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.
BIG BITE | "Relentless Healing"
We're pretty fond of Seattle's Matt Berry and all his bands, both the hard-to-track-down and the immediately accessible. Between Happy Diving, The Berries, Mystic Soul Potion, Mr. Dusty, and beyond, Berry's songwriting always hits that sweet spot between fuzz-punk perfection and dusty twang, straddling different points of the spectrum depending on the band. Big Bite, one of his best and most focused projects is set to release their full length debut via Pop Wig Records following a couple of singles and tour tapes. The first single "Relentless Healing" is an infectious Pacific NW ripper, with destructive riffs and blistering distortion. The vocals are nearly spoken, delivered with a rough and commanding tone, buried just below the feedback and stampeding rhythms. It's primal and noisy, everything you'd want from a band that's pure catharsis.
BIG UPS | "Fear"
New York's post-hardcore giants Big Ups know how to pack a punch in jarring quiet/loud dynamic experimentations. On their upcoming album Two Parts Together the band stretch their formula into various paths of song-writing, adopting new tricks and refining old ones, pushing the borders of their art punk confines. "Fear" slowly creeps in with a monotonous twang, a simple and delicate air of desolation. When the hook comes crashing in, the band remain locked into the the song's noisier aggression, each member digging a bit further into their own abrasive sprawl. The video, compiled by the band's own Brendan Finn, captures footage of the quartet from the days of their first show until present time, a collection of good memories and great shows, capturing the band's personality in the process.
JO PASSED | "Glass"
Vancouver's Jo Passed have made one of the year's most immersive records. The quartet's full length debut, Their Prime, due out this May on Sub Pop is at times dazzling, challenging, contorted, and dreamy. There's a sense of freedom and abandonment when it comes to styles, with their sound eschewing tradition in favor of their own floating whirlwinds of noise pop taking every shape imaginable, touching upon influences like Fugazi, Cate Le Bon, and Deerhunter. Early single "Glass" is one stunning example, combining a detached rhythm and skronky guitars that twist knots around the calming vocals. It's an incredible display of divergent styles in perfect harmony.
LITHICS | "Specs"
If first single "Excuse Generator" wasn't reason enough, let "Specs" be a reminder, you need this album in your life, and pre-ordering is not only an option, but a necessity. Lithics, Portland's favorite ultra nonchalant post-punk band, are tighter than tight, jerking in every direction over hypnotic frames, with the perfectly rigid squalor for their casual aggression. The band clamor with ragged riffs that stab away at the deep grooving bass lines, snaking between the driving rhythms with a caustic energy that works wonders together with the deadpan vocals. There's a robotic perfection to each winding moment, captured by the band's performance in this video. The takeover continues and we support our new Lithics overlords.
SPIRITS HAVING FUN | "Electricity Explorer"
Combining the free form detachment of Birthing Hips and Palberta, "Electricity Explorer" is the perfect introduction to Spirits Having Fun's jittery world of progressive-tinged post-punk and warped twee pop. It's sweet on the onset but pretty contorted at its core, Katie McShane holding the reigns that keep the song from ever capsizing. The rhythm section of Jesse Heasly (Tredici Bacci) and Phil Sudderberg (Wei Zhongle) is impossibly tight and dexterous, grooving through a whirlwind of time changes and impossible shifts in a way that seems nearly effortless. With the jagged rhythms firmly in place (or rarely in place, depending on how you look at it), McShane and Andrew Clinkman (Cowboy Band) provide radiantly staccato guitar interplay, pushing and pulling between one another with a discordant call-and-response vibe in their duel attack. McShane's vocals move with a nimble grace, gently tip-toeing around the earthquake. The song is intricately constructed to sound nearly deconstructed, but the band's natural capabilities are evident in the fluid transitions.
