by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Welcome to FUZZY MEADOWS, your home away from home where we recap the past week in 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. 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 one 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.
1. LEAPLING | "One Hit Wonder"
The jury is out. Leapling's latest single "One Hit Wonder" is "solid gold pop". Finally, a verdict we can all get behind. Where first single "Alabaster Snow" and "Hey Sister" captured the band blasting away with overblown bliss, the band's latest single highlights their love of power-pop in sweet simplicity. It's fun and carefree... like the aural equivalent to blowing bubbles in your gum. Summertime is just around the corner and Suspended Animation is the perfect soundtrack to the season.
2. RADIOHEAD | "Burn The Witch" + "Daydreaming"
Just in case this is the first time you've been on the internet in the past week or so, Radiohead have a new album out called A Moon Shaped Pool, and we're happy to report that it's pretty damn sweet... a marked improvement from The King of Limbs (as far as we're concerned) and a welcome addition to band's catalog. In advance of the Mother's Day release (surprise Mom(s)) the band shared two singles that offer two of the record's many different moods: the soaring anthem of "Burn The Witch" and the somber sprawl of "Daydreaming," the album's opening one-two punch. The singles arrived in the form of two music videos... one that recreates The Wicker Man with wondrous stop-motion beauty and another directed by Paul Thomas Anderson that features Thom Yorke walking through doors... you can't win them all, I suppose (at least Inherent Vice is great). Radiohead: still a great band.
3. GØGGS | "Glendale Junkyard"
Late last year GØGGS, the trio formed by Ty Segall, Charles Moothart (Fuzz/CFM), and Chris Shaw (Ex-Cult), released their debut single "She Got Harder," an introduction to the band's hard-nosed garage punk onslaught that ripped with equal parts fuzz and hardcore inspiration. The song "jammed" without excess. It was quick and dirty and it promised great things to come... and here they come! The trio have announced their self-titled debut for release this July and new single "Glendale Junkyard" keeps the wound up garage angst sharp and loud. The band are heavy and focused, diving from tailspinning riff to riff, clamoring away as Shaw's vocals lead the furious festivities. If Fuzz is Segall and Moothart's outlet for 70's proto-metal a la Black Sabbath, and their solo projects are their ventures into a never ending rabbit hole of garage pop and psych, then GØGGS is their time to embrace swirling punk... and who better than Shaw to shout along for the ride.
4. OUGHT | "Beautiful Blue Sky"
Interpretive dancing. Expressive mime work. Calisthenics. The new Ought video for "Beautiful Blue Sky," a stand-out from last year's Sun Coming Down has it all. The slinky post-punk song deals with the mundanity of life and the video matches with long shots and erratic choreography from "movement artist" Matt Drews in time with the song's stream-of-conscious lyrics and fluid rhythms. Ought challenge you to break free of the ordinary and follow your own path and the video captures that sentiment. Full of context led by simple movement and body language, Ought are always challenging you to read between the lines, one of our generation's great art-punk hopes.
5. WEAVES | "One More"
Will Weaves make the top ten every time they share something new from their upcoming self titled full length debut. Probably... but that's because no one else does it quite like they do. "One More" was the first single we heard from the record and now it has a dust kicking desert video to accompany it. Frontwoman Jasmyn Burke strolls down the open road with a pair of shimmering gold pom-poms and a bright pink robe, ringing radiant against the backdrop of the surroundings, The frenzied song gets a great deal of frenzied movement as the band's signature "bent pop" sound hooks it's dangerously infectious claws. Shot during a long drive from Toronto to Los Angeles, the band decided to blow off a little steam in the desert, productive and effectual... Weaves are ready to take on the world.
6. ROZWELL KID | "Magic Eye"
Rozwell Kid, the ever shredding West Virginia band you can't help but love recently reissued their Infinity Cat cassette series EP Good Graphics on vinyl via their new label home at SideOneDummy, and with that comes a bizarre new video for "Magic Eye". The surrealistic video features two "magic eye" people (I suppose) walking around blind and disoriented through New York, feeling their way through town with caution... and matching sweatsuits. Eventually they find what they've been looking for... it's a tale for the ages. That.. or just a good reminder that Rozwell Kid make perfect alternative pop in the way you wish Weezer would (and despite yearly promises, you know never will again). Rozwell Kid are always on tour and they're always seemingly having a great time, shredding just as much for their enjoyment as ours. Rock music isn't dead, it's just on tour with some emo bands.
