The Alt Weekly Roundup (3/25)

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.

Hiding Places – Lesson

Alternative folk band Hiding Places dropped Lesson this week, which comes hot off their recent show announcement with Wednesday in Asheville set for August. Lesson has some stunning lyrics, my favorite being from “Crown of Tin”: “Winter is me singing in my room it never ends.” This song is poetic, introspective, and a bit lonely (but the type of loneliness that’s comforting), and it lands with a dizzying collapse. Lesson is ripe with loud guitars that mingle with intimate acoustics and the vocals are like velvet—soft and cool.

Ryleigh Wann | @wannderfullll

Restorations – Restorations

The first review I ever wrote for The Alternative was of Restorations’ last album LP5000 back in 2018. I was starting to think that’d be the last we ever heard of them. Thank God I was wrong, though, because Restorations is the Philly heartland punks’ absolute best work yet. These are the band’s most reflective, wistful songs to date, fixated on time wasted: “What did you find? / Not enough time,” “all you get is the time / in the rain between the storms,” “it’s not end times at all / it’s something much slower / something much dumber.” But, as ever, these songs are anthems, these are words you feel rattling around in your chest burning to find their way out. If “it’s all gone” like they say, might as well sing along.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Operator Music Band – Four Singles

This is for all the house heads and techno weirdos. I first saw Operator Music Band in Brooklyn a year or so ago, and the trio knows how to show the crowd a good time. Their new EP Four Singles is layered with classic dance-music musts: high hats and trance-like lyrics, but with some experimental texture (are those Rototoms?)—my favorites off the EP are “As It Goes” and “Oval.” Try to not dance to it.

Ryleigh Wann | @wannderfullll

Blanket – Ceremonia

Every moment on Ceremonia is blown up. Whether it’s the shoegazey swirl of guitars on “Porcelain” and “The Lucky Ones,” the breakdown on the grunge-stained “Kaleidoscope,” or the prog-metal bridge of “Euphoria,” every feeling across Blanket’s third LP is supersized and placed front and center. They manage to stand out from the deluge of other ‘heavygaze’ bands by placing equal emphasis on both the heavier and prettier moments; take “Loom,” the most effective study in contrasts—what begins as a drippy, psyched-out shoegaze track morphs seamlessly into a bludgeoning post-hardcore ripper by its bridge, all fiery drumrolls and vicious wordless screams before boomeranging back into shape without missing a beat.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Cusp – Thanks So Much

It’s nice to have new music from Cusp since their debut last May—and their new EP Thanks So Much is a preview of what this indie rock band can further do. The layered harmonies, clever lyrics, and loud guitar, especially in the title track, is enough to keep this EP on repeat for me.

Ryleigh Wann | @wannderfullll

villagerrr – Tear Your Heart Out 

On villagerrr’s latest LP, Mark Allen Scott and company deal in the sort of placid indie rock that could soundtrack a sunset. Tear Your Heart Out falls somewhere between True Love and Wishes to Fulfill, sprinkled in here and there with slide guitar, cello, pedal slide, and vocals from labelmate Merce Lemon.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Adrianne Lenker – Bright Future

A few things can make me teary in public (like the time I read the novel A Little Life on a plane or saw an old man play a joke on his wife at the park) but Adrianne Lenker’s Bright Future had my cheeks shiny in the coffee shop. Lenker is a musician for the poets—such distilled imagery, complex storytelling, and complicated emotions pervades her music in a way that can’t help but cut you open with vulnerability and relatability. “Real House” is a snapshot of a memory that feels out of reach but also like it was yesterday. It celebrates the mundane and draws you into the small, intimate worlds the lyrics relish in, which is something to behold.

Ryleigh Wann | @wannderfullll

12th House Sun – Behind the Glass

With all the different shapes bands have been twisting shoegaze into lately, Behind the Glass is a nice listen. 12th House Sun plays it straight, mostly, wavery, glimmering guitar lines and muted vocals that sometimes break into a scream. There are songs on here called “Anxious” and “One Step Closer,” which is funny too. They sound nothing like those bands, though, but like the band that might exist somewhere in between Pity Sex and Glare.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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