When most people think of meandering, sardonic indie rock they think of men — Pavement is probably the best example — and while Stephen Malkmus’ lackadaisical style clearly had an influence on Cindy Lou Gooden, she’s rewriting history a bit with her band Very Fresh. After appearing in an all-girl cover band called Babement with her long-time collaborator and friend Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, Gooden quit the cover shtick and began putting out her own music.
It’s no secret that the majority of successful indie rock bands of this ilk in history have been primarily male, and when I interviewed her for Brooklyn Magazine last fall Gooden was very upfront about the struggle she’s faced as a female musician just to be able to make music in the first place. It’s hard! And it’s even harder with guys in gear shops calling you “babe” instead of treating you like a viable artist who is buying work equipment, an experience that Gooden — and unfortunately most female musicians — have had to go through in some form.
Still, the call to make music is not something that those destined to do it can easily ignore, and after releasing a 7-inch in 2015, Gooden and Very Fresh are putting out their debut EP later this year. That release is called Hey, It’s Me!, just another example of Cindy’s wry sense of humor and conversational style. The first track off the five-track EP was “Schedule IV,” a slow-burning, seething mass of dissonant guitar and angst driven toward the pinnacle of the chorus by Gooden’s signature bass line.
Today, another track off the EP has been released via Stereogum. Unlike the first track and some of Gooden’s other, earlier work, “Hat Tree” is much more melodic and gauzy, with quieter, layered vocals and subdued, wispy guitars. Don’t expect her to stay quiet for long though — she’s got a lot more noise to make before settling down. Listen below to “Hat Tree” below.