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House of Spirits

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Editors’ Notes

San Francisco outre-folksters Fresh & Onlys make music that feels blurry and out of focus, in a good way. On their fifth album, they bring their winsome, summery sound into starker contrast and sharper view. “Animal of One”—with its instantly memorable melody, a lazy and dusty guitar sound, and Tim Cohen’s vocals sounding eerily like the early Cure—is one of many moments on House of Spirits that show Fresh & Onlys reaching some kind of apex in what we hope is a long career. “Home Is Where” opens the collection with a raucous burst of guitar, as Cohen howls “nothing compares to a mouthful of lies/Don’t make me eat them alone.” Its mournful, insistent melody is instantly embedded in the brain. “Bells of Paonia” wafts solemnly on a raft of naval-gazing guitar distortion, with Cohen plaintively and prettily asking “Who’s gonna empty me out?” in a way that evokes a church hymnal. There's much to love in House of Spirits; it may be the album fans didn’t know they were waiting for.

Customer Reviews

Outstanding Album

While some may be put off by the general departure from upbeat tempo relative to previous offerings, this album is a rewarding listen. Reverb drenched vocals are forefront. Some great tunes here... best heard with a good pair of headphones.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in San Francisco , CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Fresh & Onlys started out as a collaboration between frontman Tim Cohen (Black Fiction) and bassist Shayde Sartin, who started putting songs together in 2004. The Fresh & Onlys' lineup eventually expanded to include Kyle Gibson, Wymond Miles, and Heidi Alexander (who soon left the band); drawing from a hodgepodge of influences (among them Buzzcocks, the Mekons, and Country Joe MacDonald), the new lineup arrived at a grimy yet sunny pop sound along the lines of Saturday Looks Good to Me...
Full Bio
House of Spirits, The Fresh & Onlys
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Customer Ratings

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Contemporaries