The Fresh & Only’s continue to knock out material with frantic
regularity and clout, their LP, EP and 7” tally since forming in 2008
easily rivaling that of a band formed ten years earlier.
Thankfully, they aren’t running out of ideas either, taking the poptinged elements of ‘Play It Strange’ and transmuting themselves into a
group capable of writing fullblown pop nuggets.
The garage-y, guitar beach swamp tone is still apparent, but this time it is also joined by more heavy slabs of keys and synths that radiate and
permeate throughout the record.Fresh
This further inclusion paired with the group’s ever-meticulous and
values has seen a clear transformation and development, flowering into a group capable of stretching further afield.
‘Long Slow Dance’ is testament to this growth, proving to be a glorious slice of guitar pop.
Broadly, the songs fall into two categories.
One finds Hoop purr, drowsy and laconic, over atmospheric, meditative,
almost pagan-sounding processionals, in
which muffled drums and backing vocals rise through the track as if emerging from some dusty basement: lead single ‘Shoulder Charge’
offers a cathartic sense of togetherness, as Hoop insists “empathy’s
contagious” with a hymnal serenity, and ‘Passages End’ is a slinking and
deceptively heavy piece whose superficially simple melody is cast in pleasingly disarming timbral and harmonic surroundings.
The other adopts a more bucolic tone, full of sinister fairytale storytelling,
proverbs and prophecies, Hoop’s singing becoming more songbird than forest creature,
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