Listen: ARMS covers Guided By Voices’ “Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory”


As ARMS, Todd Goldstein has released a pair of impressive albums, 2004’s Kids Aflame and 2011’s Summer Skills, along with a handful of EPs. For his next release, Goldstein has announced a covers album entitled Backwards Record, due out September 2nd via Paper Garden Records.

Recorded over the last decade, the eight-track collection features covers of Elliott Smith, Matthew Dear, The Faces, Rufus Wainwright, Broadcast, and more. In a statement, Goldstein described his inspiration for the album and his philosophy on cover songs:

Covering other people’s songs is a funny undertaking. A song might seem completely off-limits, a violent absurdity, while for someone else it hits that little sweet-spot, where it almost seems self-evident as a perfect song to cover. Somewhere between personal taste, a feeling of kinship with the emotions expressed, a sense of identification with a given songwriter’s craft.

Either way, the songs on Backwards Record all felt just right to me, tapping into this magical continuum of songwriting that vibrates in my echo chamber at just the right frequency. Backwards Record is a collection of songs that have made me get all feel-something-y over the years and I hope that my appreciation comes across in this humble mess of internet doodaddery.”

As our first taste, Goldstein has unveiled his rendition of Guided By Voices’ 1994 single “Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory”. The original features little more than Robert Pollard’s monotone croon and a haggard electric guitar. For his version, however, Goldstein removes the guitar entirely and places the spotlight solely on his vocals, layering several different harmonies like a one-man barbershop quartet. The resulting track captures the lonesome spirit of the original while also imbuing the bizarre lyrics with a heightened sense of emotionality and ambiance.

Watch the accompanying music video below (via BrooklynVegan), which features iPhone footage of Goldstein performing the track in various outfits (or lack thereof).

Backwards Record Tracklist:
01. Broadcast – Corporeal
02. Elliott Smith – Ballad of Big Nothing
03. Guided By Voices – Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
04. They Might Be Giants – Ana Ng
05. Matthew Dear – Slowdance
06. Thunder & Lightning – Disgust
07. The Faces – Ooh La La
08. Rufus Wainwright – Foolish Love