forth wanderers – “know better”

– featured image courtesy of grace rossi-conaway –

forth wanderers have an unassuming charm and such a degree of relatability that it remains little wonder why their music has already spread to millions of people.  the members of the montclair, new jersey quintet are gearing up for a november 11th release of their latest ep, slop, via the label tag-team of house anxiety / marathon artists across the pond and the inimitable father/daughter records stateside; after dangling the ep’s title track in front of listeners in august, forth wanderers return today with a second single, “know better.”

again built around the tandem of ava trilling’s voice and ben guteri’s guitar, “know better” is an angular cut laden with catchy hooks to help mask the pain and confusion that accompanies past mistakes, along with any residual fallout.  trilling’s lead vocal is particularly biting in certain instances, perhaps no more so than when she deliver’s the song’s mantra: “i can’t be this naïve anymore.”  like other forth wanderers material, this song’s combination of immediacy and poignancy is striking; take a listen to “know better” below.

hazel english – “i’m fine”

– featured image courtesy of julie juarez –

the weathered photo that adorns the cover of hazel english’s debut ep, never going home, is a perfect visual extension of her meticulously-crafted aural aesthetic.  last year’s trio of demos – produced in conjunction with fellow oakland resident jackson phillips, aka day wave – were warm, hazy exercises in restraint; after nearly a year away, english picks right back up where she left off with “i’m fine,” her first single of 2016.

nary a drum beat can be found on “i’m fine,” with bass lines and sequenced synthesizer arpeggios instead alternately filling the rhythm role.  this intimate, stripped-down structure is augmented by english’s lead vocal, doused in reverb and hoisted above a sturdy, guitar-driven foundation to deliver its ever-so-poignant message.

“i’m fine” will appear on never going home, which is due out october 7th via house anxiety/marathon artists.  take a listen below.