The Alt Weekly Roundup (2/13)

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.

Quinn Cicala – “Spring Street”

Beginning with a gentle waterfall piano, Quinn Cicala’s “Spring Street” is a lovely and nostalgic mid-tempo rocker. Cicala’s country-folk musings are backed up by a full band here, with the organ adding a classic feel to the track. Along with the fantastic “New York Times,” it’s the second tune out from Cicala’s killer upcoming record Gold.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Narrow Head – Moments of Clarity

Moments of Clarity is the apex of the ’90s grungegaze whatever revival that’s been kicking for the last decade or so. The reference points here are obvious, from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins to Hum and Catherine Wheel and Basement to Superheaven, but none of that matters on a listen through Narrow Head’s opus. The band deftly mixes grunge’s heaviest tendencies, as on the crushing couplet of “Gearhead” and “Flesh and Solitude,” with stargazing dream pop balladry (“Breakup Song”) and earworm alternative rock like on the towering hook of “Caroline” or the crystalline opener “The Real.” They even tap back into the buzzing shoegaze of their earliest releases on “The World,” and hazy ender “Soft to Touch” sneaks some breakbeats in. It’s a perfect combination of everything Narrow Head has been building toward since they formed, not merely borrowing the sounds of their influences, but wholly embodying and perfecting them.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

La Fonda – “Kaleidoscope”

 La Fonda’s sound comes from the darkness of struggle and light of family. Sisters Valerie and Veronica Tapacio went through a lot as teens and young adults (their father being detained by ICE, homelessness, addiction, etc), but they have come out the other end with music reflects the entire spectrum of life. Their new single “Kaleidoscope” is both shadowy and bright, the video full of flashes of color and glitched out effects. The band takes on a kind of dreamlike sound that give me of turn-of-the-millenium-reimagined vibes, and I am totally here for that.

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

Equipment – “My Birthdays Lately”

Built off some grimy guitars and a jaunty melody that feels like someone skipping down the street—even as the lyrics are packed with lines like “I don’t trust the people who give me advice / cause I wouldn’t wanna live their fucking life / I’m constantly in a state of almost making it / yet I feel further back than when I started so”—Equipment’s “My Birthdays Lately” is an absolute blast. It joins the revelry of riffs and fucking up your life that is “Talk to Strangers,” a tune that finds a perfect blend of melodic and brutal. Both tracks are great and hopefully ones that will grace Equipment’s setlist on their upcoming tour with Free Throw, Can’t Swim, and Early Humans.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Samiam – “Crystallized”

Your favorite punk band owes a bit of a debt to Samiam. While they never reached the heights of their Gilman peers in Green Day, you can feel their imprints on acts like Fiddlehead and Drug Church. They were taking the aggression of punk and hardcore but making something more melodic. But, unlike some of their peers, Samiam has never really gone away, last releasing an album in 2011. Now, a over decade later, Samiam is returning with a new record in Stowaway. “Crystallized” is the second single and feels like it could have been on any of Samiam’s records over the past 30 years.

Hugo Reyes | @hvreyes5

Keep – “Hand2Hand”

On the follow-up album to 2017’s For Your Joy, the Richmond, Virginia, quintet Keep returned with a massive alternative rock album Happy in Here on February 3rd. The seventh track on the album is devastatingly dark and beautiful in its thick shadowy tones and atmospheric highs. A drunken dream of a track that’s so alluring it’s impossible to not sink into.

 Loan Pham | @senseofexile

Kicksie – “You’re On”

After going quiet for a while, Kickie’s back with the bouncy “You’re On,” the first single off their upcoming fifth LP Slouch. It’s a challenge to Kicksie’s haters and a promise that the Toronto-based singer-songwriter will never slow down.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Initiate – “Alone at the Bottom”

Initiate delivers with their latest single/video for their song “Alone at the Bottom.” With a rhythmic, catchy, and soaring chorus and Crystal Pak’s vocals scorching through more than ever before, the song is a promising glimpse at what is yet to come. Set to debut their second full length album later this spring, they are certainly the band to watch in California hardcore.

 Loan Pham | @senseofexile

Indigo De Souza – “Younger & Dumber”

 Asheville’s Indigo De Souza stares into the void on “Younger & Dumber,” the lead single from her forthcoming third LP with Saddle Creek Records, All Of This Will End. What starts as a slow lap steel slide into a ravine of lost loves and broken homes eventually swells into a soaring power ballad, showcasing some of De Souza’s most resonant lyrics and dynamic vocals to date.

Grace Robins-Somerville | @grace_roso

7ebra – “I Like to Pretend”

7ebra make shimmery, glimmery indie rock that makes me want to lay on the grass in the sunshine and lazily listen. Well, if I didn’t have a grass allergy. But maybe no one has a grass allergy in the ’60s-tinged world that the Scandinavian sisters create with their breathy harmonies, rhythmic guitars, and a crayon box full of keys. “I Like to Pretend” is a great intro into how the sisters paint with indie rock, psych, and folk, a playful song that will make you want to stay in their world for just a bit longer.

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

Scowl – “Opening Night”

Scowl is officially a post-hardcore band. Clean vocals nearly outnumber the screams of their upcoming Psychic Dance Routine, which mixes hooky ‘90s alt rock into their crushing hardcore formula, and lead single “Opening Night” is a punk rock ear worm.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

NEWSKI – “Chemicals”

NEWSKI’s “Chemicals” seems aptly named, since the first hit of guitars feels like a rush of one of those rewarding chemicals worked into the song’s lyrics. While the lyrics use the symbolism to explore a relationship that refuses to alchemize, the instrumentals are pure bliss with a classic garage-rock sound from the guitar.

 Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Pest Control – Don’t Test the Pest

With acts like Drain and Mindforce, we’ve seen much more crossover and thrash in hardcore lately. Pest Control partially reflects that, showing off their metal chops on Don’t Step the Pest. But they understand that crossover works best when you still leave space for people to dance, slipping in plenty of enjoyable mosh parts for the moshers. 

Hugo Reyes @hvreyes5

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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