The Alt Weekly Roundup (12/13)

Posted: by The Editor

The Alternative Weekly Roundup is a column where our staff plugs a variety of new releases in a concise, streamlined format. Albums, singles, videos, and live sets. Check back each Monday to see what we were jamming the week prior.

Anna Shoemaker – “Change My Mind”

“Change My Mind” is indie pop-rocker Anna Shoemaker’s third single from her upcoming 2022 debut album. It’s a moody track that focuses on an alt-rock structure and twangy guitars. Compared to the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Shoemaker works in similar fashion as her vocals climb to an emotional high while her relatable lyricism has one feeling like they’re listening to the inner ramblings of her mind. It’s hard not to put this fizzy, alt-pop tune on rotation in your music library for the next week.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Melted – Self Deflection

Melted’s Self Deflection is a ferocious twenty-minute attack of punk and hardcore, with very few songs pushing past the two-and-a-half minute mark. Melodic at times, all rage at others, the record is instantly gripping for anyone who grew up on ’90s Bay Area punk. Justin Eckley’s vocals cut just the right balance between raspy screams and catchy hooks, and the band sounds fantastic with crunchy guitars, an active bass, and aggressive drumming that keeps everything going at a relentless pace.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Sunset Standard – “Selfish”

Sunset Standard’s “Selfish,” the first taste of their upcoming EP out this Tuesday, almost feels like a cleaner, more modern take on Braid’s early material. Energetic, with just enough noodling to keep the Algernon Cadwallader fans happy, “Selfish” is a promising single.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Wicca Phase Springs Eternal / Pillars of Ivory – Split

The pairing of Wicca Phase Springs Eternal and Pillars of Ivory for a split is pretty perfect. Each project is borne out of trying something just a bit different. For Adam McIlwee, Wicca Phase took his homespun songwriting he perfected on the self-titled Tigers Jaw record and refitted it for emo rap, abandoning guitars for 808s and a computer. Jay Petta of Mindforce on the other hand uses Pillars of Ivory for an entirely different purpose, creating a cocktail of his two favorite things: hardcore and rap. While this combination may seem suspect to those who lived through the worst of rap-rock, Pillars of Ivory instead feels like your best friend making you a mixtape, alternating between a DJ mix and two-minute bursts of NYHC fury.

Hugo Reyes | @hvreyes5

Ezra Cohen – “Just Like You”

Ezra Cohen’s new track “Just Like You” adds a backing band behind the singer-songwriter, making for a bouncy, ’70s classic rock groove that fits perfectly alongside Cohen’s smooth vocals. With some big chunky riffs and a simple singalong chorus, it’s the kind of tune you’d wanna hear Cohen and his band rip through in a grimy dive bar.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

BIG KILL – “Fat Lip”

Canadian art pop duo BIG KILL’s newest single “Fat Lip” has been ringing through my head this past week. It’s an insanely fun hyperpop tune that experiments with gratifying bass synths and hectic percussion to cleanse your musical palette. You’ll be coming back for more just to try and distinguish all the unique elements that make up its production. I can promise you, your first listen will be quite the experience.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Now That I Am – “Kid”

Now That I Am’s new single takes a step away from the brooding alt rock of his previous material and instead towards a melodic, almost Americana-punk sound not unlike the Menzingers, AM Taxi, or Big Loser. “Kid” is a great display of the project’s versatility and catchiness, a sure sign that big things are on the horizon in 2022.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Tetchy – “Backyard”

“Backyard” by Tetchy starts on a relatively quiet note, immediately building tension with an urgency that breaks around three minutes into the track when the band kicks into a raging rocker. Maggie Denning’s vocals morph and meld with the song as it moves from a light and airy verse with vocal flips to a tuneful and radio-ready chorus, finally landing on a soaring coda packed with brutal screams. Check out the surreal video below.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Boneflower / Lang – Dolor / 遠来

Boneflower put out one of 2020’s best screamo/post-hardcore records in Armour last year, and the songs they bring to their half of a new split with Japanese screamo troupe Lang do not disappoint. Opener “El Hospital” is a barreling hardcore track while the six-minute “El Escondite” gives the band a bit more time to explore their melodic side. On the back half, Lang brings more straight-up screamo; their songs feel like they’re about to burst at the seams. “Forget Me Not” is the best showcase, a thrashing post-hardcore track that never lets up for a minute, like an Ampere song stretched out over four minutes. The way both halves come together is impressive; Dolor / 遠来 feels like a cohesive piece and, more than that, it feels like one of the best heavy albums of 2021. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Parks n’ Rec – “The Year That Changed Everything”

Parks n’ Rec’s newest single is a reflection on the last year of life. “The Year That Everything Changed” was created after spending nine months in remote parts of Central and South America before coming back to New York City this past fall. The shocking transition due to the pandemic was something that hit Parks n’ Rec hard as they documented the human journey of acceptance, recalibration, and redefinition in the world we now live in. Absorbed by what seems to be ’80s new wave influences, “The Year That Everything Changed” is a shimmery coming of age tune whose own melancholy is what strengthens its impact.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Sunfo – “You Had Me at Fajitas”

Sunfo’s particular take on mathy emo feels Sunfo. It’s probably still the dominant style in the genre, but there’s something about Sunfo that sounds unique. “You Had Me at Fajitas” displays this well, twisting from understated verses to an aggressive, cacophonous bridge. The song carries a feeling of unpredictability, and when it all bursts, it just feels perfect.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Eighty Ninety – “Heart on the Line”

After a brief hiatus, indie-pop’s Eighty Ninety is back with a heartfelt new single, “Heart on the Line.” It’s an emotional tune built overtop minimalistic pop instrumentals. As the track swells, one is captivated by its atmospheric soundscape that Eighty Ninety is known for. Its delicate melody only further enchants the listener while its lyrics cut like a knife. The song is perfect for colder weather as the darker tone further reinforces all the wintery, blue moods we have to look forward to.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

The Alternative’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlist

Each week our editor Lindsy Carrasquillo compiles a playlist of songs our staff has been jamming. We’ll post it on Fridays on Twitter and then include it in each edition of the ‘Weekly Roundup’ to make sure you don’t miss all of the great music we’re recommending.

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