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Fuzzy Meadows: The Week's Best New Music (October 31st - November 6th)

by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)

Welcome to FUZZY MEADOWS, our weekly recap of this week's new music. We're sharing our top ten favorite releases of the week in the form of albums, singles, and music videos along with the "further listening" section of new and notable releases from around the web. It's generally poorly written and totally unedited... but full love of heart. The number rankings are fairly arbitrary and we sincerely recommend checking out all the music included in this feature. There's a lot of great music being released. Support the bands you love. Spread the word and buy some new music. *Disclaimer: We are making a conscious effort not to include any artist in the top ten on back-to-back weeks in order to diversify the feature, so be sure to check the "further listening" as well because it's often "top ten" quality too.

1. FOND HAN | "Ughed"

There's a special feeling when you first hear an album and it genuinely causes your jaw to drop. That feeling when you begin to feel the need to reassess all you've previously considered. Fond Han's full length debut Sham Cloud did this for me personally and while the record was released less than two months ago, the Jersey based duo of Thomas Baumann and Kira McDonald have returned with "Ughed," a brand new single released in celebration of reaching 800 "likes" on Facebook. Featuring guest appearances from Two Inch Astronaut's Sam Rosenberg (who toured with the band this summer) and Palehound/Grass Is Green/Spook The Herd's Jesse Weiss (who also recorded the single), Fond Han's latest lurches forward with a slow trickling shuffle. Loose rhythms pair with haunting melodies and warped vocals as the song crawls its way to a triumphantly disorienting crescendo. It's unhinged and oddly gorgeous, which is beginning to feel like quintessential Fond Han. Now go and "like" their page, there's more new singles promised at 900 and 1,000 "likes".

2. HELLRAZOR | "Satan Smile" LP

We had the pleasure of sharing the premiere of Hellrazor's full length debut and our obsession with this album only grows with each passing day. Michael Falcone and co. put on a master display of how to write punk songs with hooks that rival the best pop smash-hits. The balance of the record's gritty production and gnarled sludge pop assault coupled with their propensity to write an infestation of melodic earworms is unparalleled. Remember when you first started listening to Nevermind and you realized it was a record packed with sneakily dissonant pop songs and it kinda blew your mind... welcome back.

3. THELMA | "If You Let It"

Thelma's upcoming full length debut is on a new level of gorgeous mysticism. There's a haunting vibe that swirls throughout the album, but the ultra-personal reflections are far more captivating than creepy. "If You Let It" is the perfect example, a song that finds Thelma's Natasha Jacobs creating brilliantly claustrophobic pop that's as dark as it is undeniably radiant. Centered around slowly thudding keys and sweeping rhythms, the song's unflinching heart and wounded soul come from Jacobs' beautiful voice. Skipping between lilted verses and impenetrable hooks, Jacobs' control of her voice is stunning, setting the tone and shifting directions as the song swells and contracts at her whim. Thelma channels the darkness to create beauty and an engaging power of self.

4. LEAPLING | "Killing Time"

Killing Time, the upcoming companion EP to Leapling's Suspended Animation is only a week away from release and Dan Arnes and co. are sharing the album's second single and title track, a cool breezing song that floats by without a care in the world... or at least on the outside. Built around a jangly power-pop riff and Arnes' soulful vocals, "Killing Time" as a song does pretty much the opposite the title might suggest, with not a moment wasted as the song's silky melodies move ever forward, relying only on the minimal buzzing guitar solo to carry the hook as the song gently sways.

5. PRIESTS | "Pink White House"

I truly don't how else to say it but Priests are the best damn punk band there is these days. I know you don't need me to tell you this, but hot damn, "Pink White House" captures the band at their finest with Katie Alice Greer spitting her viciously sarcastic aggression toward "The American Dream," a sentiment that carries pretty much no meaning at this point in time. Tightly wound around a sharp garage rock rhythm and guitars that bounce between the verse's post-punk grooves and menacing tangled surf punk, the song spirals out into a fired up chaos, bursting with the sardonic fury in a way only Priests can offer.

6. ALEXANDER F | "Swimmers"

The first single from Brooklyn's Alexander F is psych pop at it's most jubilant. The band, led by Rubblebucket's Alex Toth create a sugary sweet blend of power-pop that's immediate and layered. Reflecting on the time before birth and an array of other impossible memories ("remember when I was butterfly"), the song jangles with an unflinchingly positive energy, jittering like a hyper active kid from its anthemic start until its abrupt finish. The band, which also features members of Delicate Steve, Perfect Pussy, and Here We Go Magic, tear through the song's subconsciously perceived nostalgia with a tight churning rhythm, glorious gang harmonies, and raw charged bursts of excitement. It's an amazing first glance into Toth's world and we're eager to see where he's headed.

