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Fuzzy Meadows: The Week's Best New Music (December 4th - January 7th)

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by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_) and David Anthony (@dbanthony)

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. KAL MARKS | "Loosed"

Kal Marks has explored a lot of territory over the course of their time together, and with “Loosed,” the band distills that all into an epic, seven-minute work. The song builds slowly, with bass dancing nimbly to establish a groove, but the song still seethes, sounding as if, at any second, it could explode into a mass of distorted ugliness. And when it occasionally does, it feels like a reward, the kind of earned catharsis that the best noise rock bands have always been able to achieve and, at this point, Kal Marks is one setting the standard for. - David Anthony

2. BIRTHING HIPS | "Internet"

If the video for "Internet" is the last we ever see of Birthing Hips, at least we can watch it over and over again. The Boston quartet released one of the year's best albums in Urge To Merge and simultaneously called it a day, but not without one more exceptionally weird video. As the band are watched performing one of the record's many stand outs, things get actively stranger as the hands of those watching change from human to sea creature, monster talons, and general ape like paws. The band's casual performance however is unaffected (after all, they don't know who is watching them), ripping through their own delightfully deranged post-punk, embracing the insanity at each turn. We miss them already. - Dan Goldin

3. CLERIC | "Retrocausal" LP

Cleric isn’t easily digestible, but that’s by design. The avant garde metal band doesn’t have a particularly close compatriot, though its jazzy passages punctuated by loping riffs and combustive noise elements make them bedfellows with early iterations of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Like most of the truly progressive metal being made today, Cleric seems to invite quizzical stares instead of mosh parts, but that’s welcome on Retrocausal. Because when everything falls into sync, it feels like you are becoming one with the chaos. While the band’s sound isn’t for everyone, it’s hard not to appreciate a band so willing to throw out the rulebook in service of crafting something that no other band could. - David Anthony

4. COFFEE | "Coffee Burst #1"

"Coffee Burst #1" is a sample of all to come, a quick glimpse into the band's cavernous sphere of vivid pop featuring three songs pulled from the Big Hug side of the album, "V," "F," and "G". Aside from a continuous sense of structure (short pop bursts without much repetition), pretty much anything else goes in the world of Coffee. They offer a lot to unpack through a minimal lens, nothing to crowd or distract. "V" is a fuzzy pop nugget of syrupy melodies and spaced out distortion, bendy guitar stabs and all. Julian Fader's vocals are warm and catchy, layering hooks into each line. "F" captures Andy Molholt's slow crooning manipulated vocals over a lush bed of programmed rhythms, distant harmonies, and disorienting synths; a lullaby from another galaxy. "G" is gloriously detached, a hazy gem that recalls the lo-fi bliss and beauty of bands like Helvetia and Matcha, dwindled down only the most vital pop elements. - Dan Goldin

5. OH SEES | "Drowned Beast"

Continuing to breath new life into the immaculate Orc LP (despite announce Memory of a Cut Off Head just days after the release), Oh Sees teamed up with Adult Swim and Dr. D Foothead to create an animated video for "Drowned Beast," a vivid and colorful clip that captures the song's gloriously tripped out garage prog at its most otherworldly. The brilliant colors and sci-fi vibes illuminate the slow churning track, as a mysterious orb comes hurtling toward an alien planet. A monstrous lifeform comes and makes the psychedelic planet more psychedelic. It's fun... and maybe kinda spiritual. - Dan Goldin

6. WINDHAND | "Old Evil"

For years now, Windhand has been carving out a space between stoner and doom metal, one that many bands occupy but few truly excel at. In the case of Windhand, they stand out by being able to take the thick, all-consuming tones of doom and wrap them in the more melodic, psych-tinged package befitting of the best stoner bands. With “Old Evil,” from their upcoming split with Satan’s Satyrs, the band once again shows its ability to make riffs thunderous riffs feel warm and inviting, often sounding like it’s coming out of a cracked speaker pushed as hard as it can go. - David Anthony

7. ANNA BURCH | "Tea-Soaked Letter"

Detroit’s Anna Burch recalls an era of music that’s so infectious, her songs feel as if they’ve been lodged deep in your memory. “Tea-Soaked Letter” is a prime example, as it takes the songwriting blueprint of ‘60s pop acts and jettisons it into a modern context. Much like the best Motown singles, there is no one hook that stands above the rest, as “Tea-Soaked Letter” blends together into one sugar-sweet piece that’s best taken in multiple doses. - David Anthony

8. YUCKY DUSTER | "Construction Man"

"Construction Man" is a song from Yucky Duster's full length debut album, released back in the summer of 2016 (a more hopeful time), but the video they've been waiting to make for it has finally arrived... and it involves construction. I happen to pass this specific location in Brooklyn nearly every day on my way from my office to the post office, and now I can remember it fondly, because Yucky Duster have put the joy in the otherwise joyless corner of Williamsburg. It's pretty tough not to love this one, their charm oozing out by the second, an encapsulation of everything Yucky Duster does so great. - Dan Goldin


