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.
ESTHER ROSE | “Sex and Magic”
New Orleans’ Esther Rose is getting ready to release her sophomore album, You Made It This Far, in late August via Father/Daughter Records and with nearly two months left to go, we’ve already heard four exceptional singles of Rose’s genuine country tunes (not that “country pop” we’ve been led to believe is important). Her songwriting is full of smokey twang and confident vocals, but it’s the slight inflections (sometimes a single word or melodic phrasing) and natural grace that really makes these songs so incredible. The latest single “Sex and Magic” is a slow front-porch rocker, a ramshackle country tune that’s dreamy and drawn out, like a warbling lullaby from the dust bowl. Accented by howling strings and lap steel, we tumble through Rose’s words like the gentle breeze.
GHOST FUNK ORCHESTRA | “Seven Eight”
Brooklyn’s own masters of retro-soul, Ghost Funk Orchestra, are getting ready to release their latest full length, A Song For Paul, via Colemine Records, the perfect home for the band’s well-crafted music. Led by Seth Applebaum (The Mad Doctors), this is a long way from his garage punk roots, an outlet for him to explore composition, using funk, jazz, soul, and fuzzy guitars to create something akin to a lost Tarantino soundtrack. Ever since I heard “Seven Eight” I’ve been utterly obsessed. The song’s swinging rhythms and Romi Hanoch’s drifting vocals sweep over the orchestral structures that bounce with retro bliss and modern skronk. It’s as infectious a song as you can hope to hear this summer, and their album has catapulted to one of our most anticipated.
KAZU | “Meo”
Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino is getting ready to release her first solo album, Adult Baby, as KAZU, due out in September. Drawing upon her work in Blonde Redhead while venturing into new territory and collaborating with new musicians, her album is breathtaking in its wide-open and serene scope, a world where haunting pop, experimental electronic, beautiful prog, and sweeping orchestral elements all blend seamlessly together. “Meo,” the album’s second single is a great example, as Makino’s stunning voice takes center stage over stark keys, flute, and baritone guitar. The song’s empty spaces seem to serve as much a part of the song as the music that fills it in. “Meo” eventually bursts wide open with a staggering drumbeat from Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, moving the beautiful reflections into a tense crescendo, before gracefully floating back.
INUS | “Time Is A Person”
Hold on to your anus, it’s time for INUS, aka The Institute for Navigating the Universal Self. Led by The Locust’s Bobby Bray (guitar/vocals), together with Brandon Relf (drums) and Chad Deal (bass), the trio will release their exceptionally titled debut album, Western Spaghettification, on August 9th via Three One G. Gloriously mangled and deranged, INUS take a hyper-active look into corporate malaise and dead-inside institutionalism, with a jerky and erratic approach to deconstructed punk and serrated noise rock. “Time Is A Person,” the album’s second single, is a great introduction to anyone thinking about joining INUS, a warped and melted polyrhythmic masterpiece that grinds and skips, running around like a chicken with its head cut off. The vocals, processed and alien, ripple in-between waves of noise, a falsetto so pinched it no longer resembles humanity.
MANEKA | “My Queen”
Brooklyn’s Maneka truly excel at making punk in their own alien form. There really isn’t anything that sounds quite like them, from the frantic beats (sometimes human, sometimes courtesy of drum machine Fuzzy Dunlop Jr) to Devin McKnight’s often warped vocal melodies, everything about is testing the fabric of punk and pushing it to new reality. On “My Queen,” the second single from Devin (due out later this month), McKnight is joined by former bandmate and frequent collaborator Sadie Dupuis, who harmonize over a relentless blast beat about ancient aliens. McKnight’s guitar playing is undeniably stunning as he tears his way out of the hook like a tsunami of blistering fuzz and sludge, echoing a path of destruction that swarms even as the chorus returns. It’s a sweet song that’s undeniably melodic, but it doesn’t come easy, and that’s what’s so great about it. This is challenging music with an ultimate payoff, a sonic freakout that unveils itself like watching the sun rise for the first time.
OPERATOR MUSIC BAND | “Slim Spin”
Brooklyn’s own Operator Music Band are getting ready to release their latest album, Duo Duo, this September, their first “official” full length (depending on how you look at things). Still firmly rooted in futurism, funk, krautrock, and warped post-punk, the band continue to find that sweet spot that keeps them among the best of their craft. Their sound is clean and labored over, everything fitting perfectly in place, each decision benefiting the next as they glide between explosive synths and motorik hypnosis. Lead single “Slim Spin” works the chemistry between the band’s Dara Hirsch and Jared Hiller as they trade quick lyrical darts back and forth amid warbling synths that scrunch and bounce around their heightening atmosphere and the utterly remarkable rhythm courtesy of Gabe Pittleman (bass) and the ever incredible Alejandro Salazar Dyer (drums). The song whirs and blooms, opening to a swell before dipping back into a caustic boogie and the repeated mantra “now we don’t see it”.
PARSNIP | “Lift Off”
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of premiering Parsnip’s then new video “Feeling Small” and we’ve been hooked ever since. The Melbourne quartet (whose members all play in Hierophants and Bananagun) are ready to release their full length debut, When The Tree Bears Fruit, next month via Trouble In Mind and Anti Fade (AUS), a great collection of warm pop songs that range from shimmering four part harmony twee to light and breezy post-punk, each song radiating its own charm. Led single “Lift Off” falls closer to the former, an enormous hook song that once again finds the band making a seemingly sad song sound overtly joyous. It’s a wonderful way to look at things, painting misery in a light that is nearly blinding. The song’s hooks stick like glue, each jangly section its own earworm of warm psych and inescapable vocal harmonies.
