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.
JANUARY 08TH - JANUARY 14TH
1. KAL MARKS | "Today I Walked Down To The Tree, Read A Book, And When I Was Done I Went Back Inside"
The latest single from Kal Marks' upcoming album, Universal Care, is relatively quiet and contemplative, reserved, but certainly still heavy in emotional heft. Opening with guitars that act as textured synths and Mike Geacone's silky bass lines, Carl Shane's vocals are clean and crooning; the lyrics a beautiful sentiment that's as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. As the verses slowly careen toward the album's finale, the tension builds with great subtlety, never upending the gorgeous sprawl but eventually crawling into the sludgy crescendo, organ like effects and all. It's a beautiful moment on an album loaded with twists and turns, both abrasive and lulling.
2. THE ROYAL THEY | "Foreign Being" LP
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's only January and there is a good chance The Royal They have released one of the year's best albums. From the colossally heavy beginning of Foreign Being through to the wildly energetic end, the Brooklyn based trio's sophomore album is all smash hits. Created power pop songs buried in heavy punk slime and surging post-hardcore deviations, The Royal They blur the lines between sweetness and primal fury, writing songs that are bright and hooky with enough muscle to shake the foundation of any DIY venue. There's not a moment wasted throughout Foreign Being, a record that shifts between ominous and immediate with explosive grace.
3. RENATA ZEIGUER | "Follow Me Down"
The second single from Renata Zeiguer's upcoming Old Ghost album, "Follow Me Down" is dreamy perfection. Zeiguer's songwriting is elegant and fluid, moving from section to section with brilliant orchestration, her poetic verses every bit as striking as the gripping nuance of the band's music. Zeiguer's voice is natural and unaffected, singing melodies at their most swooning, even as she sings in cautionary phrases, "steadily slithering, slowly but patiently swallowing me whole / going down at a friendly pace". The song teeters between quiet reflections with a jazz inflected bent to a mesmerizing wash of near-surf guitars in the fuzzy ring of the song's ever sweeping chorus. "Follow Me Down" is a song you can listen to on repeat, and I can't wait to hear the rest of this album.
4. ED SCHRADER'S MUSIC BEAT | "Dunce"
Ed Schrader's Music Beat is back! One of my personal favorite live bands, Schrader and co-conspirator Devlin Rice, develop their own sonic world, often split down the middle between minimalist noise punk and hauntingly crooned indie rock. On their third album together, the upcoming Riddles, the band were joined by fellow Baltimore experimentalist Dan Deacon, filling out their sound in new directions while remaining true to their roots. The songwriting is still undeniably Schrader's deranged machinations, but the music is built up from their standard bass and floor tom groundwork, option for throbbing synths and slick production to fully realize their new distorted glory.
JANUARY 15TH - JANUARY 21st
1. WATER FROM YOUR EYES | "All A Dance" LP
Call it the best "sad dance" album or your favorite "motorik pop" record... it's all the same to me. Brooklyn duo Water From Your Eyes have created a mysterious masterpiece with All A Dance, embracing 80's post-punk, 90's dream pop, and their own futuristic fusion of the two throughout their latest album, their fourth release in less than a year's time. With extended track lengths, Rachel Brown and Nate Amos are able to create hypnotic landscapes, transfixing on a groove and steadily evolving outward from there. Songs like "That's The Girl" and "We're Set Up" use repetition in unique ways, developing a blanket of synths and pulsating rhythms, slowly layering on melodies to create something incredibly infectious and increasingly engaging.
2. ANNA MCCLELLAN | "Flailing Orbits"
It just doesn't get much better than Anna McClellan. The twangy beauty of "Flailing Orbits" is as immediate as they come, realized in the song's opening seconds, McClellan's voice quickly cuts through, forlorn but commanding, her vocals are arresting, her lyrics shattering, "everything I ever said I'm not, I fell into, like a black hole's pull". There's no real hook in "Flailing Orbits," the song instead just progresses forward, pushing McClellan's narrative to its peak realization. It's a cosmic tale of simple relationships splitting apart, set in the furthest reaches of space and the stars. Her vocals and the delicate melody wrap themselves together with an honest perfection that is really unmatched among her peers. Truthfully, it's all too beautiful.
3. HOT SNAKES | "Six Wave Hold-Down"
It's been fourteen years since the last Hot Snakes album but the reckoning is upon us. Set to release a brand new album, Jericho Sirens, via Sub Pop Records, the band's first single "Six Wave Hold-Down" is a promising return. Built upon the ever present chemistry of John Reis and Rick Froberg, their guitars unfurl with the same discordant spaghetti western bliss and the garage punk attack that established Hot Snakes' gnashing grooves and rock 'n' roll swagger. It's full of fire and shouted vocals but there's plenty of hip-shaking to go 'round. Reis and Froberg are great musicians in their own right, but they're at their best when together. Joined by Gar Wood, Jason Kourkounis, and Mario Rubalcaba, Hot Snakes are back at their usual tricks and we're as grateful as can be.
