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. CHRISTIAN FITNESS | "Bruce Hated Puppies"
Andrew Falkous, better known as Falco, is back once again with a new offering from Christian Fitness, his one man band (but never a solo project) and he sounds brilliant on the ultra snarky "Bruce Hated Puppies". Cynical as always, "Bruce Hated Puppies" is chock full of wry observations, biting sarcasm and lines like "give the labradors gluten-free pork chops" delivered with a genuine excitement. The song grooves on a heavy stop-start path of destruction and the lines between Future of the Left and Christian Fitness continue to blur. Falco takes it all in so that we don't have to, as we sit back and enjoy his snide thoughts. Scathing wit and a sharpened fury has Christian Fitness sounding proper volatile and as hilarious as ever. - Dan Goldin
2. (SANDY) ALEX G | "Proud"
After years of using it as his Twitter handle, Alex G has now fully transformed into (Sandy) Alex G. Though no explanation has been given, it’s safe to assume he’d grown tired of being confused with the other Alex G, but this change in nomenclature is a minor concern. At its heart, Alex Giannascoli will always be pursuing the same goals, no matter what the project is called. With “Proud”—the third single from Rocket—Giannascoli continues down the path he established with “Bobby,” offering his take on alt-country while still carrying the sharp songwriting of his earlier work. But it’s these kinds of tracks that make Giannascoli such an engaging artist. Each new release diverts from the course he previously established, making it all feel like a piece of an ever-expanding puzzle. - David Anthony
3. CAN | "Turtles Have Short Legs"
This song is just down right fun. Technically not a "new" song by a long shot, Can's "Turtles Have Short Legs" was released to 7" back in 1971 during a particularly bountiful time that also produced the Tago Mago album. Set for re-release via a new collection simply called, The Singles, the song captures the magic and unpredictability of the krautrock pioneers through their own radiant chemistry. Opening with a baroque piano twinkle, the bizarre saloon vibes and old times keys are soon met with a countering rhythm and staccato guitar riffs, leading the way to Damo Suzuki's joyous declaration, "turtles have short legs, not for walking". The song may be a bit goofy but there's something utterly incredible about the way Jaki Liebezeit's polyrhythmic groove rattles over the piano jangle and around the funky guitars spiraling in all directions. - Dan Goldin
4. MUTOID MAN | "Melt Your Mind"
Though most metal bands would balk at such a description, Mutoid Man is fun. “Melt Your Mind” is what it would sound like if Iron Maiden was cranking out NWOBHM classics in 2017 instead of 1987, being an edge-of-your-seat shred-fest with a huge chorus buoying the whole thing. In a tight two-minute song, Mutoid Man makes an epic, the kind of song that feels far bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s a track that shows the band’s versatility, as well as its inherent ability to put a big, goofy grin on your face. - David Anthony
5. PROTOMARTYR | "Sweeney Ashtray"
The only new Protomartyr song we heard in 2016 was "Born To Wine," a track that came from the Adult Swim Single Series. While the Detroit quartet's first three albums arrived in fairly quick succession (two years between All Passion No Technique and Under Color of Official Right and one year until The Agent Intellect), the band seem to be taking time in announcing their next album. Luckily for us, they're sharing "Sweeney Ashtray" as part of the ongoing Our First 100 Days charity compilation. The song is classic Protomartyr through and through, a frenzied garage punk song with Joe Casey's signature garbled croon and gloriously despondent lyrics. It's a gentle reminder that Protomartyr remain one of the most capable post-punk bands of our generation. - Dan Goldin
6. PALEHOUND | "Flowing Over"
Palehound has always felt limitless, unburdened by the notion that it needs to stick to any one style. 2015’s Dry Food showed that Ellen Kempner puts the songs first, constructing each one in a way that makes each one serve a precise purpose. “Flowing Over,” the first song from its second record, A Place I’ll Always Go, shows that Palehound is working in a similar framework. Though Kempner has noted this record chronicles an incredibly dark period in her life—one that saw the passing of two people close to her—but “Flowing Over” finds new sources of light, bouncing with an embrace of life’s beauties. - David Anthony
7. DAMAGED BUG | "Rubber Lips"
