The Alt Weekly Roundup (6/17)

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.

Midwife – “Killdozer”

I’m always reluctant—as I think anyone who writes about music should be—to take an artist’s self-categorization seriously. But I’ve always appreciated Madeleine Johnson’s ‘heaven metal’ tag for Midwife; it fits her blinding-light riffs and smoggy vocals delivery. Her newest single, “Killdozer,” off her upcoming No Depression in Heaven, is a lot less metal and a lot more heaven, drenching Johnson’s vocals in echoey reverb and verging on ambient. It’s an excellent song, and it might not even be the best single Midwife’s released this year, which is a great sign for No Depression in Heaven.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Growing Stone – “No Substitute”

Growing Stone’s ruminative “No Substitute” finds its beauty in its more subtle aspects—a trumpet sneaking in before the second verse, the introduction of the strings after the next pass through the chorus, the steady fingerpicking that Skylar Sarkis matches in his calm yet strong vocals. Sarkis, the songwriter behind the project and (the late great?) Taking Meds, is joined here by Jacob McCabe (Chet Wasted and Perspective, A Lovely Hand to Hold) and Jimmy Montague (who put out a killer solo record earlier this year, played bass on pretty much every record mentioned here, and has been cooking up something to keep an eye out for along with McCabe as Pretty Rude) on the aforementioned trumpet and strings. The point being, the three musicians here are not only great, but working with a solid familiarity and trust in each other that shows in the understated strength of the song.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Praise – Coming Up for Air

Two years ago, Baltimore based melodic hardcore band Praise released one of the most earnest and energizing albums of 2022 with the seminal All in a Dream. In the time since, the band has found themselves relocating and evolving into a bicoastal group, though their signature mid-’80s-inspired sound continues to reflect their East Coast roots. Their new EP Coming Up for Air is as thoughtful as ever as Andy Norton offers words of encouragement and contemplates his experiences with grief as well as his changing relationship with pursuing his passion. With propulsive drumming courtesy of Blake Hall and guest vocals from Haley Butters of Pale Green Stars, Coming Up for Air is their most collaborative effort yet, offering up three raw and breezy tracks from the band, and it’s out now on Revelation Records.

Loan Pham | @x_loanp

Split Chain – “Haven”

Grungy UK rockers Split Chain go full alt metal on their flinty new single “Haven.” It might be the band’s heaviest track yet, mixing harrowing shrieks into their classically dark and murky production.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Girl K – “The Well”

Girl K’s latest “The Well” seems to embrace and build upon the best parts of their excellent Girl K Is for the People EP from a few years back. A driving guitar line and pumping drum machine kick things off before the emergence of synths that seem to be cutting through fog machines and neon lights. With its vibrant energy and intensity, it’s the type of song that you could imagine Ellen Aim and The Attackers playing if someone had the inadvisable idea to remake Streets of Fire nowadays. It also bodes well for Girl K’s upcoming My Future, which is likely to be a jolt of energy when it drops this August.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Muted Color – “acid rain”

“acid rain” is the second single off Muted Color’s upcoming debut full-length take i lovely you, after “sudden change” (which we premiered). It’s a great extension of the understated, seasick shoegaze style they toyed with on their early EPs, and its relative subtlety suggests they’ve learned a lot since those days.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

The Alternative’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlist

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

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