Monday, November 7, 2016

FuzzQueen -- Xenia 1

You may know FuzzQueen best as its former incarnation -- Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray. The quartet has pared down to a trio, moved to DC, and reformed as a psych rock band. Normally I shy away from bands with that label, but I trust Chris, Erin, and Ben to guide me through the soundscapes they've created. And, anyway, if you've been following the band, you'd know that this is a very logical progression -- the sound is not too different, there's just less twang. (What's highly questionable, though, is their regrettable move to DC. I have a feeling if they'd come up here to NYC the four of us would kill at bar trivia. And a fun trivia fact: Chris's impressive beard is the only one I've touched and felt okay about.)

As for Xenia, it's warm and hopeful. Erin Frisby's voice soars amid a sometimes turbulent sea of Chris Stelloh's wall of sound and Ben Tufts's powerful drums. Shimmering overtones remind us of the California sun the band left behind, while the strident reminders to connect with strangers seems to be a response to the carefully neutral atmosphere in DC. This is an album that's easy to lose yourself in, no psychedelic assistance required.

FuzzQueen -- Official, Facebook, Stream, Bandcamp

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