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 | "Being Nothing"
Grappling with death and existence is something that’s been a staple of art as long as people have been making it. Yet, it’s a potent topic for a reason, and it’s fitting that Bad History Month’s return was tied to “Being Nothing.” The track starts in a forlorn manner, with Sean Bean repeating “You are nothing” over and over before the song, and his narrative, begin to expand. This isn’t a song of self-degradation. Instead, it’s Bean’s attempt to make peace with nothingness, both in the present moment and in the inevitable future. It’s one of his most lush arrangements and it’s indicative of what he achieves on Dead And Loving It: An Introductory Exploration of Pessimysticism. It’s a harrowing journey we’re all on, but as the big, rocking ending of this song proves, it’s worth it to celebrate when you have the chance. - David Anthony
2. BLACKLISTERS | "Drag"
The grand champions of noise rock are back with a new EP and the first single finds Blacklisters doing what they do best, decimating common decency in favor of brutalism. One of my absolute favorite bands, Blacklisters are to me a rare example of a band that reflects their legendary influences, and then exceeds them, perfecting the blueprint. The band's sound has always relied prominently on Billy Mason-Wood's demented howls (which are in peek depravity) and their thudding bass lines, so the change from long time bassist Owen Griffiths to Steven Hodson (Kong, USA Nails) could be a concern if his catalog didn't already speak for him. "Drag" is quintessential Blacklisters, an aggressive ride into the core of the explosion... filthy, chaotic, and utterly brilliant. - Dan Goldin
3. OVLOV | "The Valley" (Live at Shea Stadium)
There’s a magic in watching Ovlov play live that’s often hard to explain to other people. They play with an understated vigor, the kind that makes every song feel like it could be the last one you ever see—due in large part to Steve Hartlett always trying to end sets early or cut songs. Every song they play feels like a gift, and when they reach backward to pull out songs like “The Valley,” you get a chance to hear a more robust version of a track that was never given that big treatment. Here, Ovlov is at their peak, playing the song in a way that makes it feel more dynamic than its original recording, showing an attention to detail that they’re so rarely given credit for. Long live Ovlov. - David Anthony
4. GUN OUTFIT | "Strange Insistence"
Welcome back to the dusty world of Gun Outfit that their lazy country-fried indie tales of life lived at a slower pace. They've done it again, and it's possible they've never sounded better. "Strange Insistence" moves at a quick tempo but with a relaxed drawl, it's an urgent song that still feels part of the greater drift. There's plenty of tension in Dylan Sharp's vocals, but Gun Outfit balance any harshness with twangy beauty, a rich tapestry of Western expanse and weary contemplative lyricism. - Dan Goldin
5. NIGHT IDEA | "Perfect Water"
Night Idea, the East Coast's finest prog rock band, are back with a new record, Riverless, and it's triumphant lead single "Perfect Water." From the song's brilliantly disjointed drum intro to the soaring guitar lines that both lead the song and pull it astray, Night Idea are incredibly tight, unfolding together as they contort time signatures and breathe new ideas into every passing movement (in rapid succession). Swirling into otherworldly psych, majestic pop, and jaw-dropping technicality, the band's complex structures and blistering solos work toward a purpose (and never against it), building the song to a surreal apex. It's been a good year for prog fans, and it's getting better. - Dan Goldin
6. STRANGE RELATIONS | "Editorial You" LP
The duo of Casey Sowa (drums/vocals) and Maro Helgeson (bass/synth), better known as Strange Relations' sophomore album is as infectious as they come. Blending simple post-punk structures with glistening pop and a mechanical sort of psych-tinged indie. It's minimal, but the duo are able to work together into a frenzy, blending polyrhythmic drums with single note bleeps and whirring chords. Sowa's vocal melodies are sweet as candy, but her lyrics are pointed and often vulnerable, adding a beating heart to their cold grooves and tightly wound constructs. - Dan Goldin
7. UPPER WILDS | "UFO"
