The Alternative’s Most Anticipated Releases of 2018

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Photo By: CJ Harvey

Mannequin Pussy

Mannequin Pussy’s Romantic sounds as splendidly scorching now as it did when it dropped two years ago. That band’s take on the loud/soft dynamic is unlike anything else from this decade, and the new songs they played on tour this summer are even grander and more refined—yet just as caustic and exhilarating—than any of their recorded material. With a live show that’s unmatched by all of their loud-rockin’ peers, the supreme gift to balance hellish noise and heavenly melody, and frontwoman Marisa Dabice’s brutally honest lyricism, Mannequin Pussy are truly one of the best in the game, and to say I’m merely anticipating their forthcoming record is a criminal understatement. I’m uncontrollably craving it. – Eli


Matt Costa

It might not be coming this year, but Matt Costa revealed on Instagram that a new full length is being mastered by Howie Weinberg; yes that Howie Weinberg, who mastered Licensed to Ill, Nevermind, and at least 10 other albums you love. This is great news for fans who’ve been appeased by the spurt of EPs released since Costa’s self-titled album in 2013, but are eager to hear a larger collection of songs. The tone of each album has seen a noticeable shift, paying homage to various decades of inspiration, and yet the folky feel-good tracks have been consistently great. I suspect that the upcoming release will be no different. Fans of Rogue Wave or Fleet Foxes should keep their ear to the ground for this album. – Dylan


Photo By Ebru Yildiz


I first saw Mitski at my first DIY show ever at Palisades in Brooklyn. She was second to perform on a four act lineup. Today, she’s touring with Lorde in support of Melodrama. Mitski has come incredibly far from the DIY scene, and I wonder what her music will be like now as she’s stepped into bigger spotlights. Her most recent album, Puberty 2, explored the everyday struggle to be happy. Maybe we will see some resolutions in the upcoming album. – Rebecca


Now, Now

Six years. That’s how long we’ve been listening to the broad, ever-expansive yet intricately delicate Threads, and we haven’t grown tired yet. If anything, that album’s versatility has left us beady eyed and begging for more. With last years singles “SGL” and “Yours,” we saw even more experimentation and a newfound confidence in a tighter, more compact lineup. We’re ready for you now (now). – Chris



Everyone has that one band that they believe with all of their hearts should be the biggest band around. For me, that is Pentimento. Their harmonies are impeccable, their lyricism is symbolic, deliberate, and hits close to home, and the delivery is everything you could want it to be. I’m not the only one who feels this way – it’s nearly impossible to be a fan of Pentimento without being a massive one. After going radio silent for nearly the entirety of 2017, the band announced a hometown show opening for Snapcase and Counterparts. I can only hope this is the sign of more to come; I’m not ready to give up on Pentimento just yet. – Scott


Photo By: Emily Dubin


I’m pretty sure this is the album I’m most excited to hear in 2018 (fingers crossed). We got a taste of new music from Petal with 2017’s Comfort, and artist Kiley Lotz has mentioned that a new album is on its way at a few recent shows. The honesty and vulnerability in Lotz’s songs is readily apparent to listeners, and is genuine in a manner that other artists should be striving to emulate. Coming off of recent tours with Kevin Devine and Julien Baker, there are plenty of new reasons to be paying attention to Petal if you’re not already; this release will surely add to that list. – Dylan


Prince Daddy & The Hyena

We’ve said it before, but for those in the back, Prince Daddy & the Hyena are one of the greatest young punk bands in existence. 2017 saw the Albany, NY group build upon the foundation they laid with their 2016 debut, I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving, by scattering a cache of fantastic tracks amongst several splits. The first two installments of the to-be-completed “Thrashville” series, from their exceedingly well-received split with Mom Jeans and Pictures of Vernon, are genuinely two of their best songs yet; further developing their penchant for slipping into, and then quickly abandoning, savory grooves for ripping solos or false crescendos—and with a sense of swift and satisfying unpredictability. They’re one of those bands who’re only going to improve with age, but if these recent songs are any indication, this next project will be a fresh step outside the confines of emo-punk. For they’ve now got the melodious tact and musical chops to catch a wide range of ears. – Eli



The Dream Is Over was one of my favorite releases of 2016. The record presented emotions such as anger (as present in “Old Wounds”), sorrow (“Sleep In The Heat”) and self-loathing (“DVP”)  in a comedic, in-your-face sort of way. They’re great songs to scream-sing along with.. PUP’s new release is sure to be amazing, and I can’t wait for some new head-bangers and creative music videos (hopefully with Finn Wolfhard!) – Rebecca


