Todd Goldstein hails from Brooklyn, New York and Kids Aflame is, for the most part, the solo debut of this singer-songwriter who is also a member of the band Harlem Shakes and one half of the duo The Sea & The Gulls.
The brief opening track is a deceptive preface to what follows, fading in on drones, chorused vocals and acoustic guitar before the flick of a switch transforms the scene to neatly overdriven guitars and the instantly exciting powerpop of Whirring. If there’s any justice in the world, this should be heard on many-a radio show and I’ve certainly been playing it on mine!
Goldstein is, I’m informed, fond of Magnetic Fields and, akin to Stephen Merritt, his voice lends itself to the melancholic. This mood permeates the title track, heralded by a change from electrics to strummed ukelele.
Most of what I have to say about Kids Aflame is positive. I was less keen on the country/laconic lounge style of Sad, Sad, Sad, but the excellent Tiger Tamer easily balances this out and if John The Escalator sounds a lot like Morrisey (and, hey, it does!) it’s a homage carried off in style. 7/10 -- John Cavanagh (10 December, 2008)