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A Retrospective Look at Animal of One by The Fresh & Onlys

I’ve been crushing on The Fresh & Onlys since their widely heralded 2009 LP Grey-Eyed Girls. (Hard to believe that it’s almost been a decade since that release.) A year later, Play it Strange would become one of my favorite sleeper albums of the year.

However, it wasn’t until two years later that they were cemented as one of my favorite bands. Long Slow Dance is a mainstay in my collection and on my playlist.

Two years later, as FensePost was rapidly winding down into hiatus mode, this post was started. That’s two-and-a-half years of remaining dormant, waiting.

But The Fresh & Onlys did not follow suit, at least as far as my vinyl collection is concerned. They remained atop my chart of regularly listened-to bands. And that includes the 2014 LP House of Spirits. In particular, key single “Animal of One” has become a favorite of mine.

The Fresh & Onlys Animal of One Single Instagram by @fense

In addition to House of Spirits, the band also released a single for “Animal of One” back in 2014, my copy of which is pictured above. Since then, the extent of their new content has been nil; a compilation of early recordings dropped in 2015 and the band seemed to disappear a bit, as far as new material is concerned.

(Though frontman Tim Cohen’s Magik Trick and guitarist Wymond Miles’ solo projects have both been quite active.)

Before they, too, wound down in the year 2014, The Fresh & Onlys released a video for “Animal of One”.

It’s a more conceptual style video, which is the kind I prefer. Good visual storyline, creative and fairly unique.

“Animal of One” has a great southwestern rock beat, inherently cool like a Lee Hazlewood song. The meldoy, too, stands out. But, I would argue that what truly makes this song stand above the rest is Wymond Miles’ guitar. Especially the solo, just before the song fades out.

It’s a moment that’s best experienced at higher volumes or through ear-covering headphones.

While House of Spirits wasn’t as unifyingly cohesive and stunning as Long Slow Dance or even Play it Strange, lone songs like “Animal of One” and “Home is Where?” became instant favorites at the time.

These songs remain, singularly, among the best from The Fresh & Onlys back catalog.

Both House of Spirits and Animal of One were released by Mexican Summer going on three years ago. I’m sure you can still find original copies out there in your preferred format of listening.

What song by The Fresh & Onlys would you pick as your number one?

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