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Fuzzy Meadows: The Week's Best New Music (February 6th - February 26th)

by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)

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. PILE | "Dogs"

To say one Pile song "could just be the best one yet" is a bold (and impossible) statement, but hey... "Dogs" could just be the best one yet, if not the most dynamic. Built around Rick Maguire's cold blooded vocals "I'd rather on the ground, than in your bed. I'll sleep on the lawn, or stay up instead," "Dogs" swells to a feverish boil on top of Kris Kuss' shuffling rhythms and a guest string arrangement from Elisabeth Fuchsia (Footings). It's an epic song without the pitfalls of music commonly tagged "epic," digging it's own path through crooked phrases and brilliant pacing. By the time Maguire howls, "Stink and sweat and moan and dream of different air / Too tired to think and too dumb to care" it's hard to think anything but "this could just be the best one yet". Then again... just wait for their next single.

2. SNAKEHOLE | "Bum Song"

Miami based noise rock duo Snakehole's upcoming album Interludes of Insanity is ruthless. It's dirty, nasty, harsh, brutal, unapologetically abrasive, and yet... not without a deranged sense of melody. Lead single "Bum Song" is a sludgy stomper of blasting drums, distorted walls of guitar noise, and manic shouts and yelps. The band dive headfirst into a tailspin and continue their assault on your senses before settling into an oddly comforting sea of feedback. Sounding something like the two headed freak child of Mannequin Pussy and the Melvins, Snakehole's new one is gloriously ugly.

3. VUNDABAR | "Shuffle"

Boston’s favorite jangle punk weirdos Vundabar are getting ready to re-release their sophomore album Gawk next month with new artwork and one exceptionally awesome new song, “Shuffle”. They’ve spent the majority of the last two years since the initial release of Gawk on the road and they’ve built a well-deserved cult like following thanks to their razor sharp songs and goofy charm. "Shuffle" glides on a cascading riff, swarms of reverb, and Brandon Hagen's undulating falsetto. Mixing together heavy psych punk, garage rock, and power pop, the song has an eerie surf rock vibe but the skies are getting dark and the tides are unpredictable. Vundabar are donating all digital sales of the single to Planned Parenthood so go and buy it.

4. THE NEW YEAR | "Recent History"

As I've said many times on the site (and I'm sure I'll say again), it's never too late to discover something you might have missed. It's one of the great joys of an avid music fan. Which brings me to The New Year, a band formed back in 2001 from the ashes of slowcore heroes Bedhead. As a fan of latter I'm not entirely sure how I missed this project, but it doesn't matter... because better late than never (there's no shame being late the party if you arrive eventually). After releasing three stellar albums on Touch & Go Records, the band have returned with Snow, their first new album in nine years. Lead single "Recent History" is a stunning continuation of their work; soft nearly spoken vocals balanced with tightly interwoven chord progressions and tangled rhythms that remain somber without crawling tempos or sulking atmospheres. It's a triumphant return that captures the band continuing to push their sound to new heights of passive beauty.

5. BOOJI BOYS | "Booji Boys" LP

Booji Boys' self-titled debut on Drunker Sailor Records is the sound of a band having a great time. While named for the beloved Devo character, the band's influences span beyond twitchy post-punk and art-rock into classic rock, lo-fi punk and elements of hardcore with a focus on warped power-pop at the center of it all. The Halifax based quintet play with a fast and loose disregard for clarity but the fuzzy melodic hooks shine through the din, pulsating deep under the mangled layers of guitars and thick static fuzz. Turn it up and let this one rip. It's your new favorite "summer album," released in the winter... who cares, have fun.

6. DISCO DOOM | "Rrkr" LP

Disco Doom celebrated twenty years together as a band on February 7th and I thought it would only be right to show some appreciation for one of my favorite bands of all time. Two decades together and still consistently pushing the envelope and reimagining their sound, the band have been amazing from the very beginning. rrkr, the band's debut album wasn't released until 2002 but it's an impeccable introduction full of delicately nuanced songwriting, gorgeous self-production and the band's signature sonic perfection. Blending floating melodies ("Crystal Coma"), brilliant attention to detail, oddball experimental pop ("Soft Machine"), sludgy indie dirges ("Destroyer"), and blissfully noisy analog effects, Disco Doom created a fully realized album that embraced diversity as it explored tonality and texture. I consider Disco Doom to be one of the most important bands currently making music and I look forward to the next twenty years.

