BY TIM HINELY
On their first records since 2012’s Long Slow Dance San Francisco pop psychers Fresh & Onlys continue on their path of a moodier sort of pop music that they began on said record. Oh sure their first two full-lengths, 2009’s Grey-Eyed Girls and 2010’s Play It Strange (both very good as well) hinted at this more otherworldly, laid-back sound, but those records had gobs more energy, too.
Which isn’t to say that less energy is a bad thing. It’s not. Leader Tim Cohen and his unkempt cohorts seem to have found this perfect groove where fuzz, jangle and eerie kind airiness all come together and make love (and scare away the ghosts). Apparently Cohen wrote the record while hanging out in the desert in Arizona and that’s not surprising when you hear the songs.
Right from the start, “Home Is Where?” wakes up halfway through with its first shot of coffee while the more straightforward “Who Let the Devil” offers some of Cohen’s weirdest lyrics ever (saying a lot). They kick it up a notch on the rockin’ “Hummingbird” and bring the reverb on “April Fools.” Also, don’t miss the gorgeous “Candy” tucked near the end.
Cohen and company (including underrated guitarist Wymond Miles) seem to be in a spot where the focus is perfect (despite the haze) and they know exactly what they want and how to achieve it. These 12 songs can work individually or as a whole, depending on your mood and in the end they’ve done it again, one of 2014’s best.
DOWNLOAD: “Home Is Where?,” “Who Let the Devil,” “”Bells of Paonia,” “Hummingbird,” “Candy”