December 18 — “Presence of Mind” by The Fresh & Onlys

The Fresh and Onlys

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Presence of Mind” by The Fresh & Onlys (2012, from the album Long Slow Dance).

The Fresh & Onlys are a San Fransisco-based indie rock quartet. They’ve released five albums and a couple of EPs since 2008, including this year’s Long Slow Dance. They’re usually referred to as garage rock or as some variation of psychedelic rock. I’ll admit that I know nothing about them. In fact, I’d never heard of them until I got one of those “don’t forget about this list of 2012 albums” from a record promotions company.

I can’t quite place a finger on what the album reminds me of. It has a bit of a late 1990s vibe, and a bit of a British vibe, but I’d stop short of saying that it sounds like Brit-pop.The band themselves insist that they’re influenced as much by punk as they are by the 1960s psychedelic rock, but that doesn’t really show up in their music.

They’ve put out an album every year, and they plan to keep that pace going. They also plan to continue to tour extensively. They say the same thing that a lot of other bands will say: It’s easy to write songs on the road. New songs are often inspired by the road even if they’re not about the road, per se.

One semi-interesting tidbit about Long Slow Dance is that the album was recorded using the same 16-track two-inch reel-to-reel machine that Warren Zevon used in the recording of his legendarily cheesy single “Werewolves of London” in 1978. Some trivia about that song: Mick Fleetwood and John McVie from Fleetwood Mac played on that record.

Anyway, here’s today’s song.

“Presence of Mind” by The Fresh & Onlys

Right away, there’s a bit for me to like. A jangly acoustic guitar. Tuned percussion. Hushed vocals washed in effects.

At the end, it’s got that 1970s made-for-AM radio fade out at the end. It’s got a lot of retro qualities and a tiny bit of modern quality. It’s not normally my cup of tea, but I dig this song.

You can get Long Slow Dance from the Mexican Summer Records web store here.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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