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New releases from FIDLAR and THUS LOVE

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

The first in our new series scripted by Julia Mason which reviews singles from non Blowtorch bands. Maybe unknown, probably noisy and unclean. Get yer hands dirty with our cool sounds from the underground.


Artist: FIDLAR

Track: Centipede

California punk band FIDLAR in their studio
Photo Alice Baxley

Southern California punk band FIDLAR have announced their new forthcoming EP That’s Life. It’s been four years since 2019’s Almost Free and it's good to have them back. The six track EP contains new single Centipede, a song about the minutiae of relationships that crawls under your skin the longer you spend with someone. I love this skater punk vibe with its high-octane energy yet there is an ebb and flow of pace.

It moves between self-reflection and frustration and the lyrics contain some gems:

“My girlfriend thinks I'll abandon her She's my Oasis, but she treats me like I'm a Blur”

Lockdown will continue to be the backdrop for much music in the years to come. The new EP represents a journey for the trio comprised of Zac Carper, Max Kuehn and Brandon Schwartzel. In the midst of the tightest of restrictions, FIDLAR found themselves thrust into their next chapter while looking for a way to harness the frenzied, care-free energy that has defined their shows and identity since forming over a decade ago.

On a search for some shred of enlightenment in 2020, the earliest seeds of That’s Life were planted with a trip - both literally and figuratively. Powered by psychedelics and caravanning with friends throughout the West and East Coasts, Mexico, Hawaii and beyond, Carper’s lyrics for the EP poured out during a DMT ceremony in Lake Powell; lyrics that realise there is no heal-all enlightenment, and there are no answers. There is, however, an exuberance in sharing real human connections - both good and bad - and a sense of peace in shouting "fuck it" when faced with the immutable chaos of life. All I can say is, bring it on.

* * *


Track: Centerfield

In the interests of full disclosure I have to admit to becoming slightly obsessed with THUS LOVE’s previous single Repetitioner. The trio from Vermont released their debut album Memorial last October and learning how it came into existence, it's clear that it was simply meant to be.

The trio of singer/guitarist Echo Marshall, drummer Lu Racine and bass player Nathaniel van Osdol all moved to the small Vermont town of Brattleboro independently. The three met in what they have described as “a small community of freaks” centring around a local arts collective.

They moved in together during lockdown and began making what would become the debut album. The stars had obviously aligned as it could have gone either way but as Racine further explains: “It seemed like the easiest thing to do, and also the funniest. Let’s fucking make a record, because [we have] all the time in the world, there’s literally nothing else to do.” Marshall adds “We would not have been able to make this album if we were not forced to be in the same room together with nothing else going on.”

Their sound oozes the wonderful dark sounds of the likes of Killing Joke or Bauhaus, full of breathtaking bass sections and a vocal to die for. Memorial has been critically acclaimed which the band admit is slightly unnerving as it was made “in an intense period of total radio silence”.

New single Centerfield is slower paced than Repetitioner, more brooding but oh that vocal. Marshall really has such a distinct sound and after the dominance of shouty and spoken lyrics, its good to hear quality voices coming back into the forefront. The bassline is striking throughout, and the track sits with you long after the final note has struck.

Directors Augie Voss and Benni Shumlin made the video for Centerfield. The band expand stating “In the age of advertisement and the Internet, attention is a resource being stolen and memory feels at risk of extinction. This video is a time stamp of determination and incubation of what was, is, and shall be. This song is for the dreamers who hold onto mystery, who embrace the reality of that which we are now bred to forget.”

And the good news is that after supporting Dry Cleaning on their current tour, THUS LOVE will be back in the UK in August for more live dates. On stage this band are simply mesmerising.


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