7. HAYBABY | "Yours"

Earlier this year Brooklyn's Haybaby released the ruthless Blood Harvest, an EP that found the band digging into darker post-hardcore tendencies while keeping their more detached grunge in tact. The result has made them one of the more crushing indie bands in their hometown and thanks to the band's constant tour schedule, everywhere else too. On new single "Yours" the band are slugging it out with an ominous tension yet again, erupting when the guard is down, with bellowing shouts and big detuned sludgy riffs. You can feel the agitation and frustration in Leslie Hong's deadpanned vocals. The message, as I understand it, is an important one: keep your hands to yourself and stop being a condescending male dickhead.

8. MOON DUO | "Cold Fear"

The masters of modern krautrock fueled psych are back with a new album, Occult Architecture, Vol. I... the first of "a two-part journey from darkness to light". The record, built around the idea of hidden energies that occur in the darkness of our world, is led by "Cold Fear," a song that finds Moon Duo doing what they do best. Guiding us further into oblivion with hypnotic programmed beats, permanently stinging distortion and time warping melodies, Moon Duo are here to expand your mind. It's easy to get lost in the cinematic soundscapes and repetitive rhythms of their sound but the soaring synth textures and warbling vocals provide the dazzling focal point to keep your mind from drifting too far into the beyond.

9. BICHKRAFT | "Ashley"

Ukrainian post-punk quartet Bichkraft have been busy since joining Wharf Cat Records, releasing a pair of albums in as many years, touring Europe and playing their first US shows this summer in support of their album, Shadoof. The unpredictable sound of their music borrows bits and pieces from industrial, electronic punk, noise rock, shoegaze, and wiry post-punk, blending them together into something synthetic and raw, a mechanical beast of spitting dismay and fractured pop. "Ashley" is a new single from the band's upcoming EP (details to come) recorded while in Brooklyn, and their groove based noise punk sound is as radiant as ever. With less of an electronic focus than Shadoof, "Ashley" feels like mutant shoegaze, roaring between distorted manipulation and reverb guitar lines that'd make The Jesus and Mary Chain proud. It's still covered in the band's whirring industrial grime, but the guitars glisten between the cracks.

10. CHERRY GLAZERR | "Nurse Ratched"

Just in time for Halloween, Los Angeles' Cherry Glazerr shared their new video for "Nurse Ratched," a gruesome slasher fantasy with a whole lot of stabbing. The song, originally released in 2014 as the b-side to "Had Ten Dollaz," is set to appear on the band's highly anticipated sophomore album Apocalipstick, due out in January. While the motivation of the video's villain aren't exactly clear, we'll just chalk it up to the song's infectious hook, "she's a wild one" and leave it at that. Cherry Glazerr are a dynamic band that jolt between heavier psych influenced alternative pop, fuzzy surf punk, and classic rock informed punk, and while nothing about it suggests horrific violence... their new music video surely does.

NNAMDI OGBONNAYA "Freeze" | DUCHESS SAYS "Negative Thoughts" | AD.UL.T "Put It In Me" | CHRIS COHEN "It's Not So Hard" | DOOMSDAY STUDENT "Fight and Flight" | NEW HOLLAND "A Collection: 2012-2016" LP | CLOAKROOM "Big World" | PERMIT "Track #1" | MEGA BOG "Fwee" | LEGGY "Bruises" | VERY FRESH "Hey, It's Me!" EP | EX-CULT "Nightmare Zone" | THE ADVENTURES OF THE SILVER SPACEMAN "Electric Earth" | MARK SULTAN "Will You Teach Me" | BREAST MASSAGE "Bathing The Dog" | SHARKS' TEETH "Lost In The Cosmos" | SAD13 "Slugger" LP | TINY HEAD "Tiny Head" EP | JAPANDROIDS "Near To The Wild Heart of Life" | PILL FRIENDS "Holy Like You" | GOON "Gravedigger" | FRANK WEYSOS "Teddy Blood" LP | BRUNCH "Slugs of Trust" | ALL BOY/ALL GIRL "Voyeur" | KESTRELS "Descent of Their Last End"