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. KAL MARKS | "Coffee"
Back in February, Kal Marks, released their exceptional new album Life Is Alright... Everybody Dies, an uncompromising record that pushed the boundaries of their sound and challenged listeners. It's a rewarding record in the sense that the more time you put into listening to it, the better it gets... and then one day it all just makes sense, a masterpiece for the patient. A tangled album of noise punk, indie sludge, and doom pop that's warped and inherently aggressive, the layers unfold deep beneath the earthquaking low end. While the album deals with themes of empathy, perhaps it's most shocking moment comes in the form of the record's stand-out single "Coffee". Easily one of my favorite songs of the year, "Coffee" is a monolith of beauty, a hard pummeling love song with that ever present strong air of self hatred. The beauty and ugliness battle it out over enormous riffs, slow pounding rhythms, and some of Carl Shane's finest vocal howls and croons. The video matches that struggle. Love is hard, but it's worth fighting for. - Dan Goldin
2. NOCTURNAL HABITS | "Good Grief"
"Good Grief" is right. Nocturnal Habits, a new band formed by Unwound's Justin Trosper, are sharing their first single and it's a doozy. No, it's not quite like Unwound... but it's also not unimaginably far from it either. Hell, it has been fifteen years since Leaves Turn Inside You was released, and things change, people move on with different ideas from different places in their life, which is all a long way of saying "maybe it's not Unwound, but it's still pretty damn awesome". Trosper, joined by a revolving cast that includes Unwound's Sara Lund, the Melvins' Dale Crover, Sherry Fraser, and Scott Seckington (Two Ton Boa), has created something both loud and cathartic yet serene and inviting.
While Trosper's last project, Survival Knife, went for straight ahead Foo Fighters style stadium rock (albeit far less obnoxious and without that "dead behind the eyes" feel), Nocturnal Habits is a bit more complex and adventurous. The production is pretty slick and the jagged edges feel a bit smoothed out, but it works with the shimmering post-hardcore chaos meets sugary sweet vocal harmonies (at times reminiscent of The Evens) vibe. What the song lacks in grit, it makes up for tenfold in infectious melody and immediacy. I spent some time this week listening to this song on repeat, and I feel pretty good about it. - DG
3. CHRISTIAN FITNESS | "That Taco Is Not Correct" LP
We can only say it again and again but you need to be listening to everything Andrew Falkous puts out. Here he is with his third Christian Fitness album and it’s the bands strongest album yet. Hook heavy and lyrically biting while still being frequently hilarious, Falkous sounds like he’s having fun even while still being agitated about a great many thing. So give it a listen (we recommend listening through headphones) and let songs like "Happiness is Not for Amateurs," "I Swear I’ll Get Married in Those Earrings," and "Reggie Has Asbestos Training" become your de facto soundtrack to the fall. - Jonathan Bannister
4. THE MEN | "Lion's Den"
Loud, scuzzy, rude, and with attitude to spare, it is good to hear from The Men. Coming from their upcoming album Devil Music, "Lion’s Den" roars into being with garage psych intensity and a squealing sax that doesn’t let up for the three and a half minutes it has you in its claws. Like an Elevator taking you straight to the 13th Floor, it’s reckless and raw freedom for “the little people.” As The Men said in a note on their website, this is music for us. - JB
5. TONY MOLINA | "See Me Fall"
Anything written will probably take longer to read than just listening to the song, but Tony Molina is back wit ha new EP entitled Confront the Truth and this is the first single. Consisting of one verse about heartbreak, the acoustic guitar and vocal tone have a Beatles’ like tinge as Molina laments the end of a one-sided relationship. Short and to the point, the song succinctly expresses that universal truth that the end of love is always hard for the dumped. - JB
