Pfarmers – “Red Vermin”

Made up of Danny Seim (Menomena), Bryan Devendorf (The National), and horn player Dave Nelson (Sufjan Stevens, David Byrne & St. Vincent), Pfarmers have the kind of indie-rock credibility that set expectations impossibly high from fans of those respective projects. Joint ventures with this much built-in legacy often falter under the weight of their musical baggage, because no matter how hard anyone tries, no one can write a song as good as the “Bloodbuzz Chicago” of our collective imagination. That’s why Pfarmers is such a sigh of relief — because for once our expectations weren’t thwarted. Pfarmers were as good as we imagined they would be.

The band released their awesome debut LP Gunnera last May and are already preparing to put out their follow-up Our Puram next month. The new album was inspired by Seim’s departure from Portland, his hometown since birth, and is led by the delightfully grand lead single “Red Vermin.”

The track is bright and buoyant, but with the same left-of-center rhythms that have defined the best Menomena-affiliated work to date. Sustained electric guitars, oscillating buzzsaw synths, and reverberating piano refractions are all expertly wielded by the trio of songwriters, who shape an original sonic identity whilst still highlighting the strengths of their respective alternate gigs. By the end there are also some absolutely titanic horns on top of delicately twinkling guitar, because long live indie rock. Listen below.

Our Puram tracklist:

01 “97741”
02 “Tour Guide”
03 “Red Vermin”
04 “You’re With Us”
05 “Sheela”
06 “The Commune”
07 “Osho Rising”
08 “Our Puram”

Our Puram is out 8/12 via Joyful Noise. Pre-order it here.