Upper Wilds features former members of both Parts & Labor, Ex Models and Pterodactyl; this was the first thing I read about the band... and I was pretty much sold. Then I actually heard their music, and was blown away. Spearheaded by Dan Friel (Parts & Labor), it's a loud recording full of explosive walls of guitar distortion and for the first time since Parts & Labor, Friel's clean and commanding vocals. Balanced against the corrosive nature of the guitars and bass, it's pop dissonance at it's finest; crushing with a smile, but crushing all the same. - Dan Goldin
8. MAL DEVISA | "Crowd Pleaser"
It’s been public knowledge that Deja Carr of Mal Devisa has been in and out of the hospital as of late, but that hasn’t stifled her creative force. She released “You Are My Sunshine” a little while back, now there’s “Crowd Pleaser,” a song that could easily be seen as one of Mal Devisa’s very best. Where parts of Kiid felt minimalist in approach, “Crowd Pleaser” is the exact opposite. Carr’s voice is still the enthralling centerpiece, but the rumbling bass that flanks the song’s central beat is downright massive. This is the type of song that feels like it needs to be heard at full volume so that its all-consuming composition can fully take hold. There’s a couple Mal Devisa shows booked for later this month, and if “Crowd Pleaser” is the sign of where the project is headed, they are surely not ones to miss. - David Anthony
9. CADDYWHOMPUS | "Decent"
Caddywhompus’ Odd Hours may be one of the more underrated records released this year. While the duo has always made the most of every record, Odd Hours feels like a culmination of their years of work together, turning in a record that’s as intricate as anything they’ve done, but also the most melodically nuanced. The video for “Decent” shows is a beautiful accompaniment to one of the album’s standout tracks, as Sean Hart and Chris Rehm bash through the track accompanied by a light show that fits the psychedelic undercurrent of the song. It’s a video that proves all Caddywhompus need to get their point across is the right lighting and your full attention, though they’ll likely still only ever use words like “decent” to describe their work. - David Anthony
10. LOMELDA | "Thx" LP
It’s incredibly clear that Double Double Whammy has been on a hot streak this year, and the release of Lomelda's Thx proves that all the more. Hannah Read’s compositions and performances are beguiling, each song having a distinct warmth that invites you in and almost makes you miss how crushing Read’s words actually are. It’s a record that feels like the perfect road trip companion, sharing the joy and excitement of hitting the open road, a person to confide in when you feel worn down and exhausted, and something to celebrate with upon the trip’s completion. Thx is a masterwork, and after countless repeat listens it only continues to unveil its subtle pleasures. - David Anthony
11. KAGOULE | "Monsieur Automaton"
I had never heard Kagoule before last week, but I'm pretty hooked on their new single "Monsieur Automaton" and it's wild art-punk unpredictability. The song swerves, jitters, and coils itself in divergent directions, riding grooves straight into jagged melodies only to unwind moments later with an oddly comforting accessibility. The trio chug on a sludgy riff and syncopated rhythm, using the stampeding backbone to veer itself all over the map without a care in the world. Despite the wonky structures and hard direction shifts, the song retains it's pop-edge in a way that needs to be heard to believe. - Dan Goldin
SHIMMER "Crystal Listerine" | BEVERLY TENDER "Theme From Beverly Blender" | SLEEPIES "Barf Haus" | ELECTRIC WIZARD "See You In Hell" | SHILPA RAY "Morning Terrors Nights of Dread" | LINA TULLGREN "Get Lost" | WAND "Blue Cloud" | PRIMUS "The Scheme" | DOOM "Notebook 04" (feat. Kool Keith) | STANLEY "Don't You Know I'm Alright" | THE EFFECTS "Anchors Aweigh" | INFINITY GIRL "Somewhere Nice, Someday" LP | FAKE PALMS "Pure Mind" LP | BONZO "With Your Belly" LP | LUNCH LADIES "Pick Yourself Up" | MAXIMUM MAD "Obscene Gestures" | NASSAU "Heron" LP | DANIELE LUPPI & PARQUET COURTS "Talisa" (feat. Karen O) | FLESH WORLD "This Great Cheap Face" | ODDISEE "Never Lived" | RADIATOR HOSPITAL "Pastoral Radio Hit" | SHANNON LAY "Coast" | GREAT GRANDPA "Audiotree Live" | POOL HOLOGRAPH "Visitation" | HEATERS "Kingsday" | CHELSEA WOLFE "The Culling" | WEIRD OWL "War" | MOSSBREAKER "Between The Noise And You" (feat. Ken Andrews) | THE WILLOWZ "Just Can't Wait" | SPORTS "Making It Right" | BECK "Up All Night"