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.
BOOJI BOYS | “Unknown Pleathers“ EP
This past Monday while on my way home from work I was listening to Booji Boys’ Weekend Rocker in my headphones, thinking about how it’s one of my favorite albums of the year (despite actually being released on Christmas day of last year). Unbeknownst to me at the time was that the Halifax punk band had released it’s follow-up, the blown out enjoyment that is Unknown Pleathers. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes in run time, it’s full of shredding power-pop and burnt feedback punk, taking elements from post-punk and hardcore, and working them into the band’s unique ramshackle of easily digestible yet destructive pop nuggets.
CULT LEADER | "I Am Healed"
What's the first thing you think of when you think of Salt Lake City? I think we can all agree it should be Cult Leader, the West Coast's favorite metalcore experimentalists. If you had something else in mind, just listen to the band's new single "I Am Healed" and maybe next time that will change. The first taste of their upcoming A Patient Man, due out in October via Deathwish, the quartet's earthquaking extreme metal comes pounding right out the gate like some kind of demonic beast that's just freed itself from captivity and now all will be destroyed. It's brutal, sludgy, blackened, and insanely dynamic, the song ripping and clawing in a cavalcade of directions, each more focused and primal than that next. Not for the faint of heart, but definitely an impressive introduction to their uncompromising technical abilities and brilliant menace.
DAVID NANCE GROUP | “In Her Kingdom”
David Nance’s greatest gift could be the way he effortlessly combines elements of dusty country and blistering nods to classic rock with hints of both noise rock, garage punk, and folk charm. It’s raw and mesmerizing, and “In Her Kingdom,” the sprawling second single from his upcoming album, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized, is a perfect example of this. Starting out deep in twangy territory, the song evolves, keeping that burning desert soul at its core, but winding its way into an ocean of psyched out guitars, ringing loud and blanketing everything in site. By the time Nance is belting out the song’s hook again, the intensity has been built up a to colossal breaking point, as “in a kingdom of shit” is repeated over bleeding guitar distortion.
DEAD RIDER TRIO (FEAT. MR. PAUL WILLIAMS) | "Not a Point on a Scale"
“Not A Point On A Scale” is the record’s second single, a sinisterly poetic song that wrestles with your nerves and emotions as Paul Williams offers pointed commentary and a deranged narration, embracing mania and revolt. Dead Rider create an expansive backdrop behind him, seesawing glimpses of distortion, nimble rhythmic shifts and sputters (triumphantly amazing throughout the song), and a bass line that carries everything dependably forward. Just as the spoken word passage halts with “it’s the grinding noise of the chain,” the guitars work into a caterwauling riff of pure distorted release, the tension allowed to unwind and unfurl with a freeform exploration. The video features Douglas McCombs (Tortoise) as a slightly more disturbed than usual Santa Claus, going about his seemingly mundane day until he just can’t take it anymore. It’s a great visual for a great song.
FLAT WORMS | "Melt The Arms"
Last year Los Angeles’ Flat Worms put out a great debut album via Castle Face Records. The band’s brand of post-punk is frantic but regimented, jittery but hypnotic, putting roots down and then shaking as hard as possible to see if they’ll move. The trio are back doing what they do best on a new 7” single for Famous Class Records, this time with production from Ty Segall (recording during “a global heatwave” according to the release info). The first single “Melt The Arms” features the same tightly wound and panicky energy as their debut, the band forever locked in and buzzing, tangled riffs and mesmerizing rhythms forever driving at full speed.
HUMAN PEOPLE | “Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears” LP
Brooklyn quartet Human People’s full length debut is an absolute ripper of smash-hit enjoyment. Every single song is built on hooks and harmonies, drilling melodies and earworm phrases deep into the recesses of your mind. The more you listen, the more certain it is that these songs will never escape you, a gift that comes from a deep pop understanding and a delivery that falls more in line with garage punk and K Records style twee. Every song rattles with sharp lyrical charm and burns an impression, if not on first impression, then undoubtably noticeable when you wake up days later singing “Radio Flyer,” the burning melodic distortion of “NoTides,” or the jittery punk of “Mood Swings.” Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears is a band embracing the insecurities and restless angst of growing up with big hook filled abandonment. 12 smash-hits, each as amazing as the next.
