The Fresh & Onlys: “Presence Of Mind”
Commenting on the band’s sound, someone once told the Fresh & Onlys, “It sounds like every song is a different band.” To this San Francisco four-piece, that’s a big compliment. Since 2008, the group has gradually evolved from its punk roots into a formidable pop outfit, with detours along the way into garage rock and psychedelia. The band just released its fourth album, Long Slow Dance, its most comprehensive statement to date.
The Fresh & Onlys like to keep a steady pace. Each year sees a new album or EP, and the various band members have their own side and solo projects. But all this work means constant musical momentum which carries the Fresh & Onlys into interesting directions. They’ve nominally been lumped into San Francisco’s burgeoning garage rock scene, touring with peers like Thee Oh Sees and self-recording much of their work.
Long Slow Dance, however, is a big step forward for the young band. They opted for a high-end studio this time around to fully capture their melodic ideas. Even with the pop hooks swirling around, a sense of melancholy weaves in and out. The album’s standout track, “Presence Of Mind,” wouldn’t sound out of place beaming from 1980s England. Leave it to such a restless band to create something that’s equally restless and yearning.