Runaway Brother

Runaway Brother was one of the first bands I checked out solely on the fact that they were a band on Tiny Engines. I was immediately hooked by the way they fit theatrical peaks into music that had a very chill vibe. Their highs are high and the music almost always has a steady forward momentum. An eclectic mix of indie, emo, and pop, with just the right amount of jangle, brings Runaway Brother into prime earworm territory. With New Pocket on its way in February, the first two singles are already proving that the band has only continued to hone its sound. – Scott


ScHoolboy Q

In September, ScHoolboy Q revealed that his new album was 90% finished. His last album, 2016’s Blank Face, pushed his sound in new directions. Schoolboy Q has always been the most laid back member of TDE and his music has always been more fun than that of his labelmates. Artists on TDE are consistently pushing boundaries, so ScHoolboy’s Q next move should definitely be on your radar. – Michael Brooks


Photo by Audrey Melton

Snail Mail

Snail Mail came out of the gate strong with their debut EP Habit in mid -016, but it was both their Audiotree session and  their NPR Tiny Desk that really struck me. The smooth and beautiful melodies of vocalist Lindsey Jordan beckon me in to listen to the lyrics more deeply. Hoping for more of the same on their debut LP. – Henderson



It’s been just under two years since Superheaven announced their indefinite hiatus, though there have been stirrings as of late. Guitarist Jake Clarke released an EP and a split last year, and the band is actually scheduled to play a local benefit show for Planned Parenthood in early March. Sometimes bands just need a bit of a break from the road (or the industry), and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear new music from Superheaven before the year is over. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but we can dream, right? – Dylan


Photo By: Annie Fidoten


T-Rextasy’s 2016 debut Jurassic Punk is arguably the most uplifting, savagely clever and impossibly fun punk record of this generation of DIY-sters—and their live show is that tenfold. Few, if any, bands are as simultaneously hilarious and empowering to watch on stage, and the stockpile of unrecorded material they gigged on throughout 2017 is a guarantee that their sophomore release will be nothing short of spectacular. Again, T-Rextasy are entertaining as fuck, but something they didn’t seem to get credit for on Jurassic Punk was their songwriting abilities. This band writes both catchy-ass melodies and shreddy-ass instrumental parts, and I don’t foresee this year ending without them being heralded as the next big thing. – Eli


Tiny Stills

The name of the game for the debut Tiny Stills album, Falling Is Like Flying, was chunky guitars, which could be overcome by nothing but the powerful voice of Kailynn West. The spastic, driving rhythms suck listeners in while lyrics of love, pain, and life as a whole keep them coming back for more. If you need any indication that these feelings stuck, look no further than the fact that the follow-up, Laughing into the Void, was successfully crowdfunded with over 300 backers. Though Kickstarter backers are the only ones who have received tidbits of the new music so far, the album is fully recorded and on its way towards physical production. There are sure to be surprises coming our way before the release and I’m excited to be along for the ride. – Scott


Photo By: Angela Owens


I fall in and out of love with hardcore. Sometimes it sounds like the most exciting genre in all of music, pure energy and ambition, other times the bands all feel like they are blending into sameness. Turnstile was one of the bands that reawakened my love in recent years. This is fun, dancey hardcore at its best, and the band continues to impress and shock me with their creativity. – Henderson


Photo By: Caitlin McCann


Boston-native Vundabar last released their sophomore full length, Gawk, in 2015. The three-piece produced fun, incredibly catchy, upbeat indie rock songs. Vundabar has always been a favorite of mine; their music is great, they put on a solid live performance, and I admire how well they’ve done being independent. In late 2017, Vundabar released some singles, ‘Acetone,’ ‘Glass Hand,’ and ‘Diver.’ The songs have the same power that makes me want to jump out of my seat and dance, but with added maturity, as the lyrics tackle difficulties in frontman Brandon Hagen’s life. Check out those singles and get ready for the new release. – Rebecca


The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years are so much more than a pop-punk band. Despite the fact that they started as a literal joke, the band went on to write a trilogy of albums, each one better than the last, that ushered in a new wave of pop-punk. While their most recent album, No Closer to Heaven, was a grower, it showed that their ambitions lie in an expansion of sound and subject. The band has expressed a slight dissatisfaction with the short amount of time given to record No Closer to Heaven, so the fact that they have deliberately taken their time with this forthcoming album is promising. I can honestly say I don’t know what this new music will sound like, but I am certain I will love it. – Scott



Of all the art released post-Donald Trump’s rise to prominence, none have resonated with me as much as YG’s “FDT”. YG’s music isn’t very political, but “FDT” is protest music at its finest. YG’s first album brought ratchet to the mainstream, with a little help from DJ Mustard. His second studio album was an ode to G-funk, an unapologetically west coast affair. YG has grown as an MC with each release, so his next project is one to look forward to. – Michael Brooks

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