Hailing from San Francisco, The Fresh & Onlys are a garage-pop band that’s been busy over the last few years, releasing over a dozen singles, EPs, and albums since 2008. Quite the back catalogue for a band that lacks a Wikipedia page and makes their home on Blogger. I admit, I only listened to them superficially before the release of the single “I Would Not Know the Devil” back in August — the song jumped into my playlists and hasn’t left yet.
Lo-fi ’70s rock guitar introduces the song before clicking drumsticks bring in the full band at the 13-second mark. From there, it explodes into a riff-driven track with a strangely catchy melody that should keep you coming back for repeated listens, if only to deduce the lyrics. The menacing tone of the song and the few lines that are clearer — like “I would not know the devil/ I’ve only seen him one time/ He had a twisted shovel/ He dug it into my mind” — lend it entrancingly Gothic overtones. If you’re into literature, perhaps it’ll call to mind the short story “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving. Even if you’re not familiar with the reference, there’s no denying the literary quality of the song, assisted by its timeless subject matter. If The Fresh & Onlys can continue to record music that is simultaneously catchy, snarling, and intriguing as this, they’ve got a bright future ahead.
Stream: The Fresh & Onlys – “I Would Not Know the Devil“ MP3