While Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Mikal Cronin et al are busy establishing something of a new golden age for superfuzzed psych-rock in San Francisco, elsewhere in the city the sound of 1980s trenchcoat rock seems to be making an unexpected transatlantic comeback. Sleepy Sun's recent album contained a fair few echo-laden tilts at early U2, and on their fourth full-length, the Fresh & Onlys forge deeper into the shimmering, glassy indie sound they've been working towards for some time. There are still shades of the more traditional, garagey sound of their hometown, too – a surfy twang here; a pretty, paisley flourish there – but it's the gentle boom of Tim Cohen's vocals, hovering at the border between melancholy and cheer, that make Long Slow Dance sound a bit more Cumbria than California. There's airy, hilltop drama in the synths and piano that nestle behind the guitars, too, and on standout songs such as Presence of Mind and rollicking closer Yes Or No, enough songwriting smarts to make a somewhat unlikely stylistic journey well worth the trip.
The Fresh & Onlys: Long Slow Dance – review