The wildly prolific Water From Your Eyes creates material as if it was second nature, with each release exploring new territories within their already established sound. On “All A Dance,” the duo uses a propulsive backbeat and flanks it with a second rhythmic device, allowing for two different beats for one to groove along to. It’s a song that’s danceable fun—as its name implies—but there’s a level of dynamism that allows for thoughtful consideration, allowing you to chase vocal melodies until their very end, losing yourself in this upside-down approach to dance music. - David Anthony

10. VARIOUS ARTISTS | "America's Hardcore Volume 4" LP

Triple B Records has done a stellar job of documenting the underground hardcore scene for years, and the latest edition in the America’s Hardcore series proves that the genre remains as vital—and diverse—as its ever been. With bands like Praise, which have a heavy melodic bent nestled beside the destructive stomp of Gag, there’s plenty of sounds and perspectives to be found here. But, for my money, the two best remain Krimewatch and Pure Disgust, respectively. The former bashes through the kind of vintage, circle pit-inducing riffs that make it hard to sit still, and the recently departed Pure Disgust further cements their place as one of the best bands the scene’s had this past decade. - David Anthony

11. THE GREEN CHILD | "Destroyer"

The Green Child is the collaborative project of Grass Widow's Raven Mahon and Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring's Mikey Young... need we say more? In case we do (though we shouldn't), the two have come together to create stunning krautrock and motorik pop songs that sound retro-futuristic, a spaced out odyssey of bleeping synths, dissonant guitar fuzz, and Mahon's hypnotic vocals. "Destroyer" is an incredible introduction to their vortex of minimalistic space boogie, a song that quickly establishes it's locked in rhythm and then has fun overloading it with sharp noise pop grooves and magnificent melodies. - Dan Goldin

12. MELKBELLY | "Audiotree Live"

After years of promising releases (there's not a bad song in the bunch), Melkbelly released their full length debut, Nothing Valley, back in the early Fall of last year. Spreading the joy of their crushing blend of noise rock and fuzz pop throughout the country on tours from East to West, the band stopped back in their hometown of Chicago to record a blisteringly raw Audiotree session just before the year's end. It's as nasty and brutal as Melkbelly get, with vocalist/guitarist Miranda Winters embracing her most deranged howls and blood curdling yelps between sticky melodies, crushing riffs, and jaw dropping rhythmic dexterity. No one does it quite like Melkbelly, one of the finest bands we know.

13. BOOJI BOYS | "Weekend Rocker" LP

Canada's noisiest punks Booji Boys' music seethes with a power-pop vibe, distorted and demented to the extreme, pushing the needle far beyond red. They had a great 2017, the time you could write home about. Releasing their debut full length back in February (one of our favorites), and following it with a lo-fi as all hell EP in the heat of the summer, the Nova Scotia punk band returned with their second album, Weekend Rocker, on Christmas Day, a present to the world. It's the best record they've done yet, a brash and chaotic album that dips its toes in hardcore, scuzz punk, and pop with equal measure, ripping and tearing through spastic riffs and reverberated howls in a welcome celebration of primal noise and jangly melodies. Someone get this band on tour. - Dan Goldin

14. CHEEKFACE | "Glendale"

Los Angeles' Cheekface released their debut single just as the new year began, like a breath of fresh air. The trio, led by New Professor Records and LA Font's Greg Katz (guitar/vocals), takes a stab at pst-punk through a minimalist approach and a sarcastic bite. "Glendale" is crammed with sharp wit and some amazing thoughts on "retrograde" amid a hypnotic surge of pulsating rhythms (cowbell included) and guitars that absolutely sting with every ounce of it's distortion. The groove remains impenetrable as the cymbals begin to swarm and their noise pop tendencies start to bleed over. It's an extremely promising debut single from a band we can't wait to hear more from. - Dan Goldin

15. THE ROYAL THEY | "Say Less"

Brooklyn trio The Royal They's sophomore album, Foreign Being, is easily one of our most anticipated albums of the year (so far). We've heard it and we're happy to report it's amazing from start to finish. After sharing first single "Sludgefucker" the band released "Say Less," a distinctly more direct song than the roller coaster carnage of the former, but it's deceptive to say the least. Just as you're lulled into comfort, the band dive into lurching dirges of power-pop and post-punk destruction, keeping their sharp melodies in tact while bludgeoning their way into a soothing piano coda. It's an experience that infests with hooks and punchy riffs, radio friendly and built to stick in your subconscious. - Dan Goldin

