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. ANIMAL LOVER | "Stay Alive" LP
A wild and abrasive trip though all forms of experimental punk from the band’s noise rock roots to free jazz art rock, and Mission of Burma-esque post-punk manipulation, Animal Lover have created this year's best-kept-secret (but we're desperately trying to spread the word). From the chaotic clattering of the record’s brief introduction to the final krautrock blast of album closer “Waterparks of America,” Animal Lover are locked in and focused, moving between one sinewy idea to the next in short bursts of jagged fury. The band develop their ideas to completion without dragging them past their most primal saturation points. Harsh atonal shredding and disjointed rhythms work together to create complex punk with a skeletal design and uncompromising structure. At times their music is minimal and hypnotic and other times its jittery and loose, but the album is cohesive and utterly captivating from beginning to end. These are not pop songs and the album isn’t exactly “accessible” in the traditional sense but it’s filled with infectious movements and experimental grooves that are sure to leave a lasting impression. - Dan Goldin
2. LEFT & RIGHT | "Mouse Drum"
Left & Right's The Yips is one of our most anticipated releases of the fall and the opening song to the album is a prime example why. With a laid back, lived in vibe driven by a swaying bass line, the song describes a life lived in the middle. Middle class and middling. A life that maybe didn’t see its full potential but isn’t half bad. As they say, not everyone can be an astronaut. But we all wanted to be one. We dreamed for so much more and as the volume gets turned up three minutes in, it’s the sound of going to that back room where you keep your hopes and your could have beens and unleashing that dream still within. All reckless and sincere. A mid-thirties anthem that promises an album full of them. - Jonathan Bannister
3. IAN SWEET | "Shapeshifter" LP
Shapeshifter, the debut album from IAN SWEET, the Brooklyn via Boston trio and will be out by the time this is posted. The tight interplay between drummer Tim Cheney and bassist Damien Scalise gives a solid foundation for Jilian Medford and her fuzzy guitar and even fuzzier lyrical themes. An album dealing with feeling out of place in the world, the feeling of being alone that results, it’s extremely catchy ennui with often rising choruses that lift you above the muck of existence into something soaring and free. Stand Out tracks: "#23," "All Skaters Go to Heaven," "Quietly Streaming". - JB
4. CROSS COUNTRY | "Grass Stain"
Ohio's Cross Country are putting out their first album Trials on September 16 on the Infinity Cat Cassette Series, curated by Casey Weissbuch. The first single "Grass Stains" comes destined to be on all your road trip mixes. It’s syncopated beat driving you along as the guitars run lines that leave you nodding your head and pushing the gas pedal to the floor. It all works together to give the song a tremendous sense of forward motion that has you engaged till the very end. - JB
5. NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | "Jesus Alone"
With the first single from the upcoming album Skeleton Tree, Nick Cave invites us into his mourning. Grieving is usually a private affair, done only with close loved ones. When the new album was announced, many wondered if it would tackle the topic head on and the opening lines of "Jesus Alone" leaves no doubt that the album will be heavy with loss and the processing of that grief. The arrangement is sparse and dark. Cave is stoic. The bitterness under the surface fought back with an even tone. The song is a window into an album that will be heavy and emotionally taxing, but most great art is when getting into the messiness of life and contemplating the end that awaits us all. - JB
