It’s not often I get shocked and awed by a relative unknown, but The New Up has come along with its latest release, Better Off, and shattered my placid veneer with some of the most striking, exotic and brashly coherent indie-ish pop that’s ever graced my ears. With ghostly, snarling female vocals layered over confident, careening choruses that feel like the sonic equivalent of a thrill ride, it could almost be likened to Siouxsie Sioux fronting a fantasy ’90s psychedelic alt-rock band, but that wouldn’t do the five-piece justice. Even as a 100 percent DIY outfit, The New Up has found a way to put everything in its exact place without seeming like type-A control freaks and in the process created a shocking sound where influences are evident but never the main event. There is no one leading them there but they. Read: these are ultimately unique and beautifully crafted songs showcasing abilities light years ahead of many contemporaries. The quality of musicianship, blissful and ominous riffs and harmonies, clear passion for the craft and just plain precision make this EP something to get excited about—and indeed, I am.
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