The Fresh & Onlys

Secret Walls EP

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Over the past few years, the Fresh & Onlys have quietly become one of the most reliable and interesting indie rock bands around. They don’t get the same hype some of the flashier, more gimmicky bands have gotten. Instead, they’ve just honed their craft and created a murky, hazily psychedelic sound with some spooky undertones and a solid emotional core. Their 2010 album Play It Strange was their strongest album, featuring a batch of strongly evocative songs and vocalist Tim Cohen's most haunting performances. His growth as a singer has been one of the most interesting things about the group and on the follow-up EP recorded for Sacred Bones, Secret Walls, he turns in another fine effort. The naked pain he displays on the title track and the aching croon of "Do You Believe in Destiny" really hit hard. The band has grown, too. The Fresh & Onlys are reaching Rain Parade-good levels, and on this EP the guitars have real power and grace as they intertwine in a reverby embrace. The richness of the arrangements gives Cohen a perfect backdrop for his heart-rending songs, as this is definitely a “down” EP. There are no good-time tracks to cut the moody gloom. Fortunately, it’s a warm and fuzzy gloom that sounds just right all the time. You won’t want to miss Secret Walls, another step in the band's progression.

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