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.
AVA LUNA | "Centerline"
Ava Luna recently announced their long-awaited return with "Deli Run," a super funked art-pop song lead by the band's Felicia Douglass. If the band are embracing the current wave of "poptimism" on Moon 2, they're doing it their own otherworldly way, blending their influences together with such finesse there's nothing left to do but get lost in their delightfully strange grooves. "Centerline" is led by Becca Kauffman, a song that has an 80's dance vibe that's been warped and contorted, Kauffman's vocals wavering over the eerie synth squiggles and the tight rhythms, popping into gang vocals and space age harmonies at all the right moments... and then there's that solo. Ava Luna, forever remarkable.
BAKED | "Hope You're Happy" + "A Hartlett Anthem"
Brooklyn's fuzziest classic rock deconstructionists Baked are back after last year's excellent Farnham with a new EP that finds the band paired down to a quartet, their walls of guitar distortion however sounding as massive as always. II is the band's second EP (following the self-titled debut) and their fourth release overall, but there's a new degree of collaboration on this effort that can be heard in the songwriting and the nuances unique to each member. The two lead singles, "Hope You're Happy" and "A Hartlett Anthem," are led by Isabella Mingione and R.J. Gordon respectively, two of Baked's finest shinning moments, highlight all they do well (burnt classic riffs, hazy melodies, sweltering shoegaze), creating a sandstorm of layered fuzz with melodies that are as complacent as a stoned Sunday morning.
BETHLEHEM STEEL | "Florida 2"
When in doubt, puppets are always the answer. Brooklyn's Bethlehem Steel most definitely understand this as seen on in their latest video for Party Naked Forever stand-out "Florida 2" (and it's not the first time we've seen Becca Ryskalczyk hanging with puppets). Since the release of the band's full length debut back in November, the quartet have stayed as busy as can be with tour after tour, bringing their incredible live show all across the country. The band are set to head back out this summer and fall with Baked and Lemuria with some local shows together with Pile and Sparta scattered in between. "Florida 2" was shot in Florida (go figure) during one of their recent tours, capturing live performances and more importantly, some leisure time at the pool. If you can't go swimming while in Florida, why even be there? There's also a singing puppet with a strikingly similar voice to Ryskalczyk's. Bethlehem Steel are one of the city's hardest working bands these days and it doesn't go unnoticed.
DAVID NANCE GROUP | "Poison"
Last year Omaha's David Nance released Negative Boogie, a stomping album that seamlessly blended noise rock, dusty country twang, and brawny garage punk together to create one of the year's absolute best releases. I have since been sucked deep into Nance's catalog, a treasure trove of great songwriting matched with raw blistering rippers, and with the announcement of his latest, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized, expectations are as high as can be. Having joined Trouble In Mind Records and their near flawless catalog, David Nance Group's first single "Poison" is everything I hoped for, an enormous sun-soaked barn burner with a brilliantly classic melody and blown out guitar solos that revel in the fuzz rather than succumb to it. The verses sound dug out from a time long forgotten - like a folk song run through massive rattling speakers - tearing back out into the world with soulful spirit in tact but the freedom to let go of everything and simply shred.
DUST FROM 1000 YRS | "Bad Shit"
Dust From 1000 Yrs, the now solo project of the man simply known as Bone to most, will self-release their latest, A Sweet Thing Turns Sour on August 24th. Raw and immediate, the new Dust record could just be his best effort yet, an album that combines earthy textures and gravely voiced depression with dynamic arrangements and a real tortured sense of beauty in the shallows. "Bad Shit," the album's first single is lush with a woodsy approach, the finger picked guitar melodies are tangled but twangy, rippling between the trees and the dense atmosphere Bone creates with each discordant plunk and gorgeous harmonic response. The song is dazzling, transporting you deep into the depths with a simple groove and a minor key melody that resonates beyond superficial emotions. Bone's voice is doubled, adding a heightened sense to his word, each one stinging out over a warm and expanding progression, with layers casually added with every passing movement. The build up comes easy, but there's no denying the heavy atmospheres as everything peels back and Bone declares, "feels good to act dumb, I'll never get what I want, but it's worth all the bad shit, just to feel alive."
EROSION | "Human Error"
Erosion's new single is the aural equivalent to filth. Not in terms of the song's lyrics or point of view, but in the sheer sordid quality of the band's explosive and menacing approach to grindcore. This one is as aggressive as they come, a song that takes sludge and blackened metal in a frantic pace, forever grinding and thrashing along the way. It's brutal and deranged, a winning combo from a new band that features three of Baptists' four members (together with members of 3 Inches of Blood, Hard Feelings, etc), pushing our societal disgust into something brilliantly ugly and relentless. With their debut album Maximum Suffering due out on the legendary forward-thinking Hydra Head Records, this one is sure to leave a stain on our minds and some excitement in our hearts.
FOND HAN | "Wronked"
There are very few bands out there these days that just go for it the way that New Jersey's Fond Han do it. I often use the word "magical" when talking about Thomas Baumann and his collaborative band because there's something inexplicable about the way his many layers of destructive weirdness sound so jaw-dropping brilliant. Wronked is the band's sophomore full-length, a record that puts creativity on a whole different plane of existence, teetering between fuzzy "slacker" pop, blasts of colorful grindcore, and the art-punk capability of being able to tie everything together into something cohesive and mostly accessible. First single "Wronk" is a prime example, a winding tornado of an introduction, that sputters, squawks, thrashes, and stampedes in sharp jagged erruptions, chaotic and structurally free.
GOUGE AWAY | "Only Friend"
Florida's Gouge Away are getting ready to release their sophomore full-length, Burnt Sugar, via their new label home at Deathwish Records next month. Don't let the band name fool you, this is no Pixies cover band, hell, you're not even going to find much Pixies influence in their brand of destructive punk and hardcore. Sharing similarities with peers Super Unison and Nine of Swords, Gouge Away's snarl is focused and razor sharp, creating hardcore that's tough as nails yet sensitive in mentality and social awareness. First single "Only Friend" lashes at a frantic pace, the corrosive guitars scrapping under Christina Michelle's throat shattering vocals as she howls "paranoia is here again, she's my only friend" with careening nuance in a compressed time-frame.
H.GRIMACE | "In The Body"
Last year London's H.Grimace released their full length debut Self Architect, a sure footed post-punk record that blended hypnotic interlocking guitars and darting rhythmic pulses with dreamier melodies and yearning vocals. It was an impressive debut that was kept mostly under the radar but for all those paying attention, it was an important introduction to an interesting band in a genre that isn't always beaming with originality. The quartet's new stand-alone single "In The Body" is mesmerizing, with a tightly wound drum beat setting the song's pulse and the guitars stabbing in-between in direct opposition, the whole thing rising toward a steady crescendo. Hannah Gledhill's (guitar/vocals) has exceptional control through ominous spoken word vocals and sarcastic lyrics that taunt with sensational repetition as the song twists itself in krautrock knots.
HUMAN PEOPLE | "California"
Human People only know how to write smash hits. They've proven it with their early EPs and stand-alone singles and they'll prove it again twelve times over on their full length debut, Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears, due out next month. They have a knack for writing snotty punk songs that stick in your head, creeping up on you days later, without warning... their sing-a-long garage pop embeds itself in your memory. The record's first single, "California," is one of those earworms, a song with drawn out vocals, fuzzy harmonies, and Hayley Livingston's lyrics that reside somewhere between sunny and bleak, a swirling array of intentional deception laid out over a never ending landslide of hooks. Give it a listen, maybe two or three, and let me know if you're not singing "I'm gonna go to Cali-fucking-fornia" by the end of the week.
