The Fresh & Onlys share new MP3, tour with The Ohsees

The Fresh & Onlys

New MP3! : The Fresh & Onlys – “Dude’s Got A Tender Heart”

MP3: The Fresh & Onlys – “Invisible Forces”

When Tim Cohen told Shayde Sartin he was writing a song called “Be My Hooker,” the Fresh & Onlys bassist looked at the singer/guitarist and said… “‘There’s no way we’re gonna have a song with that title, dude,'” explains Sartin. “But sure enough, he laid a riff down and I was like, ‘Jesus Christ, I can’t believe you pulled something meaningful out of such a stupid line.'”

Welcome to the push/pull dynamic that’s fueled the Fresh & Onlys’ steady stream of releases over the past year, including last spring’s self-titled LP (Castle Face) and this fall’s Grey-Eyed Girls (Woodsist). And to think it all started the old-fashioned way-with Sartin and Cohen simply hanging out after work, playing their favorite punk (Buzzcocks, The Mekons) and classic rock (Country Joe and the Fish, cued up alongside slabs of psych from the group’s homebase, San Francisco) records alongside a growing collection of empty beer cans.

“I can’t really explain what happened or why,” says Sartin. “I guess we listened to records until we were on the same page, and from that point on, we never stopped recording.” As simple as all of that sounds, the duo first bought a tape machine five years ago. When that failed to produce any concrete cuts, Cohen focused on his previous avant-pop band, Black Fiction, and Sartin split his time between session and live work for such bands as the Skygreen Leopards, Papercuts and Citay. Not to mention his close friend Kelley Stoltz, who ended up releasing the first Fresh & Onlys 7″ (the limited Imaginary Friends EP) in early 2008.

With so much music hitting shops in such a short time (Sartin says the band already has boxes of backlogged tapes), you might think the Fresh & Onlys camp have a problem with quality control. Quite the contrary; Sartin and Cohen are very careful about what they release. And while the duo writes and records the band’s songs, the arrangements are usually fleshed out with guitarist Wymond Miles, drummer Kyle Gibson, and backup singer Heidi Alexander. “If we take a song into the studio or a live setting and it doesn’t have wings,” says Sartin, “Then we just ditch it and keep the charming demo version.” The final mix of Grey-Eyed Girls sounds like a natural bridge between the raucous garage rock of the group’s debut and the full-on studio record they plan on wrapping for In the Red later this year. That goes for the galloping grooves of “Happy To Be Living,” the shadowy post-punk of “Invisible Forces,” and the firework finale freak-outs that drive “The Delusion of Man.” Not to mention a stack of hook-slinging tracks that nix any ‘shitgaze’ assumptions you may have. “We’re not trying to hide melodies or do the blown-out thing,” says Sartin. “A lot of those bands are great, but I don’t want to ever cater to what’s popular. It’s not that I’m being reactionary; we’re just trying to make recordings that are as rich and ear-friendly as possible.”

It’s working.

THE FRESH & ONLYS

Sep 21 – House Party Provo, Utah *
Sep 22 – Larimer Lounge Denver, Colorado *
Sep 23 – Jack Pot Saloon Lawrence, Kansas *
Sep 24 – Goner Fest 8 Memphis, Tennessee
Sep 26 – Uncle Fester’s Bloomington, Indiana *
Sep 27 – Schubas Tavern Chicago, Illinois *
Sep 28 – Cactus Club Milwaukee, WI *
Sep 29 – Brass Rail Ft. Wayne, Indiana *
Sep 30 – Magic Stick Detroit, Michigan *
Oct 01 – Wrong Bar Toronto, Ontario *
Oct 02 – Antenne-A Festival Quebec City, QC *
Oct 03 – Pop Montreal Fest – La Sala Rossa Montreal, Quebec *
Oct 05 – The Dark Lady Providence, Rhode Island *
Oct 06 – Great Scotts Allston, Massachusetts *
Oct 07 – Wesleyan University Middletown, Connecticut *
Oct 08 – Mercury Lounge New York, New York *
Oct 09 – The Bell House Brooklyn, New York *
Oct 10 – Garfield Artworks Pittsburgh, PA #
Oct 11 – The Hideout Chicago, Illinois #
Oct 12 – Brothers Lounge Omaha, Nebraska #
Oct 13 – Bender’s Denver, Colorado #
Oct 17 – Scion Garage Rock Festival (Someday Lounge) Portland, OR
Oct 18 – Funhouse Seattle, Washington $
Oct 20 – Stork Club Oakland, California $
Oct 21 – Bar Pink Elephant San Diego, California *
Oct 22 – The Echo Los Angeles, California * $
Oct 24 – The Crepe Place Santa Cruz, CA * $
Oct 25 – Bottom of the Hill (Budget Rock Festival) San Francisco, California * $

* = w/ Thee Oh Sees
# = w/ The Box Elders
$ = w/ Dan Melchoir

The Fresh & Onlys
Grey-Eyed Girls
(Woodsist)
Street Date: Sept. 15, 2009

1) Black Coffin
2) Grey-Eyed Girl
3) No Second Guessing
4) What’s His Shadow Still Doing Here
5) Invisible Forces
6) Dude’s Got a Tender Heart
7) D.Y.
8) Happy To Be Living
9) What Goes In Circles
10) I’m Gonna Be Your Elevator
11) Clowns (Took My Baby Away)
12) The Delusion Of Man

THE FRESH & ONLYS LINKS:

Label Page – woodsist.com

MySpace – www.myspace.com/thefreshonlys

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