Best of April & Our Monthly Staff Playlist

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Graphic by Julia Carbone

Melkbelly’s Pith toes both grunge and post-punk territories. It’s dim and grimy, but in a way that makes someone feel revived. The instrumentals are jagged, and vocalist Miranda Winters’ throaty, smoky cadence is sometimes equalized with them. Album standout “Kissing Under Some Bats” is a scorcher that abandons vocals completely less than halfway through to play thumping hooks so powerful, it almost feels like they’re physically throwing punches. A lot of guitar solos fall into slowdowns and climb inclines, but conversely, this one is relentlessly hard-hitting. This intensity pops up at other points, too, just in smaller doses – like when Winters wails or the riffs start sprinting.

Answering Machine’s indie pop record Bad Luck embodies the brightness and drawl of Best Coast, but it’s a little more rough around the edges. One of their vocalists, Samantha Campanile has a delightfully saccharine voice freckled with tiny upswings.

Shakers shared a post-hardcore LP that somehow manages to be concurrently brash and clean. There’s exerted vocals and rapid drumming and lurching basslines, all ingredients found in most recipes for chaos, but those components retain organization and melody. In that sense, they’re comparable to Pile. “Fuse” is one of the more interesting songs on the record because during its nearly three-minute duration, the only line uttered is “I need you to know” repeatedly.

Mxmtoon’s Dawn is filled with foggy, ornate dream pop with the lyrical candor and vulnerability of artists like Snail Mail and Beach Bunny. “Almost Home” reflects on the agony of getting older, like being hit with harsh realizations (“No one ever says all the love you give might not be enough”). “Fever Dream,” the release’s strongest track, has lots of imagery about risk, like declaring love a “leap of faith” and insisting there’s an inverse relationship between progress and comfort, “how far away can I walk ’til I’m way too far from home?” They tweeted that this song is about embarking on a career in music. The addition of the ukelele in their music adds springiness as well as some rigidity in the midst of the amorphous melodies that back much of the tracks. 

Barely March actually released Marely Barch Plus on March 31, but it’s in this write-up dedicated to April releases regardless because time is a social construct. It’s pop punk with piercing riffs and a lot to say about anxiety. Opening track “Reef Blower” is about yearning to spend time with friends to quell boredom. “It’s a Show About Nothing, How Do We Know When It’s Over?” feels like the other side of the same coin. It’s also about socializing, but the way it can make you feel jittery instead of enthralled when you say something you regret.


Written by Bineet Kaur / @hellobineet

Playlist curated by our staff.

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