The Fresh & Onlys
At this point, its not uncommon knowledge that you should be anticipating each new move from The Fresh & Onlys, but it certainly bears repeating. The band's latest long player is steeped in their tangled, and now widescreen sonic vision. The last album was bent on pinpointing the walk-up and fall down of love; this one seems to have lodged itself into that moment between dreaming and wakefulness, a place that seems somehow more apt than any for The Fresh & Onlys. Tim Cohen's lyrics paint unsettling portraits of realizing your home may not be all you thought, a sort of paradise lost that's underpinned with some of the band's best musical moments; buzzing static giving way to velvet synth textures and the kind of choruses that hit you like a cool breeze. The rest of their touchstones remain firmly ingrained in the record, the subtle hand of psych, the high desert twang of Morricone that showed its head on Soothsayer, the new wave feel that ties them to memories of high school loves, its all there in perfect balance. The band has a way with never over indulging in an influence, they know when to lean in and when to back off and let the song's heart lead rather than affected styles. Its an incredibly strong follow-up to The Long Slow Dance and proof as usual that this is a band for the long haul, still making albums for albums' sake for those of us who think that's a great idea.
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