PET FOX | “Swerving”
It’s been less than a year since Boston’s Pet Fox released their debut album, but for the band - Jesse Weiss (Palehound), Theo Hartlett (Ovlov), and Morgan Luzzi (Ovlov) it’s felt like a lifetime. The three ever gifted and eagerly prolific musicians are set to release Rare Occasion, their sophomore album, next week and the album’s first single “Swerving” is all the introduction we need. Just barely over a minute in length, Pet Fox compact a galaxy of intricate fuzz pop and tightly wound art rock into place, with shifting polyrhythms, bright harmonics, and Hartlett’s gorgeous vocal melody. The songs twists and turns, spinning on its own axis, careful not to disconnect from their structural progression, all the while staying firmly rooted in a tangled web of pop splendor.
PHILARY | “I Complain” LP
The thing about this Philary record is that it rips real hard and thankfully, it never lets up. I Complain, the full length debut from Alex Molini’s (Pile, Stove, Jackal Onasis) solo project is an outpouring of emotional heft, but rather than make a sour drag of an album, he’s chosen to bury those feelings in deep distortion, feedback, and primal sludge. In under twenty minutes, Molini tears from one quick burst of brutal fuzz and deviant pop to the next, each song rattling into the next with enough sonic dirt to keep the sentiments in place and provide an outlet for them to unravel in catharsis. It’s a real gem from a musician that has long been one of Exploding In Sound’s most reliable presences, a record that’s less concerned with what’s happening around itself and more concerned with exercising all that weighs on its conscience. This little ripper is here to tangle.
THANK | “Think Less”
If you’ve been paying attention, you know by now that pretty much all the greatest and most forward thinking noise rock bands of this era come from Leeds. I don’t make the rules, it’s just a fact. Case in point, Thank, a brutally deranged band that mixes krautrock and experimental electronic music into their caterwauling punk, reforming noise rock with robotic grooves and manipulated synths. It shouldn’t work but on 2017’s Sexghost Hellscape EP, it worked its magic to create one of the most promising debuts we’ve heard. Freddy Vinehill-Cliffe’s (also of Beige Palace) vocals are perfectly slurred and sarcastic, our favorite stammering lyrical sprawl we’ve heard since discovering Blacklisters all those years ago. Set to release their sophomore EP, Please, in October via Buzzhowl Records, Thank’s first single “Think Less” expands on the electronic funhouse vibes of their debut, souring the colorful aura with brilliantly bemoaned lyrics, “Baby, I’m feeling fucking worthless, tied to a chair I’m told that great works of art have come from my suffering, that is for the greater good and the future of music.” It’s so bitingly sardonic that even as the punch lines follow every word stings in it’s own genre pushing glory. Thank (the band) may never become a household name, but in 2019 they are undeniably making the most exciting noise rock around.
THE APPLESEED CAST “The Journey“ | BIG K.R.I.T. “Addiction“ (feat. Lil Wayne & Saweetie) | BLEACHED “Rebound City“ | BOOJI BOYS “Tube Reducer” LP | CEREMONY “Turn Away The Bad Thing” | CULT LEADER “A Patient Man“ | FLORIST “Time Is A Dark Feeling“ | GASH + DIVINE CRUSH “Split” EP | GRAND VAPIDS “Glassing Out” | GREY HAIRS “Tory Nurse” | HALSHUG “Kӕmper Imod“ | HIGH COMMAND “Visions From The Blade” | HORSE JUMPER OF LOVE “So Divine” LP | HOVVDY & LOMELDA “Covers” EP | INUS “Kajillions and Bazillions“ | JOELL ORTIZ “Learn You“ (feat. Big K.R.I.T.) | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD “Organ Farmer“ | LILY KONIGSBERG “To Hold It” | MOON DUO “Stars Are The Light“ | MULTICULT “Grieflex” | NOMAD STONES “True Ability” | NOTS “Audiotree Session” | OH SEES “Henchlock“ | ONA “Golden Highway Deserter” | POPPIES “Politician“ | PROTO IDIOT “I Like To Think“ | PURPLE MOUNTAINS “Margaritas at the Mall” | SAUL WILLIAMS “Experiment” | SOFT BLUE SHIMMER “Nothing Happens Here“ EP | SUMMER CANNIBALS “Behave” | SWEET BABY JESUS “Restless Angel” | THANKS FOR COMING “Don’t Wanna Be Here At All” | TIJUANA PANTHERS “You Died“ | TORCHE “Admission” | TRASH KIT “Sunset“ | US WEEKLY “Skinny” | UZEDA “Soap” | WET LEATHER “Party“ | WHELPWISHER “Good Fortune” EP
ADIR L.C. “Best Version (Of My Short Life)“ | ALEX C “The Purple Tape” EP | DEAF CLUB “Bright Side of Death” | DELICATE BOYS “Big Shot“ | DUSTER “Interstellar Tunnel” | FRENCH VANILLA “Real or Not“ | LONG BEARD “Sweetheart“ | MEAT WAVE “War on War” (Wilco cover) | MEGA BOG “The Lagniappe Sessions“ | MOANING LISA “Take You Out“ | MODERN NATURE “Footsteps“ | PARDONER “Playin’ On A Cloud” | PEAER “Don’t” | PINK MEXICO “Dirty & Stupid“ | PURLING HISS “Interstellar Blue” | RIDE “Repetition” | SILVERBACKS “Pink Tide” | TERRY “Bizzo & Tophat” | TORCHE “Admission” | TY SEGALL “Radio“ | UNIFORM & THE BODY “Penance“ | VARIOUS ARTISTS “Riffs For Reproductive Justice” LP | WESTSIDE GUNN “Flygod Is An Awesome God” LP | ZIP-TIE HANDCUFFS “The Larch”