16. DOVE LADY | "F" EP

Just over a month after releasing E, the latest in their alphabetical series of EPs, DC's Dove Lady returned with another installment, F, just in time for New Year's Eve. As always, the duo astound with their pedigree of jazz inflected punk and the breadth of their influences coming together in a fusion of ambient tape manipulation, jarring post-hardcore, and unflinching experimentation. Creepy garage punk tangles with uplifting melodies, twisting and turning their multi-part songs with the greatest of ease in rapid succession, keeping the songs expansive in short bursts. They capture both their unique sense of humor, shown on centerpiece "Volleyball, Volleyball, Star-Captain (Theme Song)," and their tranquil dexterity ("Let It Shine"), letting their instincts run free throughout the EP's brilliant fourteen minutes. - Dan Goldin

Further Listening:

December 4th to December 10th

TY SEGALL "Every 1's A Winner" | TY SEGALL "Fanny Dog (Live on Conan)" | GUIDED BY VOICES "Space Gun" | PET "Ten Thousand Years" LP | TREADLES "Problem Dog" | L.A. WITCH "Drive Your Car" | RYE PINES "Roll With The Urchins" LP | HELVETIA "I Didn't Say That" | TOTAL CONTROL "Laughing At The System 1" | WEI ZHONGLE "On Its Way" | DRUNKEN SAILOR RECORDS "2017 Sampler" LP | EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK "LxOxVx / Shelter In Place" | SAD13 "Fixina" & "The Sting" | BLUSH "Baby Don't Blush" | FUTURE DEATH "Bugs" | BJÖRK "Utopia" | COURTNEY BARNETT & KURT VILE "Tiny Desk Concert" | VUNDABAR "Diver" | FASCINATIONS GRAND CHORUS "Anglesea" | DARK TEA "Bright Flame b/w All I Want To Do" | CASPER SKULLS "Audiotree Live" | NADINE "Not My Kinda Movie" | VARIOUS ARTISTS "Juicyfruit™️ Presents: Music: the 21 Best Songs Used in Cinema History"

December 11th to December 17th

PURLING HISS "My Dreams" | BIB "Pressure II" | VAGABON "Cold Apartment" | VAGABON "Cold Apartment" (BTR Live Studio Session) | FITS "Swell Tone Session" | DATENIGHT "Uniform" | CAR SEAT HEADREST "Beach Life In Death" | SUNWATCHERS "Nose Beers" | NARCOS FAMILY BAND "Leopard Stealth" | BLEARY EYED "Zach" LP | RUN THE JEWELS "Call Ticketron" | IGGY POP & JARVIS COCKER "Red Right Hand" (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cover) | A. SAVAGE "Linger" (The Cranberries cover) | HOVVDY "Cranberry" | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "All Is Known + Beginners Luck" | THE ATLAS MOTH "Coma Noir" | VIDEO DUCT "Small Pets & Kitchenettes" LP | GREG JAMIE "Inherit The Wind" | LILY KONIGSBERG, ANDREA SCHIAVELLI "Face With No Lines / North Porsche"

December 18th to December 24th

THE GREEN CHILD "Traveler" | CLUB NIGHT "Shear" | LACE "On A Rung + Tension" | VILE GASH "Parasitic" | WAND "From A Capsule Underground" LP | BUGG "Whisky In The Water" | NARCOS FAMILY BAND "Hammer It Shut" | SPODEE BOY "Electro Spodee" | HAIRCUT "Shutting Down" EP | BJÖRK "Arisen My Senses" | SHAMIR "Audiotree Live" | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "The Last Oasis" | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "Greenhouse Heat Death" | AMERICAN PLEASURE CLUB "I Blew On A Dandelion And The Whole World Disappeared" LP | BOON "Watermelon / Two of Cups" | MARRIAGE + CANCER "God Is Tan" | TALL JUAN "Joya Nedo" EP | MOGWAI "Crossing The Road Material"

December 25th to December 31st

RIK & THE PIGS "Blue Jean Queen" EP | THE COWBOYS "Mint Condition (Live)" | SECT MARK "Attempts" | GIVING UP "April Showers" | MOTHERS "Pink and Blue" (Mountain Goats cover) | THE FRITZ "OCD" + "Static Eyes" | SIDNEY GISH "No Dogs Allowed" LP | SEAN MORALES "Video Life" | LEADRS "BDP" EP | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "Gumboot Soup" LP | JOEY BADA$$ "Gazzliona" (feat. Kirk Knight) | QUI "Misty" (Johnny Mathis cover)

January 1st to January 7th

RIK & THE PIGS "Donny Says" | OH SEES "Dead Medic" EP | MIND SPIDERS "Furies" | SNAKESKIN "Seize" | COREY FLOOD "Feel Okay" | ERIK PHILLIPS "Wrong" | PALBERTA "Nana" | JAPANESE BREAKFAST "California Dreamin'" (Mamas & The Papas cover) | MOON DUO "Jukebox Babe" (Alan Vega cover) | TITUS ANDRONICUS "Number One (In New York)" | AMERICAN PLEASURE CLUB "New Year's Eve"