Despite only forming a couple years ago, when Amoeba clerks Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin began a home-recording and songwriting partnership, the Fresh & Onlys have already amassed a sizable catalog. With two full-length slabs already released and a third in the can, a cassette for Fuck It, and a handful of 7-inches for a reputable bunch of imprints, the band is prolific as all get-all. What’s more impressive, however, is the quality-level of it all, with nary a trace of shit or shinola. Moreover, while one can detect the influence of time spent imbibing the Gun Club’s spaghetti goth and plenty of prime psych platters, the Fresh & Onlys live up to their nomenclature by spilling out cut after cut of ripened ruckus.
The newest of the band’s releases is a six-song EP for Captured Tracks entitled August in My Mind. And like its predecessors, this one further cements the Fresh & Onlys’ reputation for doing no wrong. It begins atop a precipice of glazed guitar—one that keeps pushing skyward while still tethered to another six-string full of jingle-jangle. With lyrics about stars and such, it evokes a twilight hour, which is equally reflected in the sharp depth-of-field of the music, each ringing guitar node sending off sparks in relief.
This kind of parallelism is also reflected in “Dreamin’ Is Easy,” which breezes by like an afternoon visage, a beautiful haze that fades as quickly as it drifted in. However, it’s “Knowin’ to Wander” and the title track that are the EP’s centerpieces, both figuratively and literally. Culled from deep pools of reverb, both songs give off an airy coolness that’s again evocative of some moonlight drive (without any Morrisonian schmaltziness). “August in My Mind,” especially, conjures a sonic oasis, a shangri-la of shimmery background coos and bent six-string reverberations.
“Garbage Collector” could have just as well been this feasting’s leftover, but instead the Fresh & Onlys stamp a tambourine and snare shuffle to a kiwi-flavored melody to craft a jiffy pop nugget. The EP’s final act, “Save Your Soul,” is bit more rambunctious than the rest of the record, and yet there’s something menacing amidst its minor key and fuzz. The whole of August in My Mind only lasts for about a couple beers, but it’s what will get you pickled.