Play It Strange

Play It Strange

Murkiness and melody are the key elements in the Fresh & Onlys’ captivating sound. The San Francisco combo’s sophomore album Play It Strange combines an appealing tunefulness with a reverb-drenched production approach that makes even a light ditty seem like a midnight ramble. Beneath the album’s semi-psychedelic surface are a range of reference points, including ‘60s pop-harmony groups, Joe Meek-style instrumental tunes and trash-rock revivalists like the Fuzztones. What counts is that the Fresh & Onlys write bittersweet, slightly disturbing songs that stick in the mind long after the sonic fog has dissipated. “Fascinated,” “I’m All Shook Up” and “Until the End of Time” move with a rumbling sleekness, propelled by high-jangle guitars and quivering organ. Vocalist Timothy Cohen projects an eerie sort of innocence on darkly yearning numbers like “Summer of Love” and “Waterfall.” The band tears through such upbeat tracks as “Plague of Frogs” and “Who Needs a Man” with palpable glee, then cools down for the bleary-eyed ballad “I’m a Thief.”

Other Versions

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada