Freak Genes – “On the TV” – Record of the Day

Most people who follow the goings-on around here are familiar with Charlie Murphy (Red Cords, Murph & the Gazorpos) and Andrew Anderson (Hipshakes, Proto Idiot). Freak Genes is their little weird and gorgeous baby. They bring ideas to the table that are deemed too odd for other projects, and they end up creating some of their freshest and most exciting material. Last year saw the release of their first LP, Playtime (Alien Snatch Records). I comped ’em earlier this year on Girlsville after hearing the stuff they’d been cooking up for their 2nd LP, Qwak Qwak (Drunken Sailor Records). The first LP was one of the best from last year, and this new one is even freakier!

“On the TV” is one of my favorites from Qwak Qwak, it’s bangy and shambolic with some sweet harmonies on top that give it just the right amount of pop sheen. Charlie Murphy wrote it. I asked him what inspired it and he said “It’s about the way we take in information from certain media and internalize it.” When asked about Freak Genes recording process and this bangy drum sound, Charlie explained, “In terms of personnel Matt Cleave from Red Cords recorded drums on this one in Falmouth, I added my parts in Falmouth as well, then I sent it to Andrew to finish in Manchester where he added the backing vocals and bass. Generally it came together pretty quickly.” Andrew added, “Charlie is the master of creating cut-up lyrics. And also of playing the guitar quickly. We play it as a set opener. We write and record almost all of our songs separately and send them back and forth over the internet, adding (and sometimes subtracting) bits as we go. This was a pretty simple one where not much got added. The backing vocal idea was inspired by something Nick Lowe talks about in the Born Fighters documentary. Basically, high-pitched = good.”

“On the TV” is from the new Freak Genes LP, Qwak Qwak. Available 4/20 from Drunken Sailor Records.

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Courtney DelMar

Aside from writing about bands for 50THIRDAND3RD, CJDelMar runs the Girlsville Records imprint out of Portland, OR. Girlsville is home to bands like COACHWHIPS, HOOD RATS, TOWANDA, MR. AIRPLANE MAN, VIRVON VARVON, & THE PRISSTEENS.

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