When the first line out of your post-show notes is 'passion… f-ck me,' you know that you witnessed a worthy gig.
I initially came across ARMS, Todd Goldstein's heartfelt indie pop project, via IGIF way back in '09 or '10 (before their debut album, Summer Skills in 2011). To catch Goldstein three years later at ARMS' sophomore release show to a mostly packed Mercury Lounge show was wonderful — if not a tad strange.
The 45-minute set hit both EP2 (out now) and selections from their debut EP, including a pre-encore finale of "Summer Skills" whose build-up and intricate percussion brought optimism (and dancing) to the crowd.
ARMS, originally Goldstein's solo outfit, developed into a four-piece and is one of those bands whose sum of its parts creates something bigger than imagined. It's a long time coming though: ARMS comes out of the roots of the underrated NYC indie rock act Harlem Shakes and has links to members of fellow New York acts Passion Pit and LCD Soundsystem.
Lyrical pop hooks and Goldstein's lush voice stand at the forefront, though, both on EP2 and in person. A singer/songwriter first and foremost, on-key dynamics and a passionate, almost bedroom-style performance push the docket and make ARMS a must-see live.
Listen to "Earthquake Party" below and stream EP2 via The Wild Honey Pie.