The Fresh & Onlys – “Sunglasses” (Stereogum Premiere)
San Francisco rockers the Fresh & Onlys are releasing an Early Years Anthology that works as a sort of counterpart to their 2008 self-titled debut. It will be out at the end of August via John Dwyer’s Castle Face Records. In honor of the collection, Dwyer, who is also a member of fellow San Francisco rock band Thee Oh Sees, wrote some poetic, nostalgic liner notes about the period, which you can read below.
These were carefree times.
We were young enough to put our bodies to the test every night on the 7 x 7 mile patch of the bay
The endless wars seemed less at home
Songs were hanging off the branches heavy, plump and threatening to rot on the vine if they weren’t polished and put to tape
The band was on their 3rd live drummer but the line up in The Fresh & Onlys recording tower was a consistent group of pop soldiers writing, working, and whiling away the hours
A beeramid of cheap cans, endless dope smokery and a pretty strong vibe of dudes who would play together into oblivion.
Tape spilling over itself
Drum kit covered in mufflers
A chest of shitty percussion toys
Lots of ideas and multiple secret weapons at their disposal:
Shayde Sartin: the beast from out east, the thud of a heavy slow bomb…the best bass player in the bay
Unaccredited infinite times on records that were made better by his finely crafted skills.
I can pick him out on records instantly.
Wymond “the count”: you can almost smell his hair on his hooks
If there was a stage monitor in your living room his fence-climber boot would be on it
Wymond always had the riff that made the jets of the song take off.
Listen and you’ll see what I mean
Tim Cohen: the man behind the beard
Some would say the leader. In the game as long as Bette Midler
Cohen writes great songs in his sleep I think
Once referred to by a buddy as “like 3 weirdos in one”
Think of these as basement tapes, a companion to the first F+Os castle face release (which itself deserves another listen)
I remember watching some of these tunes get banged out live in a sweat pit in Oakland
The sound guy so gacked out that there was no sound guy basically
ah memories…” John Dwyer, Feb 16th 2015
The first song the band have chosen to share off the anthology is called “Sunglasses,” and its fuzzy, faintly psychedelic buzz certainly fits in with what Dwyer reminisces on above. Listen.
Early Years Anthology will be out 8/31 along with their debut LP The Fresh & Onlys’ return to print via Castle Face Records.