6. REALLY BIG PINECONE | "W.I.S.A.T.P."
Despite the myriad questions we attempt to answer in life, there is usually one that demands our attention more than the rest. Artists find that one idea that dominates their work and their goal is to express it as fully as they can. The artist may find they spend their whole lives trying to say what they mean in as clear a way as possible. This is the question that drives Really Big Pinecone. “Maybe I was constantly avoiding things I already knew about me” Mikey Buishas opens with on "W.I.S.A.T.P" the lead single from their upcoming EP of the same name (What I Said About The Pinecone). A relaxed groove and laid back feel to the song gives the feeling of reflection. It takes some times to get the words in the right order. - JB
7. LEFT & RIGHT | "The Yips" LP
We’ve still had their EP Pivot Foot from earlier this year on heavy rotation but Left & Right are already back with their new full length The Yips and wow. Grown up and adult as shit, The Yips is an apt title for an album that deals with the questions one finds themselves confronted by as they live life in their thirties. The band has said they tried to write beyond their abilities but the album finds them progressing and maturing in their sound wonderfully. Chunky riffs abound but there are also some quiet moments that hit just as hard. "The Grump" into "Anne’s Revenge" followed by "Sleep Show" is top notch sequencing and as good a summary as you’ll find for how strong an album The Yips is. - JB
8. DUMB NUMBERS | "Unbury The Hatchet"
Dumb Numbers is the project of Australian based Adam Harding. Perhaps you don't know him. He has a lot of famous friends play with him in the band though... namely David Yow, Lou Barlow, Dale Crover, Murph, Kevin Rutmanis, and so on. Perhaps you know them. David Yow lends lead vocals to "Unbury The Hatchet" and his impeccable acting chops to the video, a true cinematic must see. The clip features potato chip sandwiches, a Homer Simpson slipper mishap, gorillas indifferent toward pudding, Twin Peak's Kimmy Robertson, top notch bowling fantasies... and did we mention David Yow's acting? Yeah, it's that good. - DG
9. CONNECTIONS | "Weapons"
Connections latest album Midnight Run was my surprise summer hit album. The band has always been great and reliable when you're looking for that youthful Guided By Voices sound, but their new album takes them beyond their spiritual gurus, putting them in their own league (though the influence remains) of lo-fi shred-fest bliss. The fuzz of the guitars matches the hazy production, bringing out the best in each element as melodies warp and wilt in time with the jangly rhythms. The video for "Weapons" is a haphazard collage of animated fruit (there's two adorable spooning bananas), trippy psych effects, piñatas come to life, monsters having bubble baths with a nice glass of wine, and so much... basically it's the sound of Connections warm fuzz brought to life... anything is possible, and there's really no need to make sense of any of it. - DG
10. KIM GORDON | "Murdered Out"
The first song to ever be released as simply a Kim Gordon song, "Murdered Out" pays respect to the practice of blacking out your car. Logo concealed, windows tinted, matte black paint job, black rims, no marks of any kind. Pop music as only Gordon could do it. A sinister bass line by producer Justin Raisen, hard hitting drums from Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa, the perpetual outsider now finds the mainstream coming to her. It feels in a way like erasing the distinguishing marks of an identity and leaving only the essentials. Here is Kim Gordon now murdered out from her past. - JB
11. FOND HAN | "Sham Cloud" LP
Fond Han is a band that has many interests but genre isn’t one of them. They dock their musical schooner to no harbor, instead letting the musical wind blow them any which way they choose. On Sham Cloud, their first full length, those winds take them to loud and aggressive to skittish and introverted. A band that takes their work seriously but never themselves. Sham Cloud contains some of the most refreshing music you’ll hear this year and at just under 20 minutes it’ll be sure to keep you engaged and on your toes. An interesting and varied listening experience to be sure but never let that distract from the fact that the songs are down right good and the album down right jams. - JB
CULTURE ABUSE "Dream On" | WAREHOUSE "Super Low" | MARCHING CHURCH "Lion's Den" | RADIOHEAD "Present Tense" | CROSS COUNTRY "Trials" LP | PURLING HISS "3000 AD" | FRANCIE MOON "Red Cloud Road" | DEERHOOF "Hi" (Xiu Xiu cover) | DEERHOOF "That Ain't No Life To Me" | EX-CULT "Let You In" | OPTIONS "Comfort Blanket" | MORGAN DELT "Some Sunsick Day" | DAMAGED BUG "Horse Egg 2" | DAMAGED BUG "Smoggy Terminus" | SEX STAINS "Period. Period." | GOBBINJR "Firefly (Boxfish Sessions)" | HUMAN PEOPLE "Veronica" EP | LA FONT "Swish 2" EP | EMILYN BRODSKY "Hands Off The Stove" | ENTRANCE "Promises" | LOWER DENS "Real Thing" | BEN GRIGG "Someday Back" | NATURAL CHILD "Okey Dokey" LP | THE ROYAL THEY "Understate" | KENNETH WHALUM "Might Not Be OK" (feat. Big K.R.I.T.) | BECK "Wow" | THE BLIND PETS "Up All Night" | SLOTHRUST "Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone" | KESTRELS "Waiting" | VOTARIES "Trick Tomorrow" | VARIOUS ARTISTS "It's Not As Bad As You Think: Songs From Tallahassee, FL, 2016" LP | GOON "Dusk of Punk" EP | THE BLACK BLACK "Meticulous" | TAME IMPALA "The Less I Know The Better" | SAT. NITE DUETS "Air Guitar" LP