The Fresh & Onlys are from California, and the opening song
of their debut album is called ‘Summer Of Love’, but don’t break out the
Beach Boys comparisons just yet – this opening volley, for a
start, sounds like
The Stone Roses playing a Doors song at the bottom of a swimming pool.
Yes, it’s a record suffused with jangly melody, and it has a distinctly
vintage sound in terms of both instrumentation and production,
but there’s a lot more here.
Standout tune ‘Waterfall’ (not a Stone Roses reference) has an infectious bass hook and some classic, simple solos, while the cowboy pop of ‘Until The End Of Time’ recalls Calexico.
The songs come thick and fast – sweet, simple hits of melody with rough edges; the first half of ‘Play It Strange’
hooks you in, while the second half hypnotises you with some woozy vibrations. Play it lots.
On ‘Dance While You Shoot’ the combination of intricately-layered electronics and teeth-rattling beats bring to mind the work of Fatima Al
Qadiri or recent Warp-signing Lafawndah, while Erez’s commanding spoken-word vocals boast all the combative swagger and insouciant
self-possession of M.I.A. Catchier still is ‘Off The Radar’, its irresistible
groove driven by typewriter-effect percussion, doomy sub bass and a
Sylvan Esso-ish vocal loop that scans, “Hear me? No-one sees me, I’m off
the radar”, all topped off with a fantastic,
oboe-effect riff. Lyrically, it tackles “technology and what it does to the individual”, specifically, “How confused we are as a generation
because of social media,” and, “How we build our identity online and how
much control we have
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