Best of The Month: August 2017

Posted: by Henderson


BRAND NEW – Science Fiction

This month has been dominated by the release of Science Fiction, Brand New’s first album in 8 years. As a long time Brand New fan, this release has gripped my attention and led to dozens of listens of the new album already. This is a fatalistic and hopeless album (pretty fitting for 2017, wouldn’t you say?) with some of the best instrumentals and songwriting of Brand New’s career.

If you would like my full thoughts on the release, you should read my review, but know this, you should definitely listen to this album. It’s haunting and creepy and immersive in a way that rock music almost never is. A full album experience worth pondering as you relisten. My favorite tracks are “Can’t Get It Out”, “137”, “Same Logic/Teeth”, “Out of Mana” and “No Control”. All of them are worth your time, even if you’ve never been a fan of the band before.

But that’s not all I’ve been listening to, August has been a great month for new music. I feel like nearly every day something new comes out that I need to listen to, and often it’s the things I just stumble onto my accident that I like the best. Below are some of my favorites:


What I’m Listening To

For those of you looking for slower heavier music, you should definitely take a listen to the new Cloakroom album. They impressed me with their last release and it seems like they’ve only improved on their sludge slinging abilities. Their tracks hammer forward building mountains of guitar tones. I love it.

Manchester Orchestra are such underrated songwriters. After their last LP Cope’s hard rock feel, they’ve gone back to their more lyrical and slower indie sound from earlier albums, and its nice to hear they can still pull it off. While I wouldn’t say this new record is my favorite release of theirs, there are definitely a few songs on here that will make a great addition to their discography.

The World Is a Beautiful Place… released their first single from their highly anticipated new album and it surprised me with its use of synth in the best possible way. I have never been as big a fan of this band as others, (although their last LP Harmlessness was pretty good), but if the rest of the album sounds like this, I’m into it.

Julien Baker’s new track definitely got drowned out by the Brand New release, but don’t skip it. This new album is sounding even more powerful than her first. The amount of emotion she is able to pack into her vocals is incredible.

Dreamy lo-fi band Soccer Mommy released their debut LP and its definitely worth a listen. There is a lot of music that sounds like this out I know, but Soccer Mommy stands out. That’s how you know its good.

Strange Ranger (formerly known as Sioux Falls) released one of my favorite albums of the last decade with their debut LP, Rot Forever. Now they’re set to release the follow up and have dropped the first track. If they can match the rambling rock n roll haziness of the original I am going to love this thing.

Bully released their first single from their new album out later this year and I’m hooked. Their last album established a really cool retro 90s rock/punk sound with really authentic catchy vocals. This new single seems to build off of that, and I am very excited to hear the rest of the release. FEEL THE SAME / I FEEL THE SAME.

Hodera have been one of my favorite bands for a while. I released their debut LP back when I ran All Sounds Records, that record United By Birdcalls has been one of my favorite mental health indie rock records ever since I first heard it, but their follow up, First Things First, out this October on Take This To Heart Records, blows it out of the water. They just released the first track, “North Dakota”. Make sure to give it a listen.

Speaking of great NJ bands, Fire Is Motion debuted their new sound and lineup with “Flowers In Kawameeh Park”. This is a band that worked a second vocalist and well done harmonies into their guitar indie sound and it has really taken them to a whole nother level.

Okay one more band from NJ! Basement emo/punk legends Prawn released the first track from their new album and it definitely has me excited. If they can keep growing from Kingfisher, it seems like this release will be one of the better rock albums this year.

Quicksand are back from the dead and true story, I had never heard of this band before this new track, but I listened to it and its pretty sweet. Brooding 90s post hardcore.

PUP constantly are pushing the boundaries of punk rock and coming up with insanely creative and well done music videos. Their old school video game video for “DVP” was incredible, but they took it up a notch with their new CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE MUSIC VIDEO for “Old Wounds”. Remember those Goosebump Books? You need to at least give this a look. So well done and referential classic video games.

On the hip hop side of things I’m stoked for the new Wiki (ex Ratking) album is out, including an authentic as fuck video for “Mayor”. This is legit New York rap and I love it. Wiki’s got some real talent and his verses are always wacky af. One of the best in the city imo. Don’t @ me.

Another of New York’s best MCs, Action Bronson, also released a new album, Blue Chips 7000. The album starts with a clip of someone talking about how they are “so high I can’t describe it.” The clown prince of Queens is back. With all his shows on Viceland I’m surprised he’s still pumping out music at this clip, but I’m glad he is. I’m never not looking for more lyrical new rap.

Wu-Tang also announced a new album for this October and released the first track. The song is RZA produced, Red/Meth heavy, and better than you’d think. Wu are fractured and semi functional as a group at this point in their career, but they are still a great group of rappers so when they can put it together, its excellent.

Diet Cig put out a music video (directed by former The Alternative contributor Emily Dubin) for their track “Harvard” off their debut Over Easy EP along with an announcement of a release of that EP on awesome egg shaped vinyl. The vinyl sold out in 1 day and the video rocks, so I guess that went about as good as you could hope. Emily directed another video for them too, so keep a look out for that in the near future.

There also have been pretty cool new tracks from Citizen, Denzel Curry and Big Nothing (who include members of Spraynard), a calming indie album from Tall Friend, a cool video from Young Jesus, a super creative new album from Queen Moo, and an emotional video from Sorority Noise. That should be enough to hold you over. September and especially October are looking to be even better so keep an ear out.

Past Month’s Editions:

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune/July – August


– Henderson