Impressive New Single From ARMS

13100819_10154095561593328_1209908726262583798_nSomehow through my terrible absent mindedness I’ve missed the boat on some new singles from Brooklyn based Todd Goldstein and his new project known as ARMS. Now some of you may recognize Todd’s name as he used to play guitar and write some songs in now disbanded Brooklyn band Harlem Shakes. Already knowing his way around a pop song or two, Todd started making some music on his own and has released quite a few singles in anticipation of a new album. His most recent single, “Missing”, can be found below. It’s a nice bit of pop music that meanders a little bit as it builds toward an explosive and fist pump worthy finale. I thought you might enjoy.

Patterns will be out on June 3rd via Paper Garden Records.

More New Jams from ARMS

When we talked about the new album from ARMS a month back, it didn’t seem like the band had fully picked up steam just yet.  But, now that the release of Summer Skills is nearing, more people are taking notice, and deservedly so. I love the off the hilt percussion usage in this new track, not to mention the sweeping melody that floats over it all.  No need to hype this song, or album, up anymore, as it clearly is speaking for itself.  What we might have lost in Harlem Shakes, we’ve definitely gained in ARMS.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ARMS-FleecedSingle.mp3]

Download: ARMS – Fleeced [MP3]

New Tunes from ARMS (Todd Goldstein of Harlem Shakes)

In case you missed out on the now defunct Harlem Shakes, I’m here to let you know you missed something quite special.  For now, we can all make due with ARMS, the project of Todd Goldstein, formerly of HS.  He’s done some work on his own, but he’s now recruited a few friends to help flesh out the sound of ARMS.  His new moniker in tow, he’ll be releasing Summer Skills on November 8.  Some of the tracks, like the one below, you can find on a free EP over on the group’s BANDCAMP, but as for the rest, you’ll have to wait until November before you get to fall wholeheartedly in love.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/ARMS-EP-02-Heat-Hot-Water.mp3]

Download: ARMS – Heat & Hot Water [MP3]

New Pop Hit from Oh No! Yoko

The great part of being involved in little music communities outside the blogosphere is that you always discover fun little gems that you mightn’t have found otherwise. That’s where I discovered this fun little track from Vancouver group, Oh No! Yoko. They just released a nice little album full of similarly fun tunes titled Pau Pau, so if you dig what’s going on below, it’s worth taking a hard look at.  For me, I kind of get the feeling of Passion Pit or Harlem Shakes, but I think a lot of that has to do with a serious vocal link.  So sit back, take it in, and enjoy yourselves.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Ohnoyoko-90skids.mp3]

Download: Oh No! Yoko – 90’s Kids [MP3]

FT50: Songs of 2009

bestof2009cover_songsWe have to start this list off with a disclaimer.  We have three writers, all with different tastes, so the list should reflect that a little bit.  Also, these are our opinions, and by no means, are they meant to be seen as an “end all be all” to the question of what were the best songs of 2009.  That being said, we like our list quite a bit.  Sure, it’s got some expected numbers at the top, but the rest of the list is genius.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you, and the rest take you straight to youtube.  Follow the jump for full list.

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Passion Pit @ Emos – 6/3

passionpitPassion Pit seems to have been on the tongues of every person discussing music this year, and they return to Austin to show us what they have, in the live setting at Emos that is. Along with them they bring Harlem Shakes and Cale Parks, two bands who have been making waves across the country with delightful albums of their own. Be sure to catch this show, for if the band explodes, you likely won’t catch them in this sort of semi-intimate setting again.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/05-sunlight.mp3]

Download: Harlem Shakes – Sunlight [MP3]

Harlem Shakes – Technicolor Health

harlem

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Every once in a while you walk across a band with a little bit of a reputation, and very little else.  This is where you come across Harlem Shakes, a band that has been slowly climbing the indie-pop ladder rung by rung.  Their new album, Technicolor Health, will only encourage more people to climb upon their back as they aim to reach the top.

Opening the album, you’ll find that various electronic elements are crawling all over the first song, much the way that they crawl all over the entire album. But, these little bleeps and blips grab more urgency when the rest of the band kicks in, throwing horns and guitar into the mix.  It’s an eclectic sound to say the least, but they manage wrangle it all together in an effort to create pop gems.

Singer Lexy bares a strong resemblance to the vocal registry of John K Samson of The Weakerthans, especially in “Strictly Game,” though just as you start to hear that in his voice, it changes directions.  This is precisely one of the elements of this album that allows listeners to maintain their interest, as the band takes turn after turn through their pop repertoire, leaving nary a stone unturned.  The entire kitchen sink has been nicely set in this album, and yet it still all sounds remarkably charming.

Some of the songs are downright destined to encourage you to shake your boots, but then there are other moments that seem to show a certain bit of restraint.  “Niagra Falls” appears to pay homage to a bit of classic rock elements, and one might even say shares a missing link with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, back when they were still good.  The piano laden track bubbles gently beneath the surface of your ear drum, drifting off quietly just before it gets annoying.

Such seems to be the story of the band.  What once would be considered overbearing self-indulgence in instrument usage is restrained just enough so as not to appear as such.  Just as you think it all begins to get to be a bit too much, the band pulls it all back in, honing their skills in the craft of restraint. Your left with a great sense of respect, as the combination of such instruments never seems to be entirely too much, though looking at the inclusion of these things would lead you think otherwise.

Everything here is simpler than one expects, which is how this band will win you over.  They’ve created an album full of songs that push your boundaries of listening, yet draw you in with catchy melodies and clever lyrics.  At times, it might be a bit much for the listener due to the overabundance of sounds, but like the band, you should show restraint, and give this album a proper chance, as repeated listening provides for great rewards.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/04-niagara-falls.mp3]

Download: Harlem Shakes – Niagra Falls [MP3]

New Tunes from Harlem Shakes

harlemIn anticipation for a sweet month of music, both at SXSW and the usual releases, we opted to throw out a tune by up and comers Harlem ShakesThe group is set to release their debut March 24th on Gigantic Music, just as you’ve spent all your hard earned cash on SXSW. Well, at least the album, Technicolor Health, has promise, especially based on this song. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/02-strictly-game.mp3]

Download: Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game [MP3]