that lasts but a moment over cynical lyrics like “Now I’m monkey wrenching gears” before crashing down in the chorus; it’s sneaking a Dead Kennedys riff into the outro. This seemingly unadventurous indie rock song is riddled with subversion and subtlety, and I’m left pleasantly nonplussed (as always).
EP2 is out September 10th through our good pals at Paper Garden Records. Preorder the vinyl here »