1. BAKED | "Farnham" LP

Once again proving to be unpredictable, Baked have out done themselves with sophomore album Farnham, embracing dusty country, fuzzy slacker punk, distorted classic rock, and colossal shoegaze, swirling it altogether into their own nuanced guitar shredding bliss. The record is a masterwork of hazy ballads, blistering riffs, thick atmospheric haze, and slow burning rock 'n' roll that never stays in one place for long yet remains undeniably cohesive in its entirety. Take for example two of the album's deep cut stand-outs "Amy Rots" and "Two-Thousandths," the former a quick and detached dive into sludge and the latter a jangly country ballad to ease the soul. It's rock and roll at its most dynamic, swerving across the landscape as Baked prove anything is possible.

2. R. RING | "Cutter"

R. Ring, the duo of Kelley Deal (The Breeders) and Mike Montgomery (Ampline) are set to release their full length debut Ignite The Rest in late April and thanks to the band's first single "Cutter," it's effectively become one of our more anticipated releases of the Spring. Following a handful of singles and EPs (including splits with both Protomartyr and Quailbones) the duo's latest single is actually one of the first they wrote together; a raw agitated melody with a hypnotic drive and a simple yet effective pummeling rhythm. The track relies on the strength of Deal's vocals and a melody that snakes like a lit fuse slowly burning toward an explosive finale. That tension is met with an animated video capturing a tweaker on his way to  a quick path of destruction (much like the song itself).

3. DRINKS | "I Am A Miserable Pig"

Drinks, the collaborative project of Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley (White Fence), released the exceptional Hermits on Holiday back in 2015 and they're now sharing "I Am A Miserable Pig," a "lost" recording from those sessions as part of the ongoing Our First 100 Days charity compilation. Much like their record that proceeded it, the single is unpredictable and full of the charismatic charm that makes both Le Bon and Presley such fantastic songwriters. With a sparse rhythmic lead of grooving bass and a looped brush beat, the duo mine cold post-punk with Le Bon's lilting vocal melodies forever shimmering as she sings "I'm a miserable pig in your road and this is no country town". The guitars wander and convulse just below the mix, buried beneath and clamoring to rise up as the song progresses and their world unfolds. 

4. THE CAIRO GANG | "What Can You Do"

Chicago's The Cairo Gang play unapologetically retro rock 'n' roll that mixes classic psych pop, warped folk, and subtle prog with a jangly perfection. Ready to release their sophomore album, Untouchable, via God? (Ty Segall's Drag City imprint) the band return to disorienting 60's psych with "What Can You Do," a slow ballad of harmonizing guitars and Emmett Kelly's smooth croon. The song is instantly familiar (though you haven't heard it before) but the sun soaked glam is full of new ear candy hooks in both the song's inescapable melody and the restrained guitar lead.

5. CFM | "Rise And Fall"

Charles Moothart, best known as a member of the Ty Segall Band and Fuzz, released his debut solo album as CFM last year and he's set to follow it up in April with Dichotomy Desaturated. The record's first single "Rise And Fall" is packed to the gills with shredding and proto-punk riffs, a collision of Black Sabbath inspired blistering fuzz and Stooges reminiscent garage punk filth. Moothart lets loose a barrage of enormous drum fills and even bigger riffs (of the face melting variety) colliding together like an avalanche. Welcome to the deep shred.

1. DATENIGHT | "No Use"

Nashville punks Datenight released Sonic Youth 18 Years on Earth last November, a lo-fi album of rapid fire ramshackle punk and the trio (all under the age of twenty) have been touring ever since. The band recently made a video for “No Use,” one of the EP's many triumphant sub-two minute highlights. These guys remind me of the early days of the Meat Puppets and Midwestern punk (The Replacements, Dow Jones), and much of the SST scene pumping through the heart of youthful garage punk. It’s pretty damn great and the band seem destined for cult glory as they combine their dingy grit and grime with undeniable hooks and a raw sense for good-time punk rock.

