Welcome to FUZZY MEADOWS, our weekly recap of this week's new music. We're sharing our 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 written in the early hours of the morning and semi-unedited... but full of love and heart. The number rankings are arbitrary and we sincerely recommend checking out all the music included. There's a lot of great new 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 our countdown 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 of "countdown" quality too.
1. BAD HISTORY MONTH | "A Platitude and A Final Understanding"
The crowning finale of Bad History Month's upcoming album, Dead And Loving It..., is a two part song that finds Sean Bean's lyrics at the pinnacle of soul crushing. "A Platitude" is a song about the desire to be grateful, while "A Final Understanding" is about reaching that better self, only to realize it's temporary, and you're forever trapped in the cycle of despair that comes with mortality. I wrote a lot on the subject of this record already (see here), but this is truly one of the most stunning songs (or combination of songs... though the music that ties them together is incredible in its own right) I've heard in my lifetime. - Dan Goldin
2. KRALLICE WITH DAVE EDWARDSON | "Loüm" LP
For its seventh record in just under a decade, Krallice did something different this time around. Where their last couple releases saw the technical black metal band skewing toward death metal, this one strips things back down while bringing in new sonic elements. Neurosis’ Dave Edwardson joins the band for Loüm, contributing vocals and synths, and while manic riffing is still in touch, there’s a more ethereal nature to the record that feels new for the band. With compositions that rank among the band’s most compact, Loüm is a digestible slab of black metal, one that’s forward-thinking and doesn’t get needlessly mired in the genre’s purists that would shun such ambitions. - David Anthony
3. PILE | "The Tourist" (Radiohead cover)
I’ve never been a fan of Radiohead, at least not in the way people who self-describe as Radiohead fans are. That said, I understand the difficulty in replicating a band that is so singular, in that it’s hard for someone to not sound like a cheap imitation or lifeless knockoff. But that’s not how Pile operates. Few bands would be capable of taking a song like “The Tourist”—the moody closing track on 1997’s OK Computer—and reproduce it without butchering it, but Pile did exactly that. Rick Maguire’s vocals push the song into a more intense territory as it nears its end, and that’s what makes it work. Here, Pile takes a beloved band’s work and reverently replicates while implanting just enough of their own sensibilities to keep it from feeling rote. If only it had been Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” though. - DA
4. NIGHT IDEA | "Canopy"
The music video for Night Idea's "Canopy" is among the best you will see this year. Capturing a haunting vibe in a desolate town, it's creepy and down with cinematic perfection. Like a cross between David Lynch and the "Black Hole Sun" video, Night Idea's wistful prog and indie influences offer a counterbalance to the darkness that has befallen the video's main characters. There's something sinister at foot, and while all your questions may not be answered in that, you'll feel shaken, perfect for the Halloween season. - DG
5. GUN OUTFIT | "Sally Rose"
The always impressive and casually serene Gun Outfit are at their best when blending their dusty country and Americana influences with a hint of a punk and a touch of krautrock. "Sally Rose" is a prime example, a song that grooves with a motorik rhythm and a space-age sprawl. Just underneath the inescapable bass line, skin tight beat, and Carrie Keith's ultra-cool vocal melody lies a wavering guitar line that essentially solos from start to finish, using the steady rhythm to fly off the rails, dimmed just enough to never upset the song's hypnotic charms. Five albums in and Gun Outfit are still showing us new tricks and still making albums that feel instantly classic. - DG
6. DEERHOOF | "I Will Spite Survive"
