Best of the Month: October 2017
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Hey everyone! Sorry this month’s edition of Best of the Month is late, but there were so many things going on this month, so I’m still trying to catch up on everything. First here’s our 2 cool announcements from this month, then my favorite tracks, and a Spotify playlist with all those favorites and more.
We announced Philly Gets Alternative Fest which is a 10 band, 2 day fest at Everybody Hits on December 2nd and 3rd, the lineup is incredible and it’s about to get better when we announce the secret headliner on the 20th. It’s going to be such a sick weekend (more info here).
We also launched 2 new radio shows, Get Alternative Radio (hosted by myself, Hendo) and Go Dumbcast! (hosted by Kevin Cortez). Get Alt is mostly a indie rock/punk show, and Go Dumb is primarily an underground rap show. So far it seems like listeners have really been into them, and we’ve had so much fun recording episodes. Both shows are streamable/downloadable on Podbean and streamable on Mixcloud + you can subscribe on your podcast apps under the name “The Alternative”. Hope you enjoy!
THE BEST TRACKS OF OCTOBER
I have to start off with this new Bully album, Losing. With their brash in your face rock n roll sound and vocals they definitely caught my ear with their debut album, but I was concerned whether they’d be able to grow off of it and write even catchier songs on the new record. Let me just tell you, they nailed the landing. Losing is an addicting record about heartbreak bitterness and growth that grabs you by the shirt collar and shakes you til you’re dancing. A must listen in a year full of great albums.
Melkbelly was one of those bands people just kept recommending on Twitter. I put out a tweet asking people for reccs and it seemed like every other one was Melkbelly. The people aren’t wrong. This record rocks.
The new Hodera and Julien Baker albums both dropped this month, and while these 2 bands stylistically are very different (with Hodera the more full band rock n roll side to Baker’s singer/songwriter solo vibe) they both dealt with the topics of love, loss, and mental health in a way that is completely relateable and real. Cliches are stripped away and the listener is left with the pure sadness and despair that comes with mental illness, but with a smattering the hope that keeps the demons at bay. I saw both of these artists play on back to back nights and I was swept away by both performances. I urge you to listen to both albums.
MoBo played their last shows for the foreseeable future in Philly and that was a huge success and cathartic release for all of those diehard Philly fans of the band. There is really nothing like the connection that Philly has to that band. I guess because they played such a large part in the revival of that music scene. If you’re a MoBo fan, you should check out this Elephant Jake, Stand and Wave, and Shark Club split.
Everything Wiki does is so New York, I love it. His new album No Mountains In Manhattan is jam packed with lyrical tracks about city life and his new videos for “Mayor” and “Stickball” perfectly convey that. He also filmed a little doc about his album release shows in all 5 boroughs that gives a cool look at what it’s like to live and breathe this city.
While I’m talking hiphop, I have to recommend the new IDK album, I Was Very Bad, which is one of my favorite rap releases of the year. I hadn’t really heard much from IDK before this, but this album immediately grabs hold of you. The record tells the story of IDK’s upbringing and his process of getting into trouble from a young age. It reminds me of Good Kid MAAD City in all the right ways. (Especially make sure to check out the Del verse on “Pizza Shop”).
October really was packed with incredible releases, and yet I couldn’t stop listening to 1 in particular. Strange Ranger’s new album Day Moon matches the excellent of their debut Rot Forever. Their lyrics come out as a form of stream of consciousness poetry and they can take many repeated listens to dissect, but they are worth the investment. That combined with the surprising and engaging instrumentals keeps me coming back for more again and again.
Everyone in music has a story of the hometown band that turned them on to good music and made them feel part of the music scene. For most people that band faded away, but I have been lucky enough to have mine grow along with my tastes. LKFFCT (formerly Lake Effect, and made up of members of Washington Square Park), have now put out 5 full length records and have evolved from emo/lo-fi stoner punk to indie/rock n rollers, and have become North Jersey basement show lessons in the process. Their newest album Dawn Chorus is the strongest yet.
Another release I just can’t stop spinning is the Now That’s What I Call Music: Volume 420 split released by Counter Intuitive Records featuring Mom Jeans, Prince Daddy and the Hyena and Pictures of Vernon. Somehow, all 3 of these rising bands put out 2 of their best songs yet. Prince Daddy’s 2nd track on the split, “Thrashville 2/3” which features vocals from Zoe of Kississippi might be my favorite track of the year, and I’m not the only one that feels that way. This whole split is definitely worth your time. Also its Pay What You Want so, deal of the century right here.
Nervous Dater put out a contender for the best debut album of 2017 with their new album Don’t Be A Stranger. Screamalong vocals and shimmering guitars, fans of You Blew It! or Mom Jeans give this a shot, and catch me at the pit at their next show.
If all that isn’t enough, you should also check out the new Pope album, the well done new emo album from Blis., the thoughtful Florist release, the dancey new Vundabar tracks, Citizen’s return to form on As You Please, Weller’s debut LP which has turned a bunch of heads, Turf 420’s claim for the best weed pop album of 2017, Iron Chic’s screamalong tear jerker, and Mansions unexpected EP.
This month also brought us new videos from Charly Bliss, Jay Som, Free Throw, Stef Chura (who just signed to Saddle Creek), and a new track/video from Pianos Become The Teeth who I like much better with this new smooth vocal style.
Thankfully music is finally starting to calm down as October ends and it gives us all a little breather to look back and find all our favorites from the year that we might have missed. Very excited for this year’s AOTY lists, it’s been such a dense and exciting year for new music.
– Writing by Henderson Cole
– Playlist curated by Steven Lalonde