PET FOX | "How To Quit"
We all know that a great drummer makes a great band and we all know that Theo Hartlett (Ovlov) and Jesse Weiss (Palehound, Grass Is Green) are both incredible drummers. What you may not already know is that both Hartlett and Weiss are both great songwriters and guitarists as well. They can really do it all and they do it all so damn well. Joined together with Morgan Luzzi (Ovlov), the trio have formed Pet Fox, a great new band that gives each of the members a chance to shine in their own radiant glow. "How To Quit," the first single is about what Theo Hartlett describes as "recognizing indecisiveness when it comes to making important life decisions. It also represents the fear of never being able to pursue your true passions, but trying to accomplish as much as you can with what's been given to you." The trio lock in together immediately, Luzzi and Weiss' intricate but calming rhythm wraps itself into a tight knotted pattern, polyrhythms that dazzle with a soft approach. It's an impressive backbone for Hartlett's swooning melody and introspective lyrics
SPRAY PAINT | "Corinthian Leather" (feat. Protomartyr's Joe Casey)
As two of this era's most consistent post-punk bands and occasional tour mates, it only makes sense that Protomartyr and Spray Paint would collaborate together, especially when you consider the fact that both bands have very much been in the collaborative spirit as of late (Protomartyr with Kelley Deal/R. Ring and Spray Paint with Dan Melchior as Contributors and Ben Mackie). The bands are set to release their new 7", Irony Prompts A Party Rat (a great anagram of their names), that trades their vocalists like a twist on one of those mom swapping reality shows, only much more enjoyable. "Corinthian Leather" is Spray Paint's contribution together with Protomartyr's Joe Casey, and well it sounds as great as you might expect. Spray Paint's sinister minimalism finds is dark and dreary and Casey uses it for a haunting melody that drifts in a cloud of fuzz and his own subtle croons.
SUMAC | "Attis' Blade"
Aaron Turner has always been a colossal presence through ISIS (the band, relax everyone), Old Man Gloom, Hyrda Head Records, or any of his various genre-bending side projects, his lumbering bellows and decimating riffs have given him a legendary status. For all his many accomplishments though, SUMAC, the post-ISIS trio Turner formed with Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) and Brian Cook (These Arms Are Snakes) could just be his greatest band yet. Set to release their third (or fourth, depending if you can this year's collaboration with Keiji Haino) album, Love In Shadow next month, there's no experimental metal album we're anticipating more. Our first taste of the album (comprised of four songs on two LPs... read as: every song is going to be rather long) is the sprawling "Attis' Blade," an epic dystopian ripper that traverses movement after movement of both guttural dirges and all out skull crushing shredded bliss. The nearly 16 minute song plays out like an album, crawling like an avalanche through both the peaks and valleys, devoid of rigid forms and reliant on the trio's collective instincts and intelligence. It's a lot to take in but worth every expansive second.
UPPER WILDS | "Perfect Eyesight"
It's been less than a year since the debut album from Dan Friel's latest project Upper Wilds was released but that hasn't stopped the cosmic post-punk experimentalists from announcing their next effort, Mars, the first in a series of planetary records. Their line-up has shifted slightly and they've brought along some friends, including Katie Eastburn, who sings together with Friel on lead single "Perfect Eyesight," a song the band says is about "an early 20th century doctor who prescribed staring at the sun." Upper Wilds channel that hallucinatory feeling with guitar effects that echo and swarm, embracing you in a comfortable place with warm melodies and the type of distortion and tonality that takes a lifetime to perfect. Eastburn's harmonies are a welcome addition, adding a beautiful touch to the already stunning guitar work.
WARM DRAG | "Sleepover"
On Warm Drag's self-titled debut, the duo of Paul Quattrone (Oh Sees, !!!) and Vashti Windish (K-Holes, Golden Triangle) have created a stunning landscape of mood and atmosphere that shifts and expands at their whim, taking the path less traveled in just about all directions. It's a great record from two musicians who have never shied away from a bit of abrasive experimentation. They're throwing in the kitchen sink of ideas throughout Warm Drag and executing them all with grace and a love for bleeding electronics. Self described as "post-noir noise disco" (genres... right?) it's a fairly fitting description for the record as a whole and "Sleepover" is the sultry and ominious centerpiece, a song that feels dreamy and serene but rears with a dangerous undertone. It drifts through soft textures and haunting vocals, eventually bursting into a cloud of reverb driven noise and ghostly whisper... and that's all before you read what the song is actually about.