In our modern age, it’s rare for a band to feel truly peerless, but Deerhoof are one of the few bands where it feels appropriate to describe them as such. Their latest album, Mountain Moves, is the latest in a long line of progressively singular releases, and the video for “I Will Spite Survival” does a great job of building the band’s world out all the more. The video makes direct reference to the current political climate, the ongoing escalation of toward all-out war, and the unending, unfulfilling cycle of work, but it’s never fully heavy-handed. It requires the viewer to explore their own feelings on these matters and pull out their own meanings, something that Deerhoof has long done with their music, too. - DA
7. LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS | "Those Pickled Fuckers" EP
St. Louis' ever anti-social punk icons Lumpy And The Dumpers are back with a new EP of unbridled agitation and lo-fi mess. Those Pickled Fuckers, brilliant title and all, is full of raw punk, filthy charm, and scuzzy simplicity. Like the sound of sweaty basement venues come to life, Lumpy and co. still sound best scraping through distortion and clamoring noise, driving between reckless howls to primal rhythms and an array of bleeps and detached riffs remaining consistently deranged from start to finish. The whole sounds kind of gross, in the best possible way. - DG
8. HUMAN PEOPLE | "Radiator Water"
Brooklyn's Human People have been busy this year playing a constant swarm of local shows, hitting the road, and recording their highly anticipated full length debut. Until then, there's "Radiator Water," an ominous new song that mixes that band's jangly pop influences with slurred punk and distorted indie rock. The detachment of the vocals sit perfectly with the soft hum of overdriven guitars and the band's dragged out melodies. The video is a delightful mix of Brooklyn DIY, an outbreak of vampires, and yuppie culture... ending as we all knew it might, in blood splattering violence. - DG
9. BELL WITCH | "Mirror Reaper" LP
Doom metal is as much about repetition as it is restraint, and Bell Witch masterfully knows how to execute both. On its previous two full-length, the Seattle two-piece had written long songs that lingered well after they finished, but with Mirror Reaper they take it in a totally new direction. A single, unbroken piece that lingers for just over 83 minutes, there’s no escape from the world of Mirror Reaper. It’s the kind of song that could feel gimmicky, but given the sheer weight of the material, which focuses on the space between life and death—and is partially inspired by the death of founding drummer Adrien Guerra—it’s hard to not get sucked into it. Bell Witch may not be the first band to pull off such an ambitious gambit, but they are the first to have done it not for the sake of excess but instead out of the sheer need to make sense out of an untimely loss. - DA
10. SLAUGHTER BEACH, DOG | "Birdie" LP
Jake Ewald’s evolution as a songwriter happened faster than most. As one-half of the songwriters in Modern Baseball, across that band’s three records he took big creative leaps with each new record and always stuck the landing. And with Slaughter Beach, Dog’s latest, he makes what is, perhaps, his best album yet. Birdie is simply affecting, taking little vignettes and expanding upon them until they become allegories for our shared existence. He may be getting a lot of comparisons to John K. Samson—and deservingly so—but it’s clear Ewald is merely a student of songwriting, and that’s something that, as of yet, has never failed him. - DA
OVLOV "Small Voices" (remastered) | BAKED "Daytrotter Session" | ANGEL OLSEN "Special" | PROTOMARTYR "Don't Go To Anacita" | GUERILLA TOSS "Betty Dreams of Green Men" | SHYA "Wash" | MEYHEM LAUREN & DJ MUGGS "Hasashin" | LEGGY "Not What You Need" | METZ "Drained Lake" | HOVVDY "Petal" | CCFX "The One To Wait" | SHOPPING "The Hype" | LONGFACE "Hillbilly Wit" LP | CASPER SKULLS "Mercy Works" LP | SAVAK "Cut-Ups" LP | BUGG "Bleached" | SMALL FORWARD "6th Ave" | PLAQUE MARKS "Urban Blighters" | SLIGHT "Life Like" LP | BLUSH "Daisy Chain" | OXENFREE "Machine" | THE BRONZED CHORUS "45 Horses" | HOTHEADS "Promotional Heat" EP | VUNDABAR "Acetone" | DREAM POLICE "Revenge" | WHIMM "A Stare Ajar" LP | SHAMIR "Revelations" LP | LEE RANALDO "Uncle Skeleton" | TONER "Being With You" (Smokey Robinson cover) | JAPANESE BREAKFAST "Tiny Desk Concert" | BRIAN ENO WITH KEVIN SHIELDS "Only Once Away My Son" | DENT "Sorrowful Seed" | PORCHES "Find Me" | THE LOVELY EGGS "I Shouldn't Have Said That" | BEES AND ENORMOUS TIGERS "Get Home Safe" | SHANNON LAY "Asa" | BRUISER QUEEN "Sugar High" | BEWARE OF THE DANGERS "The Calm Before The Storm"