Fresh’s latest EP, ‘The Summer I Got Good at Guitar’, finds the four-piece tackling a number of important issues – from self-acceptance to the prevalence of misogyny throughout the music industry and beyond.
The title track kicks off the EP with a burst of Hotelier-meets-Guided by Voices hooks before Kathryn Woods offers a statement full of youthful optimism: ‘I’m young and I will be happy soon’. This soon morphs into an understanding of her sexuality and how unhealthy it is to shoehorn yourself into boxes that you don’t belong: ‘I know love is a concept designed to manipulate women but I want it anyway’. ‘Over There’ swiftly follows with a countdown and a promise that ‘I’ll try not to cry this time’. Amidst a buzz of fuzzy guitar breaks and sadpop sounds, Kathryn talks about gazing into ‘endless nights’ and explains how ‘you have a way with words and I care too much’.
Recent single ‘Girl Clout’ is a defiant and passionate couple of minutes that finds Fresh telling a few home truths to the wider music industry and its treatment of non-men: ‘No one will take me seriously, I want to be the best’; ‘I didn’t pour my heart out for you to fancy me’. ‘My Redemption Arc’ has a bouncy sound surrounding its emotional words about how you can’t run from your problems, the complex nature of friendships and relationships and even mortality – ‘I feel awful and empty’ – before the semi-improvised ‘Cry for Help’ brings the EP to a close with its honest observations on isolation, depression and how there really is no place like home: ‘I don’t think that I knew safety before I knew you’.
Full of hot riffs and powerful observations, ‘The Summer I Got Good at Guitar’ is Fresh at their most vital sounding.