MARLOWE | “Vagrant”
Earlier this year saw the self-titled debut of Marlowe, better known as the duo of producer L’Orange and MC Solemn Brigham. The record, one of the best new hip-hop albums in the past few years, is refreshing from the beats to the undeniable lyricism and ability of Brigham, a young and relatively unknown talent. Having made a name for himself in recent years with album collaborations that include Kool Keith, Stik Figa, Mr. Lif, and more, L’Orange has become an incredibly reliable producer for anyone who misses the glory days of 90’s hip-hop and fuzzy sample heavy beats. Following their gifted debut, the duo are back with another one, “Vagrant,” a cut that finds Brigham going in about racial inequality that stemmed from being denied a ride by a car service. He delivers the message with shifting flows, able to bend to the circular beat,
MILKED | "Dialudid" + “Plastered“
With Milked guitarist/vocalist Kelly Johnson moving from his longtime home of Chicago to the gorgeous open air of Eugene, the future of Milked was never certain, but the chemistry that sizzles between Johnson, Ben Grigg (bass), and Matt Schwerin (drums) - who previously played together in Geronimo! - led the band to record one last full length before the distance between members expanded across the country… and thank the lord they did. Crawling Passed is an unbelievable album, pulling together everything the trio have recorded in the past, and reigning in only the best moments. There’s so much dynamics between each song, from faded acoustic pop to blistering hardcore, and Milked make it all sound natural. Lead singles “Dialudid” and “Plastered” are a great starting point, the former opening with a warm singer/songwriter lullaby, perfectly delivered and comforting, before they tear into the fuzz, pulling the mix in and out as Johnson warps around sharp turns with elastic pop bliss. “Plastered” is a mid tempo dirge a la The Pixies, crawling into an explosive and combustible refrain that reminds you that Milked are fuzz pop’s best kept secret.
MOTHERS | "It Is A Pleasure To Be Here"
Philadelphia-via-Athens’ Mothers returned with their sophomore full length, Render Another Ugly Method, an album that took their sound into a bevy of new directions, leaning further into their post-punk tendencies and splattering their folkier moments into artistic wonder. Its a sound anyone who has seen the band live knows they’ve always been capable of, trading in the magic of their debut for a new kind of experience, an altered vision that’s expanded well into “the beyond.” There are still moments of serene beauty and haunting composition however, perhaps best exemplified by “It Is A Pleasure To Be Here,” a slow lurking song with gorgeous lyrics and melodies that lilt and bloom often within a singular line. There’s a darkness to it, a claustrophobic aura, and it’s cripplingly beautiful.
MUNYA | “If I’m Gone Tomorrow (It’s Because Of Aliens)”
Set to release her second EP of the year later in early October, Montreal’s MUNYA aka Josianne Boivin makes dreamy French pop in the vein of Stereolab or Broadcast, an ever shimmering display of beauty and dynamics. Her latest single “If I’m Gone Tomorrow (It’s Because Of Aliens) not only has a great title and cover art, but the song is brilliant with an ethereal ascension and synth organs that all but wrap you in the clouds. The first song of MUNYA’s to be sung entirely in English, the lyrics are repeated with a hypnotic effect, but always delivered with an undeniable humanity, “if I’m gone tomorrow, don’t be sad”. Something tells me we’ll be hearing a whole lot more of MUNYA.
PEEL DREAM MAGAZINE | “Deetjen’s”
Brooklyn’s Peel Dream Magazine are releasing their debut album, Modern Meta Physic in just a few weeks via the legendary Slumberland Records, a match made in heaven if there ever was one. Indebted to the early 90’s underground (current Fuzzy Meadows selection Swirlies comes to mind), the band take a gentle approach to creating a mix of psych, dream pop, shoegaze, and the avant-garde, filtering it all through lo-fi recording techniques that still sound polished in their dampened state. The record’s fourth single, “Deetjen’s,” could be my favorite song on the record, There’s a dizzying pulse to the warm and syrupy synths, and a easy groove that recalls the best Stone Roses material. The vocals are slung on top with a hypnotic lull, the minimal fluctuations countering the swirl of the melody around it.
PUPPY PROBLEMS | “Sunday Feeling” LP
Recorded over the past two years, Sunday Feeling has been a long time coming, and the wait was more than worth it on a debut album that's as confident in every detail, every heartbreaking phrasing, and the depth of its emotional resonance. Sami Martasian is joined by Ben Styer, Benjamin Rector (Dust From 1000 Yrs), Ethan Long, Christine Varriale, and Joel Demelo, bringing their songs to life while leaving them confessional and minimalist in composition. They offer the perfect balance between songs built up and stripped down, each finding space as we're given a tour through the mind of Puppy Problems and Martasian's restless fears and worries.
STOVE | “Mosquiter”
There’s something truly special about the way every part of Stove’s “Mosquiter” finds it place without repetition and any discernible chorus, and yet it still feels like a modern day classic. From Jordyn Blakely’s power-house drum beat to the stuttered way the guitars trickle in, the songwriting is focused and deliberate, each new layer of melody building upon its surroundings, Steve Hartlett’s vocals perfectly dropped in as the song steadily burns a path forward. That first verse sticks like glue as the harmonies only thicken on what could be called the hook, but there’s no going back, no time for repeats, instead the band tear into a thickened feedback solo before making a quick exit. It’s that less is more approach that makes this one so repeatable.
SURFBORT | “Pretty Little Fucker”
Brooklyn’s Surfbort have always kept it dirty. From their explosive live shows to the layer of grime and scuzz in their songs, it’s an aesthetic choice that works because it’s true to the source. These are dirty days we’re living in and thanks Sufrbort are here to revel in it and throw themselves raggedly onto the heap with a chaotic punk grace. Set to release their endearingly titled and long-awaited full length debut, Friendship Music, in late October via Cult Records, first single “Pretty Little Fucker” is all nasty swagger and overblown shredding. Opening with the lurching delivery of “everybody’s looking for a hug,” the song quickly devolves into an agitated and defiant groove, the band’s raw punk and hardcore tendencies influencing their anti-social anthem.
SWIRLIES | “Fantastic Trumpets Forever”
There’s a new Swirlies single!! I repeat, there’s a new Swirlies single!! I’m not sure the when the last time you could make that statement was (they’ve quietly released a song or two in the past few years to limited availability, this song actually first appearing on a flexi disc) but this is widely available, Bandcamp and all. As anyone familiar with Swirlies should already know, it’s a miraculous offering of bizarre lo-fi trappings and shoegaze as shoegaze was always meant to be, whirring layers of textured guitar, detuned bliss, and melodies that manage to just nudge their way into being above the cluttered din. It’s a welcoming return to one of the underground’s best bands and their unique approach to longevity.
