The Alt Weekly Roundup (7/25)

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.

Field Medic – “i had a dream that you died”

There’s something beautiful in the way “i had a dream that you died / somehow made it about me” expresses the witty, reflective lyrical current running through Field Medic’s music that can be morbid while avoiding getting too bogged down in morose feelings, largely lifted by Kevin Patrick Sullivan’s relaxed vocal delivery that feels almost friendly and conversational at times. The lyrics continue to be cleverly self-deprecating as Sullivan compares himself to a lava lamp and a chia pet, while the synth line in the chorus gives the song an appropriately bouncy, dreamlike feel. “i had a dream that you died” is the first track off Field Medic’s upcoming record, grow your hair long if you’re wanting to see something that you can change, which should be perfect cozy listening for its October release.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Muted Color – “Radial”

Much of Muted Color’s first two EPs felt like more mature, more heavily MBV-indebted takes on Peripheral Vision. They’re great, and they established the Chicago group as a band to watch in the dreampop scene. Their newest single, “Radial,” delivers wholly on the promise Pastel and Shatterhead showed. Their first release for shoegaze upstarts Fever Ltd., the track is a washy, flowery tangle of reverb and distortion. It’s the sound of Muted Color finding their footing, and it’s certainly the start of a thrilling new era for the shoegazers.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Anna Shoemaker – “I’m Your Guy”

Brooklyn-rooted Anna Shoemaker is back and better than ever. After her killer debut album I’m Only on Fire dropped earlier this year, she has released a new tune inspired by unconditional love titled “I’m Your Guy.” A rustic, alt-rock ballad, the single sees Shoemaker subverting gender roles and pronouns, confronting and dismissing conventional, heteronormative ideas of love and relationships. Instead, she celebrates and advocates for all types of love as she croons over an intimate fuzzy rock soundscape— love that’s built off unwavering support and warm acceptance in a country run by powerful people that she elaborates “[doesn’t] really give a shit about us, so it’s really up to us to protect and be there for each other.” Her lyricism is always chalked full of honesty and brooding introversion, and “I’m Your Guy” is no different. Doubt there will be a day when Shoemaker releases something that isn’t wickedly good.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Birthday Dad – “Death Too”

Birthday Dad’s first single “Death Too” wastes no time in getting to the point with Alex Periera’s vocals starting the song with “been thinking about death too much / like every day” before being joined by a showtune piano line. As the swaying melody backed by saxophone hits kicks in, the lyrics seem to pour out, one idea running into the next with lines like “never let me think too long / or I’ll go insane / give me weed or serotonin / TV screens replay / endless loops of shit I binge watch / killing time till time stops,” leading to the eventual repetition of “everything is my fault.” The song slowly makes its way to the end, the saxophone eventually giving way to the sound of church bells ringing out over a graveyard.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Gordon M. Phillips – Seasonal

Downhaul’s Gordon M. Phillips dropping a folk record just makes sense. Though his band’s moved away from the more country-tinged stylings of their Little Whim EP, Phillips’ love for mellow, rootsy Americana’s always lurked in the background. Seasonal is a singer-songwriter LP through-and-through––these songs are spare and intimate, wrapped in little more than Phillips’ distinctive warm voice and an acoustic. “On Purpose” and “Counting Cards” introduce a drum machine for a spacier, moodier feeling, but Seasonal is at its best when it’s at its sparsest. Centerpiece “The Fall” is a perfect example; over energetic strums Phillips delivers the sort of world-weary coming-of-age realizations that make his work with Downhaul so universal: “I took too much for granted / and wound up empty handed / but I feel good about the fall.” Over songs like these Phillips’ self-reflective lyrics are placed front and center, and the record’s all the better for it. He’s sneakily one of the better songwriters in the emo-adjacent indie rock sphere, and Seasonal’s only further proof.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Queen Kwong – Couples Only

LA-based rock outfit Queen Kwong recently dropped their third album Couples Only. Led by the feverish frontwoman Carré Callaway, the record is a cathartic release and fearless conversation over betrayal, divorce, and one’s own mortality. It feels like the listener is experiencing this disjointed and profound journey alongside Callaway through gritted synths and noisy sound that only intensifies the feel of her past few years. This is amplified by Couples Only being completely improvised and recorded on the spot, allowing this pain and frustration to come out naturally—uncensored and exist in a much more languid state. It’s one of the more present records I’ve spun in 2022.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Fielded – “Burning Up”

Built off a groove from the reserved bassline and open, sparse guitar overtop a classic straightforward beat, the instrumentals on “Burning Up” allow plenty of space for Fielded’s vocals which are strong even in their more delicate deliveries, finding their space to fit comfortably in the overall feel of the song. The harmonies in the chorus add a swelling and emotional accent to the lyrics like “I’m burning up / woe is me / self destruction / leave me be,” creating a nice back-and-forth between those sections and the more solitary verses.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Foursidewalks – From a Suburb

Foursidewalks’ soft, chiming emo-pop feels straight out of another era, one populated with Something to Write Home Abouts and Foolishs. From a Suburb is a wonderful effort for the Japanese five-piece, warm and melodic and jangly.

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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