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.
BLESSED | “Thought”
Vancouver’s Blessed (or Abbotsford’s, if you want to get specific) return with a brand new single, the first since the band’s split with Tunic back in April. While the band prepare the release of their heavily anticipated full-length debut, “Thought” is a great preview, an immediate force of the band’s art-leaning post-punk that’s tangled and propulsive. The band, now a quintet with additional guitars and synth courtesy of Matt McKeen, warp rhythms into knots, their guitars slipping into the spaces between, forming their own paths that always manage to diverge in challenging structures that maintain melody and shape.
CZARFACE & GHOSTFACE KILLAH | “Iron Claw“
In 2018 the trio of Czarface (Inspectah Deck, 7L, & Esoteric) teamed up with MF DOOM to release what I consider the year’s best hip-hop album, the critically underrated Czarface Meets Metalface. In keep the theme of that collaborative record alive, the group are pairing up again, this time with fellow Wu-Tang Clan legend, Ghostface Killah. Set to release Czarface Meets Ghostface, the first single “Iron Claw” is quintessential Czarface, bringing the boom-bop of the early 90’s back with hard-edged beats, soul samples, and the crackle of the tape. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface, and Esoteric continue to bring classic line-for-line verses that only serve as a reminder that the veterans remain at the top of the game.
EERIE WANDA | “Sleepy Eyes”
Eerie Wanda will release their sophomore album Pet Town in January, quite possibly the upcoming year’s first essential release. We’ve already heard the dreamy perfection of “Moon,” but the album’s second single presents a different side of the record, one less tranquil but every bit as captivating. “Sleepy Eyes” opens a repeated chord structure, sparse and somewhat grungy, and then the vocals hit with dazzling rhythmic quality, each word punctuated for stunning effect. With the rhythm fully established already, the introduction of the song’s percussion adds a great texture to the song’s cemented groove... and that’s before the sweeping keys bring the psych crescendo. The lyric video pays tribute to the joys of just staying home as Eerie Wanda’s Marina Tadic practices rocking out with dolls and puppets (including a very awesome banana companion).
FRIED EGG | “Apraxia”
Virginia’s Fried Egg will release their full length debut, Square One, in February via Feel It Records (The Cowboys, U-Nix, Vanilla Poppers), having established themselves as one of the DMV’s most exciting hardcore bands in the past few years. The album’s lead single “Apraxia” sounds both classic and innovative, a relentless barrage of riffs of stampeding rhythms, jostling around with a reckless tempo that contorts and expands without warning, the guitars joyously feeding back in response as the vocals are barked in rapid disdain. This one seriously shreds with a carnival like back and forth bridge that pulls from the Devo catalog before the band spit into a sludgier, noisier territory, packing the last lumbering punch.
GOUGE AWAY | “Audiotree Live”
Florida’s Gouge Away had a huge 2018 that saw them release their sophomore album, Burnt Sugar, via Deathwish Records to widespread acclaim from both critics and fans across the country. They brought their ferocious live show just about everywhere on tours with Culture Abuse and Drug Church (and another planned for February with Russian Circles), but in case you missed them, or if you’re ready to relive the cathartic bliss, the band capped off the year with an Audiotree Session that has them in full on pummel, a quick succession of the band’s scathing hardcore and post-hardcore blend. The band lurch into low-end heavy melodicism and back out into primal fury, adept at setting moods and tearing them back into oblivion.
MIRANDA WINTERS | “O.T.O. Revised”
Best known as the front person for Chicago’s Melkbelly, Miranda Winters released her solo debut, Xobeci, What Grows Here? this summer, proving to be as adept at lo-fi home recorded pop as the colossal force and tangled charm of her main gig. With her full band releasing one of our absolute favorites of 2017 and her solo project doing the same for 2018, we can’t wait to see what next year has in store, but before that, Winters has released a video for “O.T.O. Revised,” the album’s closing track and one of the record’s folkier moments. The soft and meditative song plucks a singular melody that works almost in unison with the sound of her fingers moving over the strings. There’s no repetition of verses., there’s no chorus, and there’s no need for either as the video’s cartoon waves carry us off to sea in tranquility, much the same as the song.
MISTER GOBLIN | “Final Boy” EP
We’ve already featured Mister Goblin’s first two singles “Be Right There” and “Nothing You Do (Happens)” so why stop now? The solo project of Sam Woodring (Two Inch Astronaut) released their debut EP, Final Boy, in early December, a stunning mix of pop centered songwriting that squirms its way into a bit of post-hardcore and more technical punk territory. From the gentle “Night Lighting” and its heartbreaking lyrics to the dissonant “Option Vampire” and it’s experimental approach to Woodring’s past catalog, every song is an immersive display of his songwriting at its best and most unrestrained. Album closer “Fixing The Jokes” could be the highlight on a record full of them, a dark acoustic intro is bolstered by a perfectly woven vocal melody before the song evolves into lush electronics.
NET | “Lookback / Big Shirt”
After a few years of inactivity, it would appear as though DC’s Swings have called it a day. Thankfully, Zach Lewton and Daniel Howard (with help from Jamie Finucane) have returned as Net. Now located in Brooklyn, the duo are still making intricate art-pop with a barrage of influences that seem to range from soul to post-punk, a warm and unpredictable sound that’s constantly engaging. “Lookback” is hypnotic and and soothing, a pop song at heart with a swarm of layered experimental beauty. “Big Shirt” is a glorious swoon, the bottom dropping out at times into stuttering rhythms and dreamy keys that trickle in at varying intensity. It’s complex and wondrous, a promising new start from restlessly creative minds.
