The Listening Station: The Fresh & Onlys

The Fresh & Onlys

It’s been some time since the Bay Area produced a slew of psychedelic rock acts that managed to garner national attention. But with the rise of San Fran bands like Citay, Sleepy Sun and The Fresh & Onlys, it seems a new wave of modern era psych-rock is emerging, and these guys are one of the most interesting to come out of it, thus far.

Granted, you won’t find the classic British-influenced vocal harmonies heard by bands such as The Moody Blues—this time around it’s a mix of garage-pop, often with a heavy dose of reverb. But what gives it that psychedelic label is a common willingness to explore, to get weird.

The Fresh and Onlys is a four piece band that fully came together in 2008 amidst a creative flurry that saw them put out a score of 7”s, a limited cassette and two full length albums, all in the course of a year. The combination of jangly, surf-guitar melodies buried in a thick low-fi mud beneath singer Tim Cohen’s unfaltering vocal delivery creates a sound that seems to be just coming into its own. And the creative flurry has yet to let up.

The group’s latest release Play it Strange earned an 8.0 rating from Pitchfork (which means absolutely nothing) and was included on numerous “Best of 2010” lists by some of the most respected in the business. The new album combines straight-ahead, yet powerful rave-up types (“I’m All Shook Up”), feel-good sun-drenched beachcombers (“Summer of Love”) with an ambitious 8-minute psychedelic anthem (“Tropical Island Suite”).

The Fresh & Onlys will soon be heading out on tour and are planning yet another forthcoming EP. Check out their live show and pick up their new album. I highly recommend both. I’ve provided some audio along with a couple of downloads below. I hope you dig.

Summer of Love(Download)

Waterfall” (Download)

Tropical Island Suite” (Download)

02-27 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill ^
03-16-19 Austin, TX – SXSW
03-21 San Diego, CA – Tin Can Alehouse
03-22 Los Angeles, CA – Echo
04-12 Denver, CO – Hi Dive *
04-13 Lawrence, KS – The Jackpot Saloon *
04-14 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop *
04-15 Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox *
04-18 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub *
04-19 Saint Louis, MO – The Billiken Club #
04-20 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *#
04-21 Toronto, Ontario – Parts & Labour *
04-22 Montreal, Quebec – Il Motore *
04-23 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg *#
04-24 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie *#
04-25 Washington, DC – Red Palace *#
04-27 Atlanta, GA – The Earl *#
04-28 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree *#
05-25 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Festival
^ with Growlers, Pleasure Kills, Wrong Words
* with Young Prisms
# with Crocodiles

If you have any suggestions for bands you’d like to see featured here, send me an e-mail at and hopefully I’ll get around to it.


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