The Alt Weekly Roundup (4/11)

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.

Out of Service – “What You See”

Out of Service’s latest smolders with all the yearning of the best ‘90s emo ballads before it lifts off about halfway through with galloping drums and shimmering guitars. John Nolan lends his distinctive vocals to the spiraling bridge of “What You See,” and the sum total might well be the best song in the band’s catalog. 

Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Laura Elliott – People Pleaser

Laura Elliott cites Phoebe Bridgers and Samia as two of her biggest influences, and that comes through in spades on People Pleaser. Her debut LP has that same sassy, witty singer-songwriter energy—without sacrificing intimacy. Songs like “Fever Dreams” and “God Complex” play out in widescreen, but they sound like they’re meant for your ears alone. 

Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Signals Midwest – Dent

For some reason, Signals Midwest has never quite caught on the way they should. But after 2019’s Pin EP, the band seems to be making something of a comeback. In fact, their latest LP Dent is very likely their best yet, half an hour of the catchy, heart-on-sleeve indie rock the band’s spent the last decade pumping out. It’s straightforward, it’s rollicking, and it’s a blast through and through.

Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Heart to Gold – Tom

One of the great mysteries of the past five years is why Heart to Gold’s 2018 LP Comp never blew up. Thankfully, their latest, entitled Tom, is even better. It’s got that same cheeky, gruff pop-punk energy as Cosmic Thrill Seekers or Grad Life, with a little more melody. It’s really only a matter of time before Heart to Gold takes over the world, and the train’s leaving the station–get on board.

 Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Good Looks – Bummer Year

Good Looks deals in the same kind of dreamy heartland-adjacent indie rock as bands like Wild Pink or Toledo, and Bummer Year stands up to the best material by either of those bands, seven tracks of serene and placid rootsy rock that feels tailor-made for this time of year. The heavily Dylanesque delivery on the five-minute “Balmorhea” only drives that feeling home.

Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

A Place for Owls – Airport / My Own

I’ve been waiting for a full-band A Place for Owls release since their 2020 acoustic debut, and their new double single, Airport / My Own, is well worth the wait. “Airport” is a twinkly emo track that builds to a gang vocal climax a la I Feel Fine or Lakes, “My Own” is a bit more delicate, with light, floral keys giving the song a bright feeling, and both establish the band as a new favorite of mine.

 Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Letter Opener – “Slow Dance”

Letter Opener’s debut single is a little bit deceiving. “Slow Dance” begins as an unassuming slowcore track before the chorus rips the top off and it reveals itself to be a gravelly post-hardcore ripper. It’s a captivating, dynamic introduction to Letter Opener.

 Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Brackish – “Friends That Drive”

Brackish’s new single is a challenge to themselves. “I could’ve done that better,” Connor Byrne howls on the hook of “Friends That Drive,” the third pre-release track off Brackish, reflecting on the band’s previous works. He’s got a point, too, because “Friends That Drive” is a massive step forward for the Philly punks.

 Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Common Thread – “Changing”

With only a song to their name, Common Thread still has a shot at the most exciting new artist of 2022. The style of melodic, start-and-stop emo that they play is pretty rare these days, and the churning arpeggios of “Changing” feel invigorating. It’s got that same wintry night feeling as the best stuff by Empire! Empire!—and the song’s gritty, throat-shredding climax is harrowing.

Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

Hovvdy – “Town”

“Town” is Hovvdy’s second standalone single of 2022, and it’s easily one of the best songs the duo’s ever put out. Slow and shimmery, it’s got the cinematic feel of a War on Drugs track but with all the intimacy Hovvdy’s come to be known for.

 Zac Djamoos / @gr8whitebison

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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