It's been just over a month since John Dwyer released Bunker Funk, the latest Damaged Bug album (one of our favorites so far this year) and his solo project is back with the rhythmic juggernaut "Rubber Lips". Set for release as part of Famous Class' ongoing LAMC split 7" series together with Black Pus (Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt's solo project), perhaps Dwyer took inspiration from his rhythmically ballistic counterpart because "Rubber Lips" rips with an enormous cascade of doubled drums that dig into the funkiest reaches of Damaged Bug's psych punk. The tight grooves, mechanical fills, and manipulated tempos would make the aforementioned Jaki Liebezeit (Can) proud, as Damaged Bug tap into a world of sonic freak-out perfection. - Dan Goldin
8. FULL OF HELL | "Crawling Back To God"
Since the release of Rudiments Of Mutilation back in 2013, Full Of Hell has focused on experimenting with others rather than releasing a prop full-length of its own. This process has been rewarding, as the band’s collaborative releases with artists such as The Body and Merzbow have taken the band’s sound, which is equal parts hardcore and metal—but not metallic hardcore—and forced the band to consider new ways to be crushingly heavy. “Crawling Back To God” feels like a distillation of these studies, functioning as a thick wall of sound but still having the kind of primal stomp of the best hardcore songs. Sonically, it recalls the intensity of Nails’ last record (who Full Of Hell released a split with last year) but with less of the chest-beating brutishness. - David Anthony
9. BIG THIEF | "Mythological Beauty"
Make no mistake, Big Thief’s debut album Masterpiece wasn’t overstating things. It’s close to flawless, and it’s charms only grow with repeat listens, but with the announcement of Capacity it appears the band is taking things a step further. The record’s first single,“Mythological Beauty,” is the grandest statement the band’s ever made, slowly burning for just over five minutes and constantly feeling as if it’s building to something massive. It’s a song that eschews a traditional pop song structure, instead opting for a tense, cinematic climax. The song’s video matches this well, proving that when paired this well, music videos can still feel transcendental. - David Anthony
10. OXBOW | "Other People"
When Oxbow released "Cold & Well-Lit Place" a few weeks back I wrote in length about the band and their decades of undefinable music. Since then I've had the pleasure of hearing their upcoming record Thin Black Duke, a stunning album that finds the Bay Area quartet forging their own path yet again. Second single "Other People" is gorgeous and gentle, or so the song's lush opening movement would have you believe. Eugene Robinson pulls out all the stops: howling, croaking, and crooning his vocals to match skittish guitars, mild horns, and sweeping rhythms that rise and fall without warning. It's a hair raising performance as he poetically sings, "He turns and returns and there is/ a residual tenderness for the man with the ax handle/ He turns to you and on you/ It’s so cold in here". Oxbow have never sounded so beautiful but that old familiar menace still lurks just beneath. Now I will (not so) patiently wait for some US tour dates. - Dan Goldin
ANNA ALTMAN "M.C. Ph.D." | TALL FRIEND "KB" (Blue Room Session) | CADDYWHOMPUS "Odd Hours" LP | DEN-MATE "Fall" | DATENIGHT "One Last Time" | THE CRATERS "American English" LP | THE I.L.Y'S "Gargoyle / Bobo" | GOUGE AWAY "Swallow" | PALEHOUND "Molly" (Pickathon's Slab Sessions) | WALL "Save Me" | THANKS FOR COMING "Sspplliitt" EP | ELF POWER "Watery Shreds" | AT THE DRIVE-IN "Hostage Stamps" | THE MAD DOCTORS "Lord of Garbage" | BEN GRIGG "Like There's No Sbarro" | JOEY AGRESTA "I Feel Like Shit And I Want To Die" | BUILDINGS "Pastor Dick" | FEEDTIME "Gas" LP | SPOWDER "Miracle Grow" | SWEET BABY JESUS "Dark Horse" | B BOYS "Energy" | CRUMB "So Tired" (Sofar Sessions) | AMBER ARCADES "Can't Say That We Tried" | MEW "Twist Quest" | THE NEW YEAR "Myths" | COLD BEAT "In Motion" | CROWN LARKS "Swoon (For Fred Hampton)" | LOOSE TOOTH "Big Day" LP | SHARKMUFFIN "Little Bird" | DICAPRIO "Hair" | AYE NAKO "Silver Haze" LP | UBETCHA "I Need To Borrow $20" | THELMA "Solitaire" (ACRN In-Studio Session) | EATERS "Embrace The Strange" | CHASTITY BELT "Caught In A Lie" | ULRIKA SPACEK "Full of Men" | DU VIDE "Direct Deposit" | H.GRIMACE "Lipsyncer" | SOFT FANGS "Sugarblood" | BOSS HOG "Shh Shh Shh" | FRAIDYCAT "Best Pie" | THE SPOOKFISH "Black Ghost With Red Eyes" | BATTERY "My Last Breath" | BLEACHED "Flipside" | BEEEF "Airplanes" | BEACH FOSSILS "Saint Ivy" | BANNY GROVE "Cheese Dream" | CASSANDRA JENKINS "Play Till You Win" LP | CRUSHER "Running" | R. RING "Steam"