7. SOLIDS | "Wait It Out"
A few weeks ago we talked about the change in Solids' sound from their full length debut to their exceptional new EP Else... and damnit, we're gonna talk about it again. "Wait It Out," a slow burning single from the release that always reminds me a bit of Ovlov (fitting as the band are now on tour with Stove) is a brilliant new direction for the duo-turned-trio. The jangly fuzz pop and wild energy of Blame Confusion is gone, but in it's wake are big blistering riffs reminiscent of Hum and syrupy vocal harmonies. The video isn't particularly exciting visually... one band, one empty church basement... but it does offer a glimpse of the expanded band for those not lucky enough to catch them live, and it's like the age old proverb says: two guitars are better than one. None of this matters though, we could watch the "Wait It Out" video all day just to keep listening to Solids' spaced out glory.
8. CE SCHNEIDER TOPICAL | "Antifree" LP
The duo of Christina Schneider and OSR-Tapes head honcho Zach Phillips are better known by their experimental folk and psych pop nom-de-plum, CE Schneider Topical. I'm terribly late to the party... but better late than never and it seems Antifree is as great a place to start as anywhere. Their majestically weird sound is delicate and uncompromising, offering enough clattered noise to make the most gentle of moments feel experimental, and engaging in the process. There's so much to discover within the album's seventeen tracks, I'm transfixed in their natural beauty. It's tender and warm while always slight askew and endearingly wonky. The focus lies in Schneider's voice, but it's the colorful palette of jagged instrumentation that frame the songs, short bursts of pop splendor and lo-fi brilliance that offers endless hours of good strange fun.
9. CLOUD BECOMES YOUR HAND | "Bridge of Ignorance Returns"
There is but one Cloud Becomes Your Hand, and we're thrilled they have a new album coming out next month. Rocks or Cake, their full length debut was an incredible mind-altering exploration that treaded in elements of retro-psych and prog without ever really sounding remotely like anything from the past. If "Bridge of Ignorance Returns" is anything to go by then Rest In Fleas is picking up right where they left off, immersed in a tripped out undersea voyage of tightly orchestrated free-form grooves and moving patterns. It's hypnotic yet busy, pulling you into their madness one pulsating section at a time. "Bridge of Ignorance Returns" bounces from one headspace to another, a visionary experience with every member of the band leading you into their own unique direction, offering new experiences with each twist and turn. Cloud Becomes Your Hand are what some might call a national treasure... because sometimes you just want to escape reality and let your mind wander.
10. BRENDA'S FRIEND | "House Down"
I had never heard of Brenda's Friend until last week. I don't know who "Brenda" is and sadly I'm unfamiliar with the work of both Amy O and Erin Tobey, the duo that make up the band, but one listen to "House Down" and it's abundantly clear I've been missing out (and need to do some catch-up). I have a soft spot for duel vocals that harmonize at times but more often just exist directly on top one another, and "House Down" is a champion of the form. The single is about as tangled as a pair of headphones in your pocket. It starts off tight and harmonized and unravels into a fantastically knotted mess... in the absolute best of ways. Divergent melodies connect and clash against each other (and connect again) with raw simplicity. It's truly infectious and I can't wait to hear more of the record before the Soundcloud stream starts skipping from repeat listens.
ARBOR LABOR UNION "I Hear You" LP | PINKWASH "Collective Sigh" | THE NUMERATORS "Feeel" | GARDEN CENTRE "Riding" | HEATERS "Centennial" | J. ROBBINS “Anodyne” + “Abandoned Mansions” | A GIANT DOG "Pile" LP | BEN GRIGG "Poster Child" + "Meteor" | ORB "First And Last Men" | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "People-Vultures" | SCROLL DOWNERS "Shake Off The Rays" | CAT BE DAMNED "Soft Collision" | BLACK NORSE "Akiko" | BIG MESS "Song For Bella (The Horse) | DEERHUNTER "Living My Life" | WHITE LUNG "Paradise" LP | CONRAD KEELY "Engines of the Dark" | YUCK "Bled White" (Elliott Smith cover) | THE HUNCHES "Whatcha Gonna Do" | MUDCRUTCH "Hungry No More" | NIGHT SCHOOL "Last Disaster" | UNITED FRUIT "Eternal Return" LP | YIKES "Double Bacon Cheese" | AND THE KIDS "Friends Share Lovers" | ALL PEOPLE "Moonsteps" | MOUNTAINS AND RAINBOWS "With Beefheart"