THANKS FOR COMING | "Back At It Again" EP
There was a period in time not too long ago when it seemed as though Thanks For Coming had a new EP out every week. In what would most certainly be overkill for most projects, Rachel Brown's "living room pop" project remained consistent, like a journal cataloging how Brown was feeling that given week (or what they had found on their hard-drive). After a five month absence that felt like an eternity due to last year's prolific outpouring, Brown and the band's full line-up of Nate Amos, Charlie Dore-Young, and Mike Kolb return with the knowingly titled Back At It Again. The EP packs in everything that is so incredible about the band from their Summery pop hooks and lo-fi charm to Brown's introspective lyrics and syrupy melodies. There's a breezy quality to the songs even as they ponder deeper reality, loneliness, and longing. It's all truly honest and beautiful.
TRIPAW'D | "Snoozy" EP
Phoenix, Arizona's Twin Ponies and Dent are the spark of their scene, two bands who play out constantly and have recently released exceptional records that will have you believing in the power of barn-burning indie rock at its most DIY level once again. They both shred. They both know how to write great songs. Now they have come together to form Tripaw'd, a collaborative project of Twin Ponies' Phillip Hanna, Jordan Tompkins and Jacob Lauxman with Dent's Josh John. Their debut EP, Snoozy, is an impressive blend of tangled post-hardcore and dreamy shoegaze, building up walls of sound only to shatter the dissonance with complex riffs, sludgy fuzz, jittery rhythmic bliss, and thick melodies.
WATER FROM YOUR EYES | "No Time For Time"
Water From Your Eyes may have released the best post-punk dance pop record so far this year in All A Dance, but the duo are still breathing new life into last year's phenomenal debut, Long Days, No Dreams with a new video for one of the many stand-outs "No Time For Time". The song's hypnotic boogie is the perfect juxtaposition to Rachel Brown's detached lyrics, pulling at depressive moods and anxious thoughts over a bed of programmed beats and warped pop grooves. Nate Amos' guitars and synths are processed with a gorgeous synchronicity, creating a lush landscape of new-wave indebted glory as Brown sings, "Everything I am just makes me tired. I'm on fire". The video, directed by Kamau Wainaina, follows a handful of people through their busy days, constantly running from one thing to the next, until eventually they decide to let loose and let go.
WIMPS | "Garbage People"
Tagged as "adult problem punk" by their label Kill Rock Stars, Wimps have been making delightful garage and fuzz pop nuggets for the past five years, with each successive album sharpening both their music and their unique sense of humor. Set to release Garbage People in July, the album's title track and first single is a shimmering example of their jangly hooks and punchy melodies, a song that's instantly infectious and raucously fun. Tackling the issue of our rapidly overfilling landfills and garbage's scourge on our environment, Wimps are using their voice to remind you "don't throw me away" and having their own splendid time with it.
YAZAN | "Hahaha" LP
Yazan Fahmawi is a real soul man. Throughout his latest album, Hahaha, he speaks from his heart, opening himself up with vulnerable tales of heartbreak, forgiveness, and destruction all in the name of learning, growing, and bettering oneself. Joined together with Pile's Kris Kuss on drums and occasionally bass, Yazan (the band) rip through a history of rock 'n' roll from hazy blues and folk to proto-metal and post-hardcore, shredding all the way. While Yazan's powerful voice and resonant vocals do plenty of talking, his guitar playing fills in any gap with jaw-dropping adaptability that sounds radiant in any setting. Hahaha is Yazan's life and spirituality poured into song, and his spirit shines bright from the joyous start to the gravelly finish.
CHRISTIAN FITNESS | "Nuance - The Musical" LP
We've featured singles from Christian Fitness' latest album Nuance - The Musical the past two weeks in a row, and fighting the urge to not feature the album in full has been near impossible. So here it is, a "bonus" selection (and our Album Of The Week), perhaps Falco's best work since Future of the Left's Travels With Myself And Another. This album is brilliant as always, but there's an urgency to the musicianship that has the band adopting new textures and forms of attack. It's essential listening and could be one of the year's best come December.
April 9th - April 15th:
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS "Frustrated Operator" | THE ALCHEMIST "Lunch Meat" EP | ANMLPLNET "Ride" | BAGLADY "Luxury Condos" EP | THE BLACK ANGELS "Half Believing (Demo)" | THE BRONX "Side Effects" | CAVE CURSE "Future Dust" | CHERRY GLAZERR "Juicy Socks" | CHUCK STRANGERS "Style Wars" (feat. Joey Bada$$) | CONNECTIONS "Love Me Still" | DECISIONS "Trapped" | DOUBLE GRAVE "Deadend" | ED SCHRADER'S MUSIC BEAT "Stereogum Session" | FREDDIE GIBBS "Colors" (feat. G Perico & Mozzy) | GLASSJAW "Shira" | HIRS "Friends. Lovers. Favorites" LP | HONEY RADAR "Psychic Cruise" | IAN SWEET "Shapeshifter" | KING TUFF "Neverending Sunshine" | KITTEN FOREVER "Hell Hole" | KRIMEWATCH "Krimewatch" LP | LA LUZ "The Creature" | LACE "Human Condition" LP | LIFE IN VACUUM "Jazz" | LOU BARLOW "Love Intervene" | THE MAD DOCTORS "Sister Act II: Electric Boogaloo (What If Idris Elba Was The Next James Bond)" | MARBLED EYE "Promo Tape 2018" EP | THE MEN "Shimmer And Shine" | MIKE DONOVAN "Cold Shine" | MOMMA "Sidewalk" | OCEANATOR "Lows" LP | OMNI "Sunset Preacher" | PILE "Earth To Food" | RATBOYS "I Don't Want To Live On The Moon" (Sesame Street cover) | SCRUNCHIES "Stunner" | SPEEDY ORTIZ "Villain" | STAY ASLEEP "Mourner" LP | VEXXED "Heavens Away Team" | VIVE LA VOID "Death Money" | WAND "Perfume" | WAR ON WOMEN "Capture The Flag" LP | WAX CHATTELS "Career" | WAX IDOLS "Crashing" | WRONG "Pustule"
April 16th - April 22nd:
A DEER A HORSE "Cold Shoulder" | ASTRAL SWANS "Controls" | BEE BEE SEA "This Dog is the King of the Losers" | THE BREEDERS "Tiny Desk Concert" | COURTNEY BARNETT "City Looks Pretty" | DEAFHEAVEN "Honeycomb" | DEEPER "Pavement" | DRINKS "Corner Shops" | FIONA APPLE "I Can't Wait To Meet You" | FLASHER "Pressure" | FRIGS "Talking Pictures" | GANG OF FOUR "Ivanka (Things You Can't Have)" | GANSER "Satsuma" | GROUPIE "Power By Design" | HIT BARGAIN "Hell Is Real" | ICEAGE "The Day The Music Dies" | LANDING "Secret" | LARS FINBERG "Benevolent Panic" | LOCATE S,1 "Healing Contest" LP | MAZZY STAR "Quiet, The Winter Harbour" | MEDIA JEWELER "Hula Hoop" | MELVINS "Don't Forget To Breathe" | METZ "Mr. Plague" | NATE TEREPKA "Tempelhof" | NECTAR "Knocking At The Door" LP | NEEDS "Eat The Rich... People's Leftovers" | NEIGHBOR LADY "Oh Honey" | OMNI "Confessional" | PALBERTA "Big Time" | PARLOR WALLS "Neuromancer" | PSYCHIC FLOWERS "Big Egg Universe" LP | RACHEL ANGEL "In Low" | SHOPPING "Audiotree Live" | SLEEP "The Sciences" LP | SLOW MASS "Oldest Youngest" | SPEEDY ORTIZ "Twerp Verse" LP | STEF CHURA "Sour Honey" | SUPERTEEN "The Chain Waltz" | T. HARDY MORRIS "Be" | THELMA "If You Let It" | WOODEN SHJIPS "Red Line" | YOB "The Screen" | YONATAN GAT "Cue The Machines"