4. FAITH HEALER | "& Waiting"
Faith Healer's sophomore record Try ;-) ended the year as one of Post-Trash's favorites, an album I was admittedly late to, but immediately fell in love with shortly after its release. Jessica Jalbert and co. create perfect pop songs with that fuzzy AM radio charm, blending soulful melodies with hypnotic guitars and easy riding structures. It's all pretty gentle, but it's radiant and infinitely enjoyable, "& Waiting" being the perfect example of Faith Healer's effortless cool and shimmering pop rooted in impatient indifference rather than sunshine and ever present happiness. The "& Waiting" video does have a great deal of sunshine however, shot on a day off from tour in Pensacola, Florida.
JANUARY 08TH - JANUARY 14TH
WATER FROM YOUR EYES "Let It Ring" | PSYCHIC FLOWERS "By Design b/w Echoes in the Glow" | STARCLEANER "Zone Zwei" | SHARK TOYS "City Lights" | FRANKIE COSMOS "Jesse" | HOOKWORMS "Static Resistance" | THE BREEDERS "All Nerve" | TRACE MOUNTAINS "Turn Twice" | SCRUNCHIES "Wichita" | THE MEN "Maybe I'm Crazy" | SHAME "Songs of Praise" LP | COFFEE "Blip #2" | THE GREEN CHILD "Her Majesty II" | MEAT WAVE "Shame" + "Dogs At Night" | FU MANCHU "Clone of the Universe" | SPOOK THE HERD "The Minor Tweaks" EP | WEI ZHONGLE "Mute" | PALM "Dog Milk" | FRIGS "Talking Pictures" | PURLING HISS "Park Bench Imagination" | SHOPPING "The Official Body" LP | SEAN MORALES "Call It In" LP | MINT MIND "In Series Or Parallel" | BB & THE BLIPS "Demo" EP | CAR SEAT HEADREST "Nervous Young Inhumans" | EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK "A Lamb In The Land of Payday Loans" | RAZORBUMPS "3 In A Row" | NAP EYES "Every Time The Feeling" | SUPERCHUNK "Erasure" (feat. Stephin Merritt & Katie Crutchfield) | BAT FANGS "Rock The Reaper" | KAREN O "Yo! My Saint" (feat. Michael Kiwanuka) | BLACK THUMB "It's Alright" | NADINE "Pews" | PAT KEEN "Screens" | BEDBUG "Lilies" | KOLB "Car Song" | FREE PIZZA "The Sky Is Our Mirror" | ACID DAD "2Ci" | TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN "Morse Code" | REMY "Remy" EP | WENDYFIX "We Have The Cracks" LP | BONG WISH "My Luv" | DRYSPELL "You Without Me" | SUUNS "Watch You, Watch Me" | CAVERN OF ANTI-MATTER "Make Out Fade Out" | RIDE "Catch You Dreaming" | AMERICAN PLEASURE CLUB "Lets Move To The Desert"
JANUARY 15TH - JANUARY 21ST
TY SEGALL "Freedom's Goblin" LP | GRIM STREAKER "Freak Child" | KING WOMAN "I Wanna Be Adored" (The Stone Roses cover) | NO AGE "Send Me" | EELS "The Deconstruction" | BONNY DOON "I Am Here (I Am Alive)" | THE SOFT MOON "Choke" | PILL "My Rights" | THICK "Girlie" | PORCHES "If I Fell" (The Beatles cover) | MEZZANINE SWIMMERS "Black Cat In Heat" LP | COOL AMERICAN "17" | HOVVDY "In The Sun" | OUGHT "Disgraced in America" | PREOCCUPATIONS "Espionage" | MOANING "Artificial" | GIFT WRAP "Losing Count" | (SANDY) ALEX G "Fay" | GIVING UP "Fun" | PARLIAMENT "I'm Gon Make U Sick O'Me" (feat. Scarface) | BLACK MILK "Laugh Now Cry Later" | MOUNT EERIE "Distortion" | ERIK PHILLIPS "Happen" | TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN "Elephant" | TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN "Locations" | SKYZOO "Baker's Dozen" (feat. Raheem Devaughn) | ACTION BRONSON "I'm Going Down" (Rose Royce cover) | YO LA TENGO "There's A Riot Going On" (Sampler) | FULL BODY "Leaf Green" | GREATEST CHAMPION ALIVE "Same Light" | FREEZING COLD "Shape of Escape" | FIRST THOUGHT WORST THOUGHT "Cody" | AMERICAN PLEASURE CLUB "This Is Heaven And I'd Die For It"