The Fresh & Onlys | A Review of Long Slow Dance

A quartet from California called The Fresh & Onlys are set to release their fourth album called Long Slow Dance. The band’s previous work has been more within the realm of low-fi psychedelic rock and although there are musical elements that hold fast to that style, this new album has a more refined sound.  Less background distortion and more smooth tones populate this new album, though the band still has a throwback style which calls to mind great acts such as Joy Division, New Order and sometimes even The Ramones.

 You can also tell that they have a real sense of how to write tight pop songs, loaded with compelling lyrical hooks and driven background percussion and synth.  One of the tracks, Presence of Mind has a breezy guitar portion and an occasional dose of synth percussion. Dream Girls takes on the idea of idealized women, how they ruin lives and have the run of the world while remaining completely intangible. The entire track has a hazy lighthearted pop song quality to it which is just very well done and is more reminiscent of the previous work.   The title track, Long Slow Dance, has vocal elements similar to what James Mercer from The Shins leans towards, however because it’s matched with a musical style that has very little in common with the now passé mid-00s brand of indie music, it allows the track to take on a stylistic identity of its own.     

Every once and a while a band releases an album that has a quality to it that makes it utterly listenable. Each track on Long Slow Dance has enough stylistic pull to allow individual songs to shine but result in a complete work that stands out among other recent albums. The Fresh & Onlys may have created one of the better albums to have come out so far this year with Long Slow Dance.  

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