July 23rd - July 29th
BLACK THOUGHT "Rest In Power" | CALVIN JOHNSON "Kiss Me Sweetly" | CHEEKFACE "I Only Say I'm Sorry When I'm Wrong Now" | CLEARANCE "At Your Leisure" LP | DARKWING "Ignorant Ghost" | DAVID BOWIE "Zeroes (2018)" | DEN-MATE "Sick" | EMPATH "Only One" | EXHALANTS "Punishers" | FUCKED UP "Raise Your Voice Joyce + Two I's Closed" | FURNSSS "All Brought Clouds and the Deep Blue Sky" LP | GRIM STREAKER "Mojito" | GYMSHORTS "You Blew It" | THE HOLYDRUG COUPLE "Waterfalls" | IDLES "Samaritans" | IZZY TRUE "Bobo" | MOTHERS "Pink" | OPTIONS "And On" | PEEL DREAM MAGAZINE "Qi Velocity" | PROUD PARENTS "Hypnotoad" | RAILINGS "Sects With The Sheeple" EP | RATBOYS "Figure" | RENATA ZEIGUER "Wayside" (Blue Room Session) | SHARKMUFFIN "Space Glow" | SLOPPY JANE "Bark Like A God" | THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE "Can I Receive The Contact?" | SWEARIN' "Grow Into A Ghost" | THOU "The Lasting Dose" (Crowbar cover) | TONY MOLINA "Kill The Lights" LP | UNEARTHLY TRANCE "Mechanism Error" | VALUE VOID "Babeland"
July 30th - August 5th
BABEHOVEN "Bathtub" | BILGE RAT "Pal" LP | BUMMER "Fred Savage 420" | DEAFHEAVEN "Night People" (feat. Chelsea Wolfe) | DRUG CHURCH "Avoidarama" | EELS "You Are The Shining Light" | EMMA RUTH RUNDLE "Darkhorse" | EXPLODED VIEW "Sleepers" | EYES OF LOVE "End of the Game" | FOUNTAIN "Acid Bath From The Jaded Jungle" LP | FREDDIE GIBBS "Automatic" | FREDDIE GIBBS "Burn Rubber" | GØGGS "Pre Strike Sweep" | JOBS "Came To Take" | K A G "Freaky 57" EP | LEADRS "Waste" | LINA TULLGREN "Always Fine" | MARBLED EYE "Laughing Sound" | MARLOWE Things We Summon"" | MAXBAND "Means To An End" | MISERABLE "Gasoline" | OBNOX "America In A Blender" | PRIMITIVE MAN "Naked" | QUI "Snuh" LP | THE RIZZOS & TOP NACHOS "Split" EP | THE SHIFTERS "Straight Lines" | SOUL ASSASSINS "Yacht Party" (feat. Raekwon) | SUPER THIEF "Six Months Blind" | TRAPS PS "Tradition" | UNIFORM "Alone In The Dark" | WINDHAND "Grey Garden"
August 6th - August 12th
ADRIANNE LENKER "Cradle" | AMBER ARCADES "Where Did You Go" | THE BREEDERS "Nervous Mary" | COLLEEN GREEN "Let Go" | CONDUIT "To The Tower" | DEAD RIDER "Candles on Crabs" (feat. Mr. Paul Williams) | ETERNAL SUMMERS "Famous Last Words" | GASH "Haha" EP | GOLDEN DRAG "Pink Sky" LP | JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD "Camel Swallowed Whole" | METHOD MAN "Grand Prix" | MIKE KROL "Never Know" | MOUNTAIN MOVERS "This City" | NIGHT WITCH "Exposed / Drop Dead / Riding A Bike / No Access" | NOTHING "The Carpenter's Son" | OPTIONS "Fog" | PET FOX "Pet Fox" LP | PIG DESTROYER "The Torture Fields" | POST PINK "Moon" | PRE NUP "The Grudge" | SCHOOL DAMAGE "Meeting Halfway" | SHMU "All Will Be Erased" | SLOTHRUST "Birthday Cake" | SUPER THIEF "Eating Alone In My Car" EP | TERRY "Oh Helen" | THOU "The Changeling Prince" | TOMBERLIN "Any Other Way" | WOOLEN MEN "Amateur"