The Alt Weekly Roundup (9/20)

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.

Ezra Furman – Sex Education – Songs from Season Three

Ezra Furman’s soundtrack to the latest season of Sex Education dropped last Friday, with three excellent new tracks from the eclectic singer. “Trans Mantra” is appropriately cinematic, an empowering pump-up track made for a montage, with Furman’s intense delivery dripping with emotion and pulling meaning out of every syllable. “Going to Brighton” is a classic sleazy rock and roll tune à la AC/DC, who gets a name-drop in a fun lyrical turn. “Frying Pan” reveals Furman’s range, showing that, if she felt like it, she could make her own Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan with ease. Two tracks from Furman’s 2011 record with the Harpoons, Mysterious Power, also show up, serving as a nice reminder that she has a deep catalogue full of killer music.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Travii – “fLawless”

Los Angeles based Travii offers a kaleidoscope of nostalgia for neon-pop punk with his debut single “fLawless.” A shiny, late 2000s style with electric guitars and uber-poppy auto tune is what envelopes the tune, reminding me of a fusion between 100 gecs and older Forever the Sickest Kids. The track is just plain fun and ear-wormy as hell. I dare anyone to listen and not be humming it to yourself while cooking dinner hours later.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Sad Park – “Cash In”

Sad Park just dropped another single for their upcoming album, and I really can’t hype this band enough. “Cash In” takes a shot at how the music industry uses artists’ struggle with mental illness as a way to make more money. The ruckus the band creates with their sound combined with a deep vulnerability in the lyrics is very much my thing, and the video demonstrates that catharsis and fun can happen together. 

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

Owel – “Gala”

Owel is continuing their streak. They’re one of the most talented bands in indie rock, and with each new release they find a way to reinvent their theatrical, symphonic sound. On “Gala,” it’s with atmospheric beats that pulse through the song, blending with the strings. The result is a song that feels darker, more foreboding, than any Owel song before.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Casper Skulls – “Tommy”

Casper Skulls’ latest single “Tommy” drifts along, deliberately building from its piano intro, adding layers and instruments, and blossoming into a gorgeous and spacy rocker with room for the band to jam. After the jam, the group pulls back to end with just guitar and vocals repeating the catchy refrain of “Tommy I just don’t know.” Taken along with the already-released “Thesis,” the Toronto group’s forthcoming Knows No Kindness is shaping up to be an excellent record to listen to as the cold weather starts to creep in.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

TOMI – “If I Wasn’t Yours, Who Was I?”

TOMI is back with haunting pop ballad “If I Wasn’t Yours, Who Was I?” Featuring her ever-present vocal fragility and gut resonating lyrics, the song narrates the loss of identity after a breakup. The empty void that can overcome one after a relationship’s end can be all consuming, but TOMI doesn’t just allow it to drown her. Instead, she is resilient throughout the song, longing to know herself again. It’s one thing to be loved by someone, but it’s another to be able to wrap yourself up in self-love and cherish that adoration you can only find between your ribs. “If I Wasn’t Yours, Who Was I?” feels like a cathartic release and period of growth between these two timelines — one that many of us have felt at least once in our lifetime.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee 

Church Girls – “Basement”

“Basement” — the second single off Church Girls’ upcoming ripper Still Blooms — finds the band at the top of their game. A nasty riff kicks the whole thing off only for the guitar to fade back and cede the spotlight to Mariel Beaumont’s vocals and driving bassline. As Beaumont delivers the line, “I’m barely keeping it alive,” you can feel it viscerally in the pit of your stomach for a moment before the intro riff returns to throw you into the massive chorus.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Chastity – “Pummeling”

Chastity’s finally announced their third album (and first on Deathwish) is called Suffer Summer and it’s due out early next year. “Pummeling” is the newest taste of the LP, and it’s a crunchy, fuzzy pop-punk track that stands out in the band’s catalog.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Nectar – “Routine”

Oh how I have missed Nectar. The Champaign, IL, band is back with a new single and I couldn’t be happier. “Routine” is a bouncy indie rock ode to the pleasures of the day-to-day patterns that can give us stability even if we crave more excitement. Bonus, it appears at least part of it (“You love the routine / If you could talk please tell me / How to give you the best life / Want to get it right”) is vocalist and guitarist Kamila Glowacki singing directly to her cats! I can’t wait to hear more from them.

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

D.C.R. Pollock – “Light Weight”

D.C.R. Pollock’s “Light Weight” is a haunting track of poppy melodies delivered in a tortured croon overtop of demented electronic instrumentation. Lyrics like the opening line “smoked this city down to the roach / thought by now it’d feel like home” reflect the feelings of isolation that can come even amidst a mass of people. Musically, it’s a turn that works great for Pollock, and fans of Digital Ash-era Bright Eyes should feel right at home here.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

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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