6. TRUE WIDOW | "O.O.T.P.V."
True Widow is back with their signature brand of doom drone and their latest single from upcoming album Avvolgere is another highlight of what they do best. A pulsing distorted bass line coupled with a breezy ride cymbal heavy drum beat. Music that makes you feel instantly cooler as you bob and sway to the tune. Music to strut to. - JB
7. NO AGE | "Serf to Serf"
The Weirdo Rippers are back with some fresh new surf music for the revolution. Coming from the newly recorded 7" Separation which was made just for their upcoming tour in Norway, No Age's new single "Serf to Serf" careens and crashes through the waves of a class system still very much alive and well the US of A. With their patented distortion on everything sound, No Age wants to know “Can’t you understand?” - JB
8. FAT CREEPS | "In Love"
Somewhat of a surprise release, Boston favorites Fat Creeps have released two new songs after seeming to call it a day in 2014. "No Love" was recorded shortly before the band called it a day. The tom heavy drums pound into you as Gracie Jackson and Mariam Saleh harmonize over ideas about wanting to be in love and also giving up. Wondering what anyone is doing in a relationship if they’re just pretending and not living freely in love. The fuzzed out guitars jamming the point home. It’s all one big reminder of just how good they were and how much they are already missed. - JB
9. THOMAS QUINTTUS | "Warm Empty" LP
Consummate lo-fi bedroom pop. Consisting mostly of understated guitar and low key drumming, these are tales of the restlessness that dogs you no matter where you go, identity, and the malaise of everyday existence. There are also moments on Thomas Quinttus' full length debut of breaking free and getting loud. “Do anything to feel anything” they sing on "Who Are You". It feels like a mission statement. Stand Out Tracks: "Balloon," "Who Are You," "We Hibernate". - JB
10. ULTIMATE PAINTING | "Song For Brian Jones"
The new single off their third album in as many years, "Song for Brian Jones" finds Ultimate Painting very much at ease. The guitar and bass lounge and groove along at an even pace. The feeling of a night spent on the back porch out in the woods, chill and calm. A song for contemplation as they sing “It's all in my mind, buried deep within, but the truth's there to find.” The vocals all full of reverb and gauze to go with the mood. Laid back pop music for the dusk crew. - JB
11. J&L DEFER | "No Map" LP
Get lost in a dream. This is my favorite album of the year. I shared some more thoughts on Facebook, if you like to read mushy gushing. J. Edward Keyes at Bandcamp shared some nice words about the record:
"Making sense of No Map, the debut from Swiss duo J&L Defer, takes some doing. Not because it’s impenetrable or forbidding—but simply because it because it doesn’t operate according to any rule book other than its own. Anita Rufer and Gabriele De Mario, who are also members of the group Disco Doom, took the phrase “Nowhere, to no one” as their North Star for No Map, and set out to make a record that appealed purely to their own impulses. The results are delightfully disorienting ... To call it “psych” would be too limiting: No Map has its own agenda, resulting in music as spacious and full of possibility as the pitch-black night sky." - DG
FRANCIE MOON "Walked Away" | CHERRY GLAZERR "I Told You I'd Be With The Guys" | KERRY KALLBERG "Bb Boy" (Pile cover) | GOBLIN COCK "Necronomidonkeykongimicon" LP | SHELL OF A SHELL "You Won't Be There" | DEERHOOF "Learning to Apologize Effectively" | FURNSSS "Mouth Breathing" | THE NOTWIST "Pick Up The Phone" (Live) | HELMS ALEE "Stillicide" LP | NOTS "No Novelty" | WAX TAILOR "Worldwide" (feat. Ghostface Killah) | LOST BOY ? "Replay" | ANGEL OLSEN "Shut Up Kiss Me" (Live) | DEN-MATE "Sailing" (Sofar Sessions) | ACTION BRONSON "Descendants of the Stars" | SPIT "Square Negative One" (Loft Sessions) | DAVID BOWIE "TVC 15 (2010 Harry Maslin Mix)" | HEALTH "Crusher" | SEX STAINS "Sex Stains" LP | MUUY BIIEN "Mara" | PEELING "Leisure Life" | DUST FROM 1000 YRS "Unlearn" | SAM EVIAN "I Need A Man" | CHOOK RACE "Around The House" LP | GOON "Green Peppers" | EMMA RUTH RUNDLE "Protection" | ADIR L.C. "Hangover" | THE ROYAL THEY "Kamikaze" | SNEEZE "Rot" EP | HYPOLUXO "Fronts" | SLOW MASS "Bruce Lee" | SAT. NITE DUETS "Attached to the Lamp"