The Alternative’s 50 Most Anticipated Releases of 2019

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Our staff put together a list of the 50 albums we are most excited for in 2019. Really happy with how it came out. Looks like a good year for new music ahead. Take a look and get hyped!

Aaron West & the Roaring Twenties

Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties is the folk rock solo project of The Wonder Years’s Dan Campbell. Each release furthers the fictional story of Aaron West himself, delivering intensely emotional performances and intimate sing-along tracks. Since the start of the project it has been exciting to see both the music and the narrative progress and this new album will be a major step forward on both fronts now that the base has been fully fleshed out. I was lucky enough to hear Campbell try out a few potential songs for the album on his living room tour last fall and can’t wait to hear the finished product. – Scott Fugger

American Football

The genre-defining American Football returns for a third album, but have indicated that they’re breaking from their self-defined mold. LP3 promises to be an experimental turn for the band, with single “Silhouettes” blending together familiarity and gorgeous, brightly-toned melodies. Get ready for the dads of emo to catapult to the mainstream with teased iconic crossover collaborations with acts like the one-and-only Hayley Williams of Paramore. – Amanda Starling

Angel Du$t

Angel Du$t have been one of the most unique bands in hardcore for a while now. That is if they even qualify as a “hardcore” band anymore. Although they share members with Turnstile, and frontman Justice Tripp fronts the now-legendary hardcore bruisers Trapped Under Ice, the two songs Angel Du$t dropped last November are buttery power-pop tracks that teeter on the precipice of punk without ever taking the leap. On 2014’s A.D. and 2016’s Rock The Fuck On Forever they mastered the trickiness of carrying gentle pop melodies through push-pit-inducing bursts of timeless hardcore. The trip (pun intended?) they’re on now is a weird one, and that’s great because it shows they have no shortage of creative ideas. Whatever they bring into the new year is warmly welcome. – Eli Enis


Falling into the camps of “criminally underrated” and “I told y’all so”, Sleep, the 2018 debut EP from Portland rockers Babehoven was majorly slept on. Recorded with Turtlenecked’s Harrison Smith, songwriter Maya Bon showcased her booming vocals as well as her knack for writing shuffling indie rock on one of the strongest debuts of last year. Babehoven fits right at home on Good Cheer Records, who has more than a few overlooked gems in their catalog, so here’s to hoping Babehoven (one of my favorite musical discoveries of last year) can be one of yours in 2019. – Michael Brooks

Bartees & the Strange Fruit

Bartees has a way with sound as a folky indie rock crooner. His music is at the same time stripped down, experimental, intensely personal, and is clearly the product of intense creative effort. He has an eye for detail and a penchant for emotion. I expect this release to be somewhat of a wildcard sonically, and that’s what makes it so exciting. – Scott Fugger

Beach Slang

Known for their grunge-infested, punk-rock roots, it’s been a rocky couple of years for Beach Slang. James Alex, the only original member, has invested time into his side-project Quiet Slang to explore different sounds while also reinterpreting much of Beach Slang’s discography. Throughout 2018, Alex kept a somewhat low profile, as he went on a quiet tour and dropped an even quieter record. But on New Year’s Eve he announced he had written a record that was “worth waiting for.” Whether that be absorbed by the loud guitars and gnashing attitude of original Beach Slang or melted into the tenderness he had found in rock ‘n’ roll through Quiet Slang, it does pique interest. If the two projects found a way to collide, that’s enough reason to expect a killer release. – Hope Ankley

Photo by Dan Hess Photography

Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss’s Guppy was one of our favorite albums of 2017, eventually finishing in the top 5 of our Album of the Year voting, and it’s no surprise why. Charly Bliss’s high energy punk rock and vocalist Eva Hendricks’s squeaky but emotional voice make for a completely unique band, with the creativity and songwriting chops to do something special. It seems like we’ll be treated to it’s follow up in 2019, and I can’t wait.  – Henderson Cole

Commander Salamander

After releasing an EP in 2017, and a promo tape in 2018, the group took a long hiatus to write and recover from some hardships. Now at the beginning of 2019, they have released a split with new songs that completely outshine their past ones. With a new outlook on writing, and a supposed LP in the summer, the emo trio is has a promising year ahead of them. – Jordi Perbtani


