London DIY punks Fresh have announced their forthcoming new studio album, “Raise Hell”, out on July 1st, 2022, via Specialist Subject.
Alongside the announcement, they share lead single “Babyface”, a song written in early lockdown, “hence the ‘boredom’ refrain”, says lead singer and songwriter Kathryn Woods (cheerbleederz, ME REX).
“It’s a song about having a mind that’s both overstimulated and under-stimulated at the same time. The light, airy synths make it a cry for help masquerading as a pop song”. This is a sentiment that runs through much of “Raise Hell” – the push and pull of conflicting emotions, wrestling with opposing personality traits, the tension between learning to self-love and yet wanting more.
Fresh have been an unwavering fixture within the UK punk scene since their first record in 2017. A joy to behold live, lead singer Kathryn Woods honed her craft not only fronting Fresh but as a member of several heralded indie and punk bands, including cheerbleederz and ME REX alongside Fresh bandmate Myles McCabe.
Their new album radiates with their signature mischievous British charm and flourishes of brilliant pop punk flair – though underestimate Fresh at your peril. “Raise Hell” dares to dive deeper than most, delivering Woods’ darker moments and contemplative thought processes through the sharply focused lens of upbeat indie punk.
Having shared another single from the album towards the end of last year, Fresh have shown no sign of slowing down; “Morgan and Joanne” references the story of a blind date that went viral in 2019. “It’s about queer joy and queer visibility”, says Woods. “I wrote ‘Morgan and Joanne’ because I was so struck by the charm of Morgan and Joanne and how they turned what had the potential to be a typical first date into an adventure. The song is about the magic of meeting someone who you really fancy for the first time and kind of escaping into a different realm with them. I think popular media and historical narratives tend to make queer relationships tragic instead of focusing on all the joy and possibilities that they hold, so I wanted to put a song out there that’s sweet and funny and empowering to counter that a little bit”.
Elsewhere on the record, “Going to Bed” acknowledges the uncertainty and tension of nursing a small crush but going ahead despite the fear and embracing all those ‘I don’t knows’. “There’s a focus on self-love too, taking typical therapy clichés and self-soothing activities (trust myself more / light a candle etc) made into eerie, sacred rituals and manifesting your own safe space”, says Kathryn.
The album resolves with our protagonist breaking free of a toxic relationship, joyously riding into the sunset singing doo-wops. It’s the first time on the album that the inner conflict settles, and cathartic joy takes precedence. “Sadness and self-doubt are acknowledged and present on ‘Why Do I’, but they don’t hold power over you anymore. There’s power in starting from scratch”.
Pre-order “Raise Hell” here.
1. Our Love
2. Morgan & Joanne
4. Going to Bed
6. Fuck Up
7. Deer in the Headlights
8. Pls Don’t Cry
9. We All Know (Blondie)
10. I Know I’m Just a Phase to You
11. Why Do I
Since the pandemic, the band have been working tirelessly behind the scenes writing and recording. They released their EP “The Summer I Got Good at Guitar” (produced by Rich Mandell at Resident Studios and Marketstall Studios in London) in Spring 2021, to praise from Upset, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, BBC6 Music, Radio X and more. Since their inception they’ve toured with the likes of The Beths, PUP, Adult Mom and more, releasing two albums in the process and amassing a devoted fanbase following appearances at Fest, Manchester Punk Festival and The Fiest in Madrid amongst others. For a band that have existed for a relatively short period of time, the four-piece have already released a hefty catalogue of work – prolific, ever evolving and always fresh (in every sense of the word).
Fresh has also announced a run of your dates in Spring and Summer 2022. All April dates along with Jeff Rosenstock & All Away Lou.
UK Tour Dates 2022:
Mon 11 Apr 2022 – Whelan’s, Dublin
Thu 14 Apr 2022 – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
Fri 15 Apr 2022 – Slay, Glasgow
Sat 16 Apr 2022 – Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
Sun 17 Apr 2022 – Manchester, Manchester Punk Festival
Mon 18 Apr 2022 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Tue 19 Apr 2022 – Electric Ballroom, London
Wed 20 Apr 2022 – The Fleece, Bristol
Thu 21 Apr 2022 – The Joiners, Southampton
Fri 8th July 2022 – 2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham
Fri 2 Sept – Sun 4 Sept – Washed Out Festival