The Fresh & Onlys are back with a new EP called Soothsayer, due September 24 on Mexican Summer and it finds The Fresh & Onlys in an odd place. Transitioning from a once hard-hitting rock band into one with some depth, the band presents three louder songs, and three softer ones. This is a band far removed from the days of Play it Strange — even further from Grey-Eyed Girls — and somewhat a progression of what the band built off last year’s Long Slow Dance.
I found LSD to be a giant leap forward in the band’s maturity, without foregoing their gut desire to rock as proven by the six-minute epic “Foolish Person”. Soothsayer continues this path for The Fresh & Onlys. The title track, “Soothsayer”, is the obvious single: catchy, upbeat, memorable.
“God of Suez” follows, noticeably softer and with a hint of jangle and plenty of shuffle. On “Forest Down Annie”, The Fresh & Onlys tighten the reigns even more. Somewhat minimal — especially in volume — the band places emphasis on delicacy in melody, vocals and production. This continues again on “Glass Bottom Boat”, but less successfully. Closer “Deluge of War” is perhaps among the odder of tracks by this band. It features a male/female chorus and a melody carried by saxophone.
I quite enjoy Soothsayer. It works well as an EP, but ultimately leaves you longing for that OH WOW moment you get with previous tracks like “Foolish Person”. This is no surprise: I was at first somewhat unsure about Long Slow Dance yet it ultimately became one of my top three albums of 2012. I expect this EP to follow suit.
Head over to Mexican Summer to listen to the Soothsayer title track and pre-order the 12″ EP.
Above photo by David Uzzardi.