Copeland’s consistent growth over five LPs is nothing to balk at—I am legitimately stunned every single time I run through their discography. From the naive, graceful pop/rock of 2003’s Beneath Medicine Tree to the blustery masterpiece in 2014’s Ixora, Copeland have never failed to top themselves with each release. Singles “Pope,” “Night Figures,” and “On Your Worst Day” indicate that Blushing (out February 14) will follow that upward trajectory. They’re three songs that get under your skin with surprising structural shifts and an ever-present beauty, traits that Copeland have cultivated and heightened over an incredible 15-year lifespan. – Jordan Walsh

Critical Hits

Purveyor of pop-punk, Victor Alvarez, is back, taking an indie spin with his new project, Critical Hits. Each song in his live show sports high, playful energy while undercutting some of life’s most decisive moments. Critical Hits’ breakout feels inevitable with this record. – Amanda Starling

Photo by Nate Abbott Photography


With only a pair of EPs to their name (2016’s self titled and 2017’s Locket) Crumb are a band with a truly original sound, and one of very few acts that are operating in a lane of their own. Fusing together bits and pieces of pyschedelia, indie pop, and jazz to create a haze of intoxicating sounds, vocalist/guitarist Lila Ramani’s syrupy voice floats on top of dreamy synths and jangly guitar lines like a mist. Tracks like “Locket” and “Bones” are as intricate as they are hypnotic, and their debut LP will certainly be one to look out for. – Michael Brooks

Danny Brown

Danny Brown came onto the rap scene as a extremely high energy MC with a somewhat experimental ODB type delivery, and legit bars to back it up. He proved to the hiphop world he was even more than than this already impressive resume when he began pushing his discography in a jazzier and more genre bending direction. With Atrocity Exhibition his 2017 LP, Danny established himself on the very tip of the forefront of rap experimentation and songwriting, maybe only alongside Earl Sweatshirt, and I am more than excited for whatever he does next. – Henderson Cole

Photo by Chelsea Pineda

Diet Cig

Diet Cig saw enormous and well-deserved success debut I Swear I’m Good At This, a powerful punk record full of energetic tracks about everything that matters: friends, astrology, and love. 2019 is already starting off with a bang for this band, having already announced a full US/Canada tour supporting PUP this spring. We’ll be impatiently waiting to see what Diet Cig has to offer with their new record. – Kayla Carmichael

Diva Sweetly

Diva Sweetly’s In the Living Room came out the other day (1/18), but those who haven’t heard it should all be eager beavers. They released two singles in 2018, each one laid back yet committed. “Detox Island” is layered with percussive synth sounds, reminiscent of the marimba in Paramore’s After Laughter. The song fluctuates tempo flawlessly, and allows listeners space to get back into the groove. The other single released, Wax On My Candles, has a fuzzed-out, robotic feel, contrary to “Detox Island,” but it rocks just as hard. The whole album is an exciting start to all of the music 2019 will offer. – Ryan Bartlett


Ever since I first saw Dogleg perform a small DIY gig in a Pittsburgh basement, I was instantly hooked on the band’s rugged yet manageable style of indie rock. The band, which hasn’t released any new music since their 2016 Remember Alderaan? EP, has garnered a lot of support and recognition from playing shows in their home state of Michigan, as well as from additional touring throughout the county. I fully expect their newest musical effort to be a real sleeper pick on a lot of early ‘Album of the Year’ lists in 2019, as Dogleg is more than expected to stun and awe music scenes with another flawless work of indisputable and heartfelt punk artistry. – Shannon Mahoney


Downhaul have released a string of EPs plotting a wonderful progression of the band carving out their own unique sound. They take hints of emo jangles, throw in a bit of twang, and add to it a feeling of momentum that matches the band’s own growth. This feels like a perfect storm for a stellar debut LP and I’m so excited to see this band continue to top themselves. – Scott Fugger


With both an EP and an LP in the works, this Toledo band will surely knock some socks off this coming year. The eclectic music taste of each member combine beautifully to create a Baskin Robbins-esque multitude of flavor samples, and 2019 will hopefully be the sundae that bring them all together. – Jordi Perbtani

Photo by Joey Tobin

Free Throw

Although Free Throw’s Bear Your Mind was released nearly two years ago, the band’s ability to produce timeless pieces of piercing emo-rock provides them the aptitude needed to once again grace us a set of eternal bangers. The band’s energetic yet intricate style of emo is a wonderland of heart-pumping guitar riffs and punk-style vocals that can satiate the roughest of musical appetites. With 2019 stoking another potential addition to the band’s already immaculate discography, I am already at the edge of my seat waiting for news of what could easily be one of the most significant punk records released this year. – Shannon Mahoney


LA-based duo Girlpool is starting February off with their second LP, What Chaos Is Imaginary. 2017’s Powerplant was an excellent addition to their already impressive discography, adding new experimentation to the mix. With last year’s slow, synthy “Picturesong” getting so many people jazzed about this new album (including myself), it’s hard to wait for its Feb. 1 release date. – Kayla Carmichael

The Glow

LVL Up announced their amicable breakup in mid-2018, promising “new music soon” from each respective member, as is custom for most bands who kick it in their younger years. But I don’t think anyone was expecting such a quick turnaround from the NY quartet; by the end of the year, bassist Nick Corbo had a 7” out under his solo moniker Spirit Was, and guitarist Mike Caridi dropped the first single from his solo venture, The Glow. That song, one of my favorite tracks of 2018, was billed as a preview of Caridi’s debut out sometime in 2019. It’s a two-minute nugget of sunny power-pop perfection, padded with some crunchy licks and shreddy fretwork for good measure. It fills the void in a world without the prospect of new LVL Up, and that’s a wonderful thing. – Eli Enis

Photo by Chelsea Pineda

Great Grandpa

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve listened to Great Grandpa’s debut record, Plastic Cough, on a loop. When I first heard them, I was immediately drawn to lead guitarist Pat Goodwin’s intricate fretwork and the band’s vocal hooks. They’ve already mastered how to use layered instrumentals that push and pull in different directions without ever coming off as chaotic and I can’t wait to hear what they do next. – Lindsy Carrasquillo

Photo by Emily Dubin

Harmony Woods

Following the rampant success of their first LP, Philadelphia’s own Harmony Woods reemerges from hallowed grounds to deliver us new music in 2019. 2017’s Nothing Special delivered flippant indie-rock tracks, intermingled with glances of expertly crafted and subtly beautiful lo-fi ballads touching on themes like love and loss. I expect lead vocalist and songwriter Sofia Verbilla to again create genre-bending works of art on the path to what is bound to become a fruitful career in music. – Shannon Mahoney

Photo by Michael Cooper


Tiny Engines have put out a lot of gems since Haybaby’s most recent project, 2016’s fierce and brooding Blood Harvest EP. None of them, though, have the thrill factor that those songs continue to possess nearly three years since their release. The band, who are particularly menacing live, bring a refreshing, spine-tingling darkness to contemporary grunge. Strong traces of doom metal, hardcore, and noise can be heard amongst the hooks and dynamic subtleties. Their sophomore record is finally slated to arrive this year, and if it’s anything like Blood Harvest, I’m game. – Eli Enis


IDLES came out with an absolutely phenomenal record in 2018, titled Joy is An Act of Resistance. The lyrical themes tackle hyper-masculinity portrayed in media and culture, delivered with a heavy-hitting punk sound. The production quality was amazing, and the whole record was full of stunners. I’m just hoping that IDLES continue to push the boundaries both lyrically and instrumentally on their third record, which will hopefully arrive sometime this year. – Sarah Knoll

Photo by Carolyn Ambriano Photography

Insignificant Other

Insignificant Other is the band that got me into my local scene, so to say I’m excited would be an understatement.  I’ve loved seeing how the band has evolved over the years and from their recent performances, it seems like they’re expanding from their more laid-back sound into faster, upbeat tracks. Lead singer/guitarist Sim Morales has a knack for telling beautifully detailed stories with lyrics that are specific yet relateable. I can’t wait to see what this immensely talented group is able to accomplish in 2019. – Lindsy Carrasquillo

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