Posts Tagged ‘Sinderlyn’

The Fresh & Onlys

Time sneaks up on you in funny ways. It seems like the age in which Fresh & Only constantly had another single, EP or album kicking around the corner was just a moment ago, and then the calendar reminds you it’s been three years since their last release. Now the interim has been stocked with sidepiece sendups from both of the core members, but there’s something to the spark in the room when Tim Cohen and Wymond Miles get together. They bounce ebullience through experience to recapture the immediacy of their early work, then balance it with the sophistication and nuance of their last two records.

Following Long Slow Dance’s heightened pop realty – a dose of literate rock shot through with dashes of new wave sheen, pulsating under the PAR cans in true rock glory – they doused themselves in a shroud of atmosphere for House of Spirits. The cloud shaded in the crevices of their often craggy creations and it tended to sand smooth some of the splinters that stuck hardest with the listener. For the most part, they drop the curtain of gauze for Wolf Lie Down, creating an album that’s neither pop perfection nor ephemeral puzzle. Instead it’s the band working their rawest nerves with a grace that embraces their years behind the microphones and in front of constant expectations.

They hang the album on their strongest single in a very long time, the blistering “Impossible Man,” a song that’s as close to the nerve of indie rock’s promise as you’re likely to get. It’s a huge hook, bigger than they’ve mounted since the Long Slow Dance era, but tracked with the grit of their early one-off singles. Part of me wishes that they’d gone all in on this aesthetic for an album. While I love the philandering aesthete visions that round out the rest of the album – the ghost town growl of “Becomings,” the Sunday slink of “Walking Blues,” and the hallelujah haze of “Qualm of Innocence” – it’s the fire I’m craving. Between the title track and “Impossible Man” there exists a promise of bombast waiting to happen, an explosion muted by good intentions, but muted nonetheless. I want them to loosen the spines of their literate tendencies and just embrace the power line hooks that lie in wait inside them. If it takes another three years, I’ll be here. I’m a patient soul.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Fresh & Onlys – “Impossible Man”

Stripping down to their core for this record, Tim Cohen and Wymond Miles continue to be consistent muses to each other, pushing their collaborative work harder than ever before. The latest single off of their upcoming Wolf Lie Down is one of their most driving and insistent songs in a long time. The band’s always benefited from framing Cohen’s lyrics in a lush backdrop of Miles’ alt-psych, making them heir apparent to the College Rock kingdom. As they grew legs, they pushed their sound out of the garage roots that birthed them and ventured well into lusher pastures, leaving their last album, House of Spirits, awash in a tangle of textures. Now, they return to a bit of the bite that anchored Long Slow Dance, bringing along the lessons learned and lived on Spirits. This one reminds me of the gnarled version of “Vanishing Cream” from the band’s excellent single on Plastic Spoons (a gem if you find one to pick up). Suffice it to say that, in that respect, “Impossible Man” ranks as one of the band’s most enduring hooks and a peek at what feels like a real jump forward for the veteran band.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Tim Cohen

Tim Cohen is a prolific voice in the American lexicon of indie rock. Tell me I’m wrong and I’ll slap you twice. Between his output in Fresh & Onlys, solo, and as Magic Trick he’s pretty much always got something dropping on your doormat and the stark reality is that its rarely not worth a tug at your ear. On his latest under his own name, the first time he’s operating as such since 2010, he’s side-stepping his usual pop hangouts once again. The last time he donned his own name and threw it on the marquee of an album cover was for Captured Tracks’ Laugh Tracks, an album that became a springboard into his output as Magic Trick. As that band has taken on its own humid life, it seems that his given name is the preferred moniker for tonal temerity.

On Luck Man he doesn’t take on his usual pop pastures of love, fate, and loss, instead enacting a series of character sketches that take on odd diorama lives of their own. Its a move that could seem like it might invite a discordant album, but Cohen, being Cohen isn’t a typical pop purveyor and his idiosyncrasies have always been the heart of his songwriting. He’s able to lasso the three a.m. anxieties and empty belly feelings and grind them into the kind of satisfying sonic sausage that other songwriters would fumble with self-importance. The songs inhabit lives of their own, still imbued with Cohen’s moody musical sea changes, but hanging their through line on the gnawing raw nerve of bruised confidence amid stark surroundings. Cohen proves that whichever name he puts at the top, the listener is in for a dose of darkness served with just the right ripple of earworm vibes.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments