February 2019 Alt Col Picks – MILKK, Set It Off, Emarosa, & More

Plenty of great records were released in February, so here are our favorite albums and EPs of the month! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist of our favorite tunes? Click here!

Before we jump into the list proper, I wanted to give a special top feature to two EPs from a couple shining acts, both of which hail from my hometown.

  • Dream Jacuzzi – Out with the Moon

The duo Dream Jacuzzi delivers their debut EP Out with the Moon, showcasing modern indie rock with a classic tinge. Members Lucas Jackson and Josh Pastor are quite the talented musicians, both specializing in brass instruments and of course guitar. Their stellar guitar work radiates on the latest EP, taking influence from sounds of older decades and melding them with a fresh touch. Out with the Moon is sure to capture listeners of Atlas Genius, Divine Fits, and The Noise FM. Click here to listen.

  • Jules Smith – Until I’m Needed Again, I’ll Be Patient

With 6 songs each clocking in under the 3-minute mark, Jules Smith’s new EP is an easy listen but packs a punch with its emotive lyricism. The intelligent, clever, and unabashed songwriting is paired with intricate acoustic assonance; the minimalistic instrumentation allows the lyrics and vocal performance room to breathe, as well as forcing the listener to remain fixated on their own contemplation throughout the poignant experience. Until I’m Needed Again, I’ll Be Patient is bound to please followers of Casey Bolles, Lizzy Farrall, and Worst Party Ever. Click here to listen.

Also, if you would like to give my own latest EP a listen and get a free download, you can click here. It’s pretty dope. I really appreciate it. :)


  • MILKK – HEADRUSH

After releasing a couple EPs in 2018, indie pop band MILKK finally provides their debut full-length titled HEADRUSH, and it’s some of their best material to date. HEADRUSH explores topics ranging from love and heartbreak to mental health and personal struggles. MILKK offers up an intriguing mixture of musical styles—from sugary wide-eyed pop jams to rough-around-the-edges rock anthems to soulful R&B-inspired ballads, there’s something for everybody on this record. Standout tracks include “Unsaid,” “Mean to You,” “Stupid,” and “Honest.” HEADRUSH will appeal to fans of LANY, joan, and Real Cool. Click here to listen.

  • Emarosa – Peach Club

Emarosa further expands their sound on their latest project Peach Club. Peach Club displays Emarosa stepping outside their typical boundaries and into a refreshing new sound. While this slicker direction might be new for them, it certainly harkens back retrospectively to sonic tones of the ’80s. This crisp brand of glistening pop rock is one that the formerly post-hardcore band pulls off incredibly well. Standout tracks include “Cautious,” “Givin’ Up,” “Comfortable,” and “Get Back Up.” Peach Club will attract listeners of Anarbor, Honest Men, and Fickle Friends. Click here to listen.

  • Badflower – OK, I’M SICK

OK, I’M SