Nine Bands Share Their First Recording
Page 8 of 9
For musicians of all ages, one of the most exciting things in the world can be digging your teeth into a brand-new project. With fresh faces and skill sets, the experience can make music feel brand new again for many. So we appreciate it when bands are willing to step back and share earlier works that haven’t seen the light of day.
We asked eight acts, including Rubblebucket, FAWN and ARMS, to share their first recordings as a band and talk about this process, and they were generous enough to revisit their beginnings. Feel free to share your own first recordings in the comment section below.
8. ARMS – “Microhouse”
“In the fall of 2004, I was convinced that I was scraping bottom. I had just graduated from college and was grappling with a bad case of small fish/big pond syndrome, social anxiety, generally low self-esteem, the whole deal. I was a pretty dark guy back then. But after weathering a year-long creative dry spell, I had a minor epiphany. I had been listening to nothing but sad-sack indie rock—your Mark Kozeleks, your Pedro the Lions, your Slowdives, your Lows—and I thought, why not just try to do what they were doing. Write something simple. Cut out all your old vocal and songwriting mannerisms. Be honest. The result was a song called ‘Microhouse’ (I named it after my new favorite genre of dance music), a peppy bit of wallowing with a great little riff written by my friend Brian Betancourt, who as it happens now plays bass in a band called Hospitality. For ‘Microhouse,’ I scaled it all back, tried to make like the Magnetic Fields, and it was the first song I was happy to have written in over a year. This was the song that led me to name my ‘band’ Arms. These new songs were like appendages—ways of reaching out into the world from the depths of my early 20s. Ever since this one, every song I’ve written has been an Arms song. And while I’d like to think that my writing and singing has strengthened in the ensuing years, I’d also like to think that a version of this little guy hangs out on the sidelines of all my new material, cheering on his older, wiser buddy.”—Todd Goldstein