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 list is in alphabetical order and we sincerely recommend checking out all the music we've 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 top-notch quality too.
DRESSAGE | “Star Scar”
Dressage has paired together with ex-Birthing Hips vocalist, the one and only, Carrie Furniss. If ever there was a band that could fill the empty void that arose as Birthing Hips called it quits, Dressage are capable and certainly willing to try. Take Me Home, their first album with Furniss in the fold, deals with themes of cowboys and aliens, with one foot planted in the dirt and the other drifting toward another galaxy. Lead single “Star Scar” is a space ballad with a brilliant structure, sending transmissions from the dark as yelps of “take me to your leader” become insistent. The space voyage rhythms and technological bleeps and bloops tangle together, causing a digital knot like malfunctioning radio waves.
EROSION | “Maximum Suffering”
It's been a monumental year of heavy music, both of the ugly and beautiful varieties, and Nick Yacyshyn has been a central force behind three of our absolute favorites from Sumac, Baptists, and now Erosion. Switching from usual spot behind the drums to guitar, Erosion also features Baptists members Danny Marshall and Andrew Drury, as well as Rick O’Dell (Hard Feelings) and Jamie Hooper (3 Inches of Blood) rounding out the line-up in brutal fashion. "Maximum Suffering" is the band's full length debut, though it hardly sounds like the work of a band finding their footing, Erosion arrive fully capable of decimating any and all obstructions in their path. With a filthy blend of crusty hardcore, explosive grindcore, sludge, and blackened metal, it's constantly morphing but always triumphantly disgusted. Heavy as a herd of elephants, the music is engaging and dynamic, a band that matches every bit of destructive force with unpredictability and brilliant catharsis. We can't stop listening.
GNARCISSISTS | “Gnarcissists” EP
New York quartet Gnarcissists have carved out a return to snotty, brash, and filthy punk on their self-titled debut EP. It’s built on jangly punk riffs that recall the grime of the city’s bands in the 80’s, spitting, slurring, dangerously belligerent, and glorious reckless. Both clever and aggressive, the band thrash through would-be-pop songs, observing their surrounding from the depths. Gnarcissists scorn is delivered with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor - biting and frantic, but sarcastic and delightfully stumbling from one gutter anthem to the next. The back half of the record brilliantly devolves with the furious “Models” and “Buzzin,” a scourge of sludgy riffs and pounding rhythms, aimed forever downward burrowing deep into the dirt with overdriven force and maniacally yelped vocals. It’s the perfect end to a primal experience, loose and deranged, and tempting you to hit play from the start again.
J FERNANDEZ | “Common Sense“
It's been three long years since Chicago's J Fernandez released the exceptional Many Levels of Laughter via Joyful Noise but the psych pop visionary is finally back with a new album, Occasional Din. Embracing the gentle sounds of psych with radio-friendly sheen and repetitive structures, Fernandez's music is wondrous and spacious with room to wander, but concise and compact, keeping you engaged all the while. Much like Chris Cohen or Stereolab, there's a warmth in the recording of new single "Common Sense," an experimental pop song that's off-kilter but never jarring. It's a song about overthinking and overanalyzing, the inability to stop an endlessly contemplative mind, but anxiety be damned if this one isn't the most relaxing reflection of "grinding teeth" we've ever heard.
LOOKERS | “Depressed”
Sad Cactus Records have a real knack at finding great bands before anyone else is talking about them, and Providence’s Lookers are no exception. Set to release their debut EP, Mirage, on November 9th, the band’s first single “Depressed” is locked in from the very start, a circular groove bounces along with hypnotic energy before the gnashing vocals add an element of aggression. Muggs Fogarty’s voice ranges between sweet warble and agitated howl, both soothing and commanding, winding together with the tangled slow burn of the guitars. The song grows more caustic as it unfolds, a wash of noise permeating their brash post-punk, only to emerge deeper into their impenetrable rhythm.