2. DOUG TUTTLE | "Bait The Sun"

Doug Tuttle has earned himself a spot among the psych pop revival's greats. From his time spent as the leader of the amazing Mmoss to his first two solo records, Tuttle has repeatedly proven himself capable of well crafted songwriting and impeccable guitar playing. Leaving no stone unturned, Tuttle's brand of psych pop pulls from all corners of the genre, borrowing as much from lo-fi folk as krautrock (and all that lies between). Tuttle is set to release his third solo album, Peace Potato, this May and "Bait The Sun" is our first glimpse into his latest glistening creation. Tuttle's melodies float with effortless beauty accompanied by warm strings and horns. The song is light and breezy, a gorgeous track that feels both honest and otherworldly.

3. THE CRATERS | "Suburban Lawns"

The Craters’ is the solo project of Boston DIY mainstay Wes Kaplan, an undeniably gifted musician that has remained somewhat reclusively at the heart of the underground. The Craters are blurring the lines between skittish lo-fi, vibrant art-rock, slacker indie punk, and electronic bedroom pop. “Suburban Lawns” is an incredible introduction to Kaplan’s unique and genre-defying new record American English, due out this April via Designer Medium Records (Dog, Datenight, Pucker Up). The song’s blissful chorus is simple yet classic, as Kaplan casually repeats “we can close our eyes, we can share the dark, with the lights out”. The song is full of dissolving melodies, immediate hooks, swirls of psych pop charm, and brilliantly subtle shifts. It's a song you can listen to on repeat, and hearing is believing. 

4. BE YOU ME | "Jazz Cigarettes"

The chemistry between Be You Me's Jesse Weiss (Palehound, Grass Is Green) and Jack Pombriant (We Can All Be Sorry)  is radiant throughout their self-titled debut record as the duo are locked in together, united by cohesive ideas and exploratory textures. Swirling with noise pop nuances and layered fuzz, "Jazz Cigarettes" is the perfect introduction; a blistering swell of distorted brilliance and infectious charm. Weiss and Pombriant's guitar and bass lines (respectively) cut in and out of the frame on a sea of sun soaked glory and warm lo-fi dissonance. Pombriant's vocals are nearly hypnotic, rising above the fuzz and cutting through the tangled pop with thick doubled melodies and stunning clarity.  "Jazz Cigarettes" is a beyond impressive debut single.

5. ARC FLASH | "Earls"

Call it "space punk" or "mutant pop," any way you look at it, Arc Flash's "Earls" is a certified ripper. The Lawrence, KS based duo (and the rhythm section of Psychic Heat) are getting ready to release their full-length debut Carbon Copy late next month, and it's explosive first single is jangly garage punk perfection. Full of unbridled energy, infectious hooks, and harmonies that weave between guitars and vocals, the duo's raw fuzz is defiantly "pop" and aggressively catchy. Pushing and pulling between jittery melodies and tightly wound bubblegum post-punk, Arc Flash's sound thrives on elasticity and joyous deviance.

THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN "Always Sad" | THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE "Cops Come Looking" | TY SEGALL "Pan" | TY SEGALL "Break A Guitar (Live on Seth Meyers)" | SUN ORGAN "Something Doesn't Feel Right" EP | PATIO "Luxury" | PUCKER UP "Utopia" | SPEW "Only The Worst" EP | THE BLACK ANGELS "Currency" | ANNIE HARDY "Want" | ALEXANDER F "Call Me Pretty" | HAND HABITS "Demand It" | THELMA "White Couches" | A DEER A HORSE "Backswimmer" | RUN THE JEWELS "Tiny Desk Concert" | BLANK SQUARE "Charmer" | BEN GRIGG "Nine High Lives" | PALBERTA "Filling Empty/Jaws" | COLD BEAT "62 Moons" | KING WOMAN "Hierophant" | AYE NAKO "Particle Mace" | PARLOR WALLS "Birthday" | PARLOR WALLS "Crime Engine Failure (Live on BreakThru Radio)" | MEATBODIES "Alice" LP | KALEIDOSCOPE "Body Buraeu" | YUCKY DUSTER "Construction Man (Live on The Special Without Brett Davis)" | BILGE RAT "Pop Song (Sound It Out Sessions)" | MARK LANEGAN BAND "Nocturne" | OOZER "Movement No. 4: Allegro Con Garbagio (A Minor)" | SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE "Threshold of Light" | POW! "Crack An Egg" LP | VAL HOLLIE "The Man Who Had Dreams" | RETAIL SPACE "You Can Catch A Lobster With Eggs But Not Egg Salad" LP | THE SPOOKFISH "Everything Is Moving So Fast" | CENTURY PALM "Then You're Gone" | CALIFONE "Comedy" | JAYE JAYLE "Unnecessarily" | DEHD "Fire of Love" | MERCHANDISE "Right Back To The Start" | AMBER ARCADES "It Changes" | VOX AND THE HOUND "Recapitated" | WILD PINK "Broke On" | AMY KLEIN "Parallels"

VAGABON "Infinite Worlds" LP | NNAMDI OGBONNAYA "Hop Off" | PAPERHEAD "Chew" LP | Aa "Homecoming" | PARQUET COURTS "Captive of the Sun (Remix) (feat. Bun-B)" | PISSED JEANS "Why Love Now" LP | SO STRESSED "Please Let Me Know" LP | MEAT WAVE "The Incessant" LP | HOLY MOTORS "Descending" | DIMPLES "Pit Of Bones" | HOLY SHEBOYGAN "Can You Feel It" | ANGEL OLSEN "Give It Up (Live on Conan)" | A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS "Everyone's The Same" | KING WOMAN "Shame" | ERIC SLICK "You Became The Light" | LUNCH LADIES "Love Is Overrated" | GOBBINJR "Vom Nite (ACRN In-Studio)" | BEN GRIGG "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Drugs" | BILGE RAT "Pop Song" | MOUNT EERIE "Ravens" | CAITLIN PASKO "Me Alone" | THE WHIFFS "She Lies" | RAEKWON "Purple Brick Road" | NO JOY "Hellhole" | PHIFE DAWG "Wanna Dance" | LILY AND HORN HORSE "George Jones' Greatest Hits / Dancing in the Tubes / Today" | MEW "85 Videos" | MINUS THE BEAR "Last Kiss"

NNAMDI OGBONNAYA "Drool" LP | BUKE & GASE "Dress (PJ Harvey cover)" | SPEEDY ORTIZ "In My Way" | PALEHOUND "Holiest (Live at Pickathon)" | LITTLER "Running Hot" | HOLY MOTORS "Sleeprydr" | PISSED JEANS "The Bar Is Low" | BLANK SQUARE "Animal I" LP | RAYS "Made of Shadows" | LUNCH LADIES "You're Not There" | KINDLING "Fade Into" | UV-TV "Hear" | AT THE DRIVE-IN "Incurably Innocent" | TONSTARTSSBANDHT "Breathe" | HOLY SHEBOYGAN "Four" LP | RIDE "Charm Assault" | RIDE "Home Is A Feeling" | FOOTINGS "Spring Tape" EP | CALIFONE "Slowness" | BAND PRACTICE "I Want You" | KING WOMAN "Created in the Image of Suffering" LP | RETAIL SPACE " Blue Jeans" | CENTURY PALM "Reset Reaction" | MOTHPUPPY "Flea" | EMMA RUTH RUNDLE & JAYE JAYLE "The Time Between Us" EP | BLEACHED "Flipside" | HEALTH "Euphoria" | LILY AND HORN HORSE "Year Book / PVC Pipes / I Only Lose Because I'm Lame" | MATHEW LEE COTHRAN "Judas Hung Himself in America" LP | EDGAR CLINKS "Algal Bloom" | WILD PINK "Wild Pink" LP