San Francisco musician Tim Cohen is a hard man to pin down. A prolific singer/songwriter, the Fresh & Onlys frontman has released solo albums both under his own name and as Magic Trick, played in other SF bands such as Sonny & the Sunsets, cultivated broad musical tastes working at legendary shop Amoeba Records—oh, and he paints.
Cohen's been tagged as a leader in the Bay Area's recent garage rock revival, one that also includes acts ranging from Girls, Ty Segall, and the aforementioned Sunsets to Nobunny, Shannon and the Clams, and Thee Oh Sees. But while he certainly shares a commitment to DIY home-recording, the Fresh & Onlys' sound on new album Long Slow Dance is cleaner and calmer than "garage" implies. There's no sublimated engine roar here, no motor oil stains on the floor.
Instead, songs like "Presence of Mind" are downright dreamy indie pop: soft-chiming xylophone, folky acoustic strum giving way to a twangy, ascending guitar lead and upticked rhythm, with Cohen's melancholy vocals drifting over it all. (Also great: that sad Spanish trumpet on "Executioner's Song.") Long Slow Dance is the second album Cohen and his loose crews have released in 2012—following Magic Trick's fine sophomore release Ruler of the Night in June—but with tunes this sweet spilling out of him, you hardly want him to slow down. – Eric Grandy, Google Play
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