RICK RUDE | “Slow Cooker”
Last year New Hampshire's Rick Rude released their debut album, Make Mine Tuesday, a record that remained one of our favorites of the year from January to December. Set to follow it up next month with Verb For Dreaming, the quartet sound as vibrant as ever, with each of their three songwriters offering a distinctive yet cohesive approach to fuzzy punk and shout-a-long indie rock. It's the sound of a band making music as a release, their collective spirits radiant in every song. Lead single "Slow Cooker" is led by bassist/vocalist Jordan Holtz, a quick fire anthem that wrestles with finding time and inspiration to create after the monotony of the everyday 9-5 life. Wish a wash of creeping distortion, Holtz's bass line forms the melodic shape, her powerful voice bellowing over the combustible guitars and careening rhythmic churn.
SAM EVIAN | “Next To You” (feat. Kazu Makino)
Earlier this year Sam Evian aka Sam Owens released their sophomore album You, Forever via Saddle Creek, another gorgeous record that flickered in the sunlight like a faded dream. It's the type of record you imagine soundtracking a cross country trip or maybe a stroll through the desert. Owens teamed up with Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino to recreate "Next To You," one of the record's stand-out tracks. With Makino's signature vocals replacing Owens', the song takes on an entirely different light thanks to the tension and beauty resonate in her inflections. Without changing the sweeping bass line or the metronomic rhythm, Makino's performance feels natural as she brings new sentiment to Owens' lyrics, a gentle reminder that as things crumble around us, togetherness becomes increasingly important.
STOVE | “Duckling Fantasy”
Following the timeless ripper "Mosquiter," Stove are sharing the second single from 's Favorite Friend, the short but ever so sweet "Duckling Fantasy". Written and sung by Stove drummer Jordyn Blakely the song's winding melody drifts along just above the churning guitar lines, slightly warped in a Swirlies kind of clamor. As the band peel into the hooks the distortion swells and the thick vocal harmonies match in suit. In under two minutes the song dips in and out of verses an infectious chorus, complete with a rapid blistering solo that nearly swallows the song whole. It's concise songwriting at its most brilliant without a moment wasted. 's Favorite Friend is a special record that deals with loss in its own way, "Duckling Fantasy" adding it's own brand of syrupy melancholy to the mix.
STRANGE RELATIONS | “Sideline Kid“
Minneapolis duo Strange Relations caught us off guard last year with Editorial You, an album that combined darkened post-punk and stark minimalist shoegaze to create songs that were primal yet packed with unforgettable hooks. It became a personal favorite after repeat listens and the band are back next week with a new EP, Sideline Kid, dedicated to "anyone who has ever felt like a sideline kid." The first single (and title track) opens bare and atmospheric, Casey Sowa's comforting vocals gently reminding anyone who has felt pushed aside that nothing lasts forever so hold your head up because things get better, offering a repetition of "you carry oceans." The duo build their way into a hypnotic groove, Sowa's vocals growing more emphatic as the waves crash forward toward a better day.
UPPER WILDS | “Wine Flies“
Dan Friel (Parts & Labour) is undeniably a master of weird guitar effects and experimental sounds but together with Upper Wilds he's bringing that wild sea of unique distortion back into the framework of focused songwriting, each of their songs ripping with a joyous energy. Following up last year's appropriately named debut, Guitar Module 2017, the trio are back with a bolstered line-up that includes Zach Lehroff (of Ex-Models) and Jeff Ottenbacher. Their sophomore album, Mars, pays tribute to the great red planet and it hones in on all the explosive manipulated guitar fuzz that makes Upper Wilds so jaw-dropping. We shared first single "Perfect Eyesight" and we're giving credit where it's due once again for "Wine Flies," a song that once again subjects skronk to it's absolute most melodic. The riff spirals through tangled space, wandering around as the rhythm relentlessly pounds and Friel's anthemic vocals take a majestic tone to match the song's grandeur.
WOOING | “Could Have Been“
Back in January we had the pleasure of sharing the premiere of Wooing's "In Colour" video, a song taken from their debut EP, Daydream Time Machine, reissued at the start of the year via Ba Da Bing Records. The New York trio will bookend with 2018 with the release of The Clouds, a new 7" due out next month on Kanine Records. The single's a-side "Could Have Been" is another great psych pop song, led by Rachel Trachtenburg's breathy vocals and visionary lyrics. Working itself into a claustrophobic space, Wooing dig into brightened pockets of layered melodies and dense textural effects that rest between haunting tension and soaring above the clouds. Trachtenburg sings "once I came back down to planet Earth" creating an inescapable feeling of an alien presence, and we're ready for the invasion. Ultimately the song deals with relationships lost as we're left with the repeated "you could have been dear to me."
October 08 - October 14:
ALL BOY/ALL GIRL “Crisps” EP | APOLLO BROWN & JOELL ORTIZ “Reflection“ | APOLLO BROWN & JOELL ORTIZ “Timbalan’d Up“ (Remix, feat. Royce Da 5’9” & Kxng Crooked) | BIG BOI “Tiny Desk Concert” | BOREEN “Gaining Weight” | BUKE & GASE “Derby“ | COLOR TV “Color TV” LP | CONSTANT LOVERS “Meow Meow Meow“ | CULTURE ABUSE “Police On My Back“ (The Equals cover) | DARKWING “Vicious / Who U R“ | ELLIS “Frostbite“ | EXIT GROUP “Adverse Habitat“ LP | GIRLPOOL “Lucy’s“ + “Where You Sink“ | HAIR PULLER “Old Friend” | HEN OGLEDD “Sky Burial“ | JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN “Kick It Again“ | KATRINA STONEHART “You Already Know” | LIFESTYLES “Wail“ | MEG BAIRD & MARY LATTIMORE “Damaged Sunset“ | MIKE KROL “Audiotree Live” | THE OPHELIAS “Moon Like Sour Candy“ | PLANET B “Crustfund” (feat. Kool Keith) | RUN THE JEWELS “Let’s Go (The Royal We)“ | SASAMI “Not The Time” | SAUNA “Over“ | SAVAK "Nature Erased" | SPEEDY ORTIZ “DTMFA“ | SPRAY PAINT & THE REBEL “Look! Air Innit?“ | SURFBORT “Slushy“ | TASHME “Tashme” EP | THOM YORKE “Volk” | WE CAN ALL BE SORRY “I’d Do More” | YOUNG JESUS “The Whole Thing Is Just There“ LP
October 15 - October 21:
ACID DAD "Living With A Creature" | ALAIN JOHANNES TRIO "Luna A Sol" (feat. Mike Patton) | ALEXEI SHISHKIN "Happy Bday" LP | ARIAN SHAFIEE “Muted Heather“ | ASTRAL SWANS "High Hallelujah" (feat. Mariel Buckley) | BOOKER STARDRUM "Drim Dram II" | CHASTITY BELT "It's Obvious" | DRUG CHURCH "Unlicensed Hall Monitor" | FREDDIE GIBBS "Death Row" (feat. 03 Greedo) | GABBY'S WORLD "I Get You" | GANSER "Pastel" | GRACE VONDERKUHN "Cellophane" | HURRY UP "You Just Wait" | IAN SWEET "Crush Crusher" LP | J MASCIS "Web So Dense" | JENNIFER CASTLE "Midas Touch" (feat. The Weather Station) | LISA/LIZA "The Matador Pt. 2" | LIQUIDS "Happy Halloween" EP | MISSING EARTH "Parliament of Trees" | MONTEAGLE "Master" | MR. HUSBAND "1991 Bible Study" | NEIL YOUNG "Campaigner" (Live) | PALBERTA "Sound of the Beat" | SNAIL MAIL "The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl In The World" (Courtney Love cover) | SUUNS "X-ALT" | THOM YORKE "Open Again" | TY SEGALL "Class War" (The Dils cover) | WENDY EISENBERG "Three Dream Rooms"