STOVE | “Duckling Fantasy”
On Stove’s sophomore album ‘s Favorite Friend, the band took an ultra personal record and made it relatable to anyone that’s ever had feelings. It’s a wild ride that highlights all the band did well on their debut and the EPs that followed it, adapting with an experimental approach to song structure and nuances that made each song unique from the next while retaining an impeccable cohesiveness (even when it tries to shake from it). I’m not saying it’s my favorite album of year (because it’s like picking your favorite kid), but it could just be my favorite album of the year. “Ducking Fantasy,” one of the many highlights has drummer/vocalist/guitarist Jordyn Blakely as the father figure you always wished you had, teaching life lessons that don’t always go so well. The song’s subject matter can get heavy, but the band play it for laughs, creating the perfect balance in the process.
THELMA | “Take Me To Orlando“
Natasha Jacobs, better known as Thelma, has one of those incredible powerful and versatile voices, the kind you may associate with Fiona Apple, Joanna Newsom, or Angel Olsen. There’s a sense of control as her pitch swings between low and high, with cracks and gasps in between. It’s been a rough time for Jacobs since the release of her debut due to several severe medical conditions, but Thelma returns with a new album, The Only Thing, and the first single “Take Me To Orlando” is as dazzling as ever. The song opens with a big groove that’s built on the vocal melody and a sustained synth. Jacobs adds gentle shifts and hooks from there, with an epic sensibility that plinks and soars in a real majestic, orchestrated, glow.
WU-TANG CLAN | “Tiny Desk Concert”
Wu-Tang Clan, the world’s greatest hip-hop group continue to remind everyone of their legendary status in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their classic debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The group dropped by NPR for what should probably be the Tiny Desk Concert finale (honestly, it’s all downhill from here), opening with what some (myself) consider to be rap’s greatest achievement, “Triumph”. Nearly everyone who is there (Ghostface Killah and Method Man are missing) does there verse (RZA skips his… Raekwon gets cut off) and it’s the WTC’s criminally underrated MCs that really shine throughout the entire performance. Cappadonna, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and U-God really lead the show, rapping classic verses with extended vocabulary and the that eloquent street knowledge that makes Wu-Tang for the children. Raekwon is really loving RZA’s freestyle too. There’s no better.
DECEMBER 03 - DECEMBER 09:
BEDBUG “The Book Of Love” (Magnetic Fields cover) | CHRIS COHEN “Edit Out“ | DEERHUNTER “Element“ | DWELLER “Bugs“ | GUIDED BY VOICES “My Future In Barcelona“ | HALFSOUR “Values“ | ILLUMINATI HOTTIES “The Way You Say Good-Night“ (Magnetic Fields cover) | JR SLAYER “Half Lyfe“ | LRRR / MAXSHH “Thank Your LRRR, You’re Welcome Maxshh” EP | RICHARD VAIN “Night Jammer” LP | SASAMI “Not The Time“ | SILVERBACKS “Just In The Band“ (Live Session) | SUN YOUNG “Tiles“ EP | SWERVEDRIVER “The Lonely Crowd Fades In The Air“ | THICK “Lyfe“ | TIM PRESLEY’S WHITE FENCE “I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk“
DECEMBER 10 - DECEMBER 16:
ANEURYSM “St. E’s“ | THE COWBOYS “Some Things Never Change“ | DADDIES “Heart” | DEN-MATE “Audiotree Live“ | GABRIEL BIRNBAUM “Stack The Miles“ | HOLIDAY MUSIC “Moves” | LIVING STATUE RECORDS “You Can Sing Me Anything: A Tribute to 69 Love Songs“ LP | MEAT PUPPETS “Warranty“ | MERCURY REV “Big Boss Man“ (feat. Hope Sandoval) | PLANET B “Mirror, Mirror, On The World“ | RED SEA “Jumprope” | SINGLE MOTHERS “Tan Line (Like Passing Through A Wall)“ | SUNWATCHERS “Beautiful Crystals“ | TEYANA TAYLOR “Gonna Love Me“ (Remix, feat. Ghostface Killah, Method Man, & Raekwon) | WINTERSLEEP “Surrender“
DECEMBER 17 - DECEMBER 30:
ALEXANDER “An Allston Pudding Session“ | BIG BLISS “Audiotree Live“ | BLUE RAY “OGFIL” EP | CULT LEADER “Audiotree Live” | FCKR JR “Fog b/w Nine Inch Cakes” | FRED CRACKLIN “One Bad Bear“ | HEAVEN’S BLADE “I Don’t Believe” | THE HERMITS “Teeth of the Mountain” | HOLY WAVE “Dixie Cups” | ONE STEP CLOSER “The Reach” | SEN MORIMOTO “Audiotree Live“ | SLEEPING BAG “Play It Cool” LP | THANKS FOR COMING “Nosebleeds Always” LP | TONY MOLINA “Separate Ways“ | TØRSÖ “Grab A Shovel” | TREDICI BACCI “Emmanuelle“ (feat. JG Thirlwell) | TWIN DRUGS “MWR“ | WOOING “In Her Head“ | YOUNG JESUS “Fourth Zone of Gaits“