Vertical Scratchers, one of the recent acts to join Merge Records, is John Schmersal, formerly of Brainiac and Enon, and Christian Beaulieu, formerly of Triclops! and Anywhere. The pair release their debut LP, ‘Daughter of Everything,’ on Feb. 25, and earlier today, they premiered ‘These Plains,’ the lead single from the forthcoming 15-track album.

Stream the new song below, and you’ll get your first taste of the duo’s stripped-down approach. Schmersal says the album was their attempt at going back to basics.

“Part of the aesthetic we were establishing when writing Vertical Scratchers songs was to maintain a sense of urgency and raw energy without relying on volume and distortion,” he said. “I wanted the guitars to sound light and jangly, and most songs were purposefully sung in a soft falsetto.”

Given that the song clocks in at just over one-and-a-half minutes, the duo achieves just that. It’s a melodic tune where the vocals are distinct but secondary to the high-energy, garage rock-ish guitars and drums.