September 03 - September 09:
ALEXANDER "Capable" | AMY O "Audiotree Live" | AVA LUNA "Moon 2" LP | BEN KATZMAN'S DEGREASER "Too Old For Retail" | THE BERRIES "Security Blues" | BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT "Indians Never Die" | BOREEN "Salt Water Taffy" | CONDUIT "Drowning World" LP | THE CONVENIENCE "Don't Play With Magic" | DAVID BOWIE "Beat Of Your Drum (2018)" | DEEPER "Audiotree Live" | FLASHER "Stereogum Session" | GUERILLA TOSS "Come Up With Me" | THE HOT FLOOD "False Awakenings" | ILSA "Old Maid" | JACQUES LE COQUE "Getaway Car" | JORDAN HOLTZ "Blinders" (Mount Misery Session) | LAKE RUTH & LISTENING CENTER “To Recife” | LOW "Double Negative" LP | MEG BAIRD & MARY LATTIMORE "Painter of Tygers" | MELVINS "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" (Black Sabbath cover) | NOTHING "I Hate The Flowers" | OH SEES "Overthrown" | PEEL DREAM MAGAZINE "Levitating Between 2 Chords" | PETAL "You Got Lucky" (Tom Petty cover) | PILL "Fruit" | PLANET B "Manure Rally" | PLUMS "EP 02" | SEXY DEX AND THE FRESH "Play Me Birdie" | SINGLE MOTHERS "Through A Wall" LP | SNAIL MAIL "Live On KEXP" | SPEEDY ORTIZ "Blood Keeper" (Liz Phair cover) | STATE CHAMPION "Death Preferences" | SWEARIN' "Future Hell" | THOM YORKE "Suspirium" | TY SEGALL "I'm A Man" (Spencer Davis Group cover) | UNHOLY TWO "Zero Tolerance" | UPPER WILDS "Mars" | VALUE VOID "Teen For Him" | WINDHAND "Diablerie" | YOB "Original Face"
September 10 - september 16:
A DEER A HORSE “Double Wide“ | ADRIANNE LENKER “Symbol“ | AXIS: SOVA “Dodger“ | BAMBARA “Monument“ | BB AND THE BLIPS “Shame Job“ LP | BIG BLISS “Constants“ | BIG MAN “Walkin’ Around Money” EP | BUKE & GASE “Pink Boots“ | BUKE & GASE “No Land“ | DEN-MATE “XOSO“ | DWELLER “Running” | EMMA RUTH RUNDLE “Light Song“ | EXPLODED VIEW “Dark Stains“ | FAILURE “The Furthest Thing” EP | FUCKED UP “House of Keys“ | HEN OGLEDD “Problem Child“ | ILLUMINATI HOTTIES “Cuff” | J FERNANDEZ “Unwind” | JEAN GRAE & QUELLE CHRIS “My Contribution To This Scam“ | LALA LALA “Dove“ | LIARS “Total 3 Part Saga“ | LOW “Rome (Always In The Dark)“ | MARBLED EYE “Leisure“ LP | MICROWAVES “To Activate” | MOANING LISA “Comfortable“ | MONOBODY “Former Islands“ | NICE LIFE “Afternoon In Restigné” | OPTIONS “Vivid Trace“ LP | RYAN VON GONTEN “In No Sense” | THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE “Hypnic Jerks” | SUPER UNISON “Parts Unknown“ | THE WEATHER STATION “I Tried To Wear The World“ (feat. Jennifer Castle) | WILDHONEY “Naive Castle“
September 17 - September 23:
180DB “Road Trip“ (feat. Meredith Graves & Nick Zinner) | A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS “Execution“ | ACTION BRONSON “White Bronco“ | ALAIN JOHANNES TRIO “Luna A Sol“ (feat. Mike Patton) | ALL BOY/ALL GIRL “Bomb“ | AMYL & THE SNIFFERS “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)“ | APOLLO BROWN & JOELL ORTIZ “Timberlan’d Up“ (feat. Royce Da 5’9”) | BIG UPS “Live on KEXP” | CHRIS CORNELL “When Bad Does Good“ | DAD “Road Soda” | DRUG CHURCH “Strong References“ | EX-GOLD “E-X-E-P-1-4” EP | FOOTINGS “American Beers” | FOOTINGS “Scrape Across The State” | GONG GONG GONG “Siren“ | IAN SWEET “Spit“ | IDLE BLOOM “Seeping In” | J MASCIS “Everything She Said“ | L.A. WITCH “Baby In Blue Jeans“ | LENS MOZER “Cut My Heart In Two“ | PAT THOMAS “Are You Okay” | SHARKS’ TEETH “Orlando’s Bloom (Sampler)” | TOM PETTY “Gainesville“ | WARM DRAG “Sleepover“ | ZULA “Stepping“