The Singles Collection is contributor Jason Jackowiak’s weekly column focusing on rare and essential 7″ releases.
Maybe we here at the Singles Collection are in the minority, but goddamn if we aren't more than ready for winter to be over and spring to rear its rainy head. We're tired of everybody getting sick then selfishly passing their colds and flus around, not to mention the general malaise one feels when it's dark at 5pm and 3 degrees outside. Since the groundhog saw his shadow (we think) and we've got another 6 weeks of winter, we figured we'd feature some singles this week that have that good time, stay out in the sun all day vibe. Unsurprisingly, all the singles this week hail from the Sunshine State, where it's just that little bit easier to dream of an endless Summer.
To kick off the shimmering vibes this week we've got Nobunny's first foray into 7" territory; "Give it to Me" b/w "Motorhead with Me" on HoZac. Picking up almost exactly where the excellent Love Visions left off, the two songs here are absolutely pop charmers, crammed with more rumbling hooks than a tackle box and reminiscent of a spate of past greats, including Del Shannon, the Beau Brummels and The Box Tops to name but a few. The A-Side is two minutes of incredibly infectious lo-fi bubblegum trash-pop, replete with a so-simple-it's-genius arrangement and a chorus that rattles around in your head like pac-mac and refuses to leave. B-side "Motorhead with Me" is equally as devastating, if not potentially more so, and is definitely in the running for the best song he's ever laid to tape. The first edition of this sold out in a flash, but if you act quick, you can get one of the second editions on red from HoZac's MySpace.
Next up, we've got the debut offering, in the form of a self-titled 4-song EP, from San Francisco's The Fresh & Onlys on Kelly Stoltz's new Chuffed imprint. Channeling the vintage sounds of their home city, the tunes here are filled with lush 60s-inspired harmonies and slow-burning bits of 70s soft-psych, all wrapped up with deliciously deadpan vocals a la Lou Reed or Lee Hazelwood minus the copious amount of 'ludes. "Imaginary Friends" sounds like a lost AM radio gem, its delightfully strummy cadence and buoyant, sing-song quality emanating joyous noise from every pore. "Endless Love" may well be the best tune off the record, a snarling riff (and a wicked solo) rides a simple beat while loads of female backing vocals crash in over the top, giving the whole thing a decidedly Zombies-esque feel. This first (and only?) pressing is limited to just 300 copies, and while they seem to be going fast everywhere you look, if you act quick you can probably still grab one from the label's MySpace.
Last, but certainly not least, we've got a pair of singles from beachcombing scuzz-pop troubadour of the moment, Wavves, "So Bored" b/w "How are You" on Young Turks out of the UK and "California Goths" b/w "Here's to the Sun" on Fat Possum. Out of the pair, the "So Bored" single is definitely the one worth tracking down, as B-Side "How are You" is exclusive to this release, and is an awesome slab of wide-eyed skree-pop that only Wavves could write. Plus, "So Bored" is one of the best tunes he's ever written, even though it apears on the Wavvves full-length and just about everywhere else these days. The "California Goths" single is a bit puzzling, as both of these songs are on the previous full-length, but they're both great tunes, and completists will want this anyhow. As you might imagine, both of these are a bit hard to come by, but with some crafty Google searching, you should be able to find a copy of each. Or you can get them from the boy wonder himself if you catch him on his current tour.
Hopefully we've been able to bring at least a little bit of sunlight into your Wintery world this week, and hey, it's warming up 'round here, so maybe our wishful thinking is actually working! Regardless, we'll be back next week with more tasty platters for your listening pleasure.