The Alt Weekly Roundup (3/29)

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.

Bicycle Inn—This Time and Place Is All I’ll Ever Know

Bicycle Inn’s debut LP, This Time and Place Is All I’ll Ever Know, is exactly what you’d hope for from the Massachusetts-based trio. Retaining the emotional resonance and raw intensity of their earlier EPs, their full-length demonstrates heightened maturity and an even deeper mastery of songwriting. Changing tempos and twinkly arpeggios elevate the punk-rock, scream-along sensibility that made us fall in love with them in the first place. 

Michelle Bruton | @MichelleBruton 

Upstairs—What Is Upstairs

The latest offering from Upstairs imagines what would happen if The National collaborated with The Dismemberment Plan. The result, What Is Upstairs, is delightful; it’s got all the dark atmosphere of the former with the loose, jittery energy of the latter. Take the dancey post-punk of a single “Clean Comedians,” which slinks through feedback and a call-and-response bridge to a sardonic and eclectic conclusion. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Origami Angel—”Neutrogena Spektor” / “Greenbelt Station”

I’m still regularly listening to a hard copy of Origami Angel’s Somewhere City in my crappy Nissan Altima. If the way the internet reacted when they announced a new double LP, GAMI GANG, and dropped singles “Neutrogena Spektor” and “Greenbelt Station” is any evidence.  I’m surely not alone. “Neutrogena Spektor” is reminiscent of the early 2000s’ pop-punk sound, complete with angsty gang vocals. Man Overboard fans, that one’s for you. It bleeds into “Greenbelt Station,” and the transition from punchy pop-punk into an acoustic, reflective track is flawless. 

Madison Van Houten | @madisonvanhalen

Chess Club—You’re Lucky I Like You

The new LP by emo-pop three-piece Chess Club is a mathy sugar rush. You’re Lucky I Like You should appeal to fans of bands like Origami Angel, Macseal or Bicycle Inn with its rapidfire riffage (sorry) and plentiful hooks. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Modern Chemistry—”Secret Garden” 

“Secret Garden” is a classic Bruce Springsteen song, full of melancholy storytelling and twangy vocals. New Jersey-based Modern Chemistry put their own spin on it, adding drum beats and ambiance. The result is a refreshing, bedroom-pop update; it resembles something that Jack Antonoff would cook up in his home studio.

Madison Van Houten | @madisonvanhalen

Kali Masi—Laughs

It’s getting warmer, and that means I just wanna shout along to some good ol’ punk with the windows down, damn it. Enter Kali Masi, whose sophomore record Laughs is made for just that. The band exists at the intersection between Against Me!’s Springsteen phase, Spanish Love Songs’ latest, and Daytrader (RIP). This is all to say, it just rocks, man. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

World Smasher—”Big Head”

World Smasher, made up of members from Spiritual Cramp, Firearm, Crucified, the Sweethearts, the She’s, and Blossom, are a new supergroup full of fuzz and grungey influences. Hannah Velente’s vocals and lyrics have “mix-I-made-for-my-sophomore-year-crush” written all over them, as she pines over an unrequited crush’s smile. The best part of the song, hands down, is the buzzing guitar breakdown at its halfway point.

Madison Van Houten | @madisonvanhalen

Lunarette—Claire de Lunarette

The Clair de Lunarette EP by Lunarette is one of the 2021’s most promising debuts. Its melodic, instantly catchy dream pop recalls at times heavyweights Slowdive, but never feels too beholden to its influences or the conventions of the genre. Single “Messing,” for example, really leans into the pop side of dream pop with an electronic beat that makes the song almost danceable. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Pickle Darling—”Blushing”

I have been waiting very patiently for new Pickle Darling music, and their new single “Blushing” could not have come out at a better time. The spring sunshine is begging for the sweet harmonies and lilting guitar, and the bright glitchiness makes Lukas Mayo’s lyrics about insecurities shimmer. This is a bigger production than we are used to from the bedroom artist, but the growth doesn’t take away from the intimacy that colors Pickle Darling’s songwork. The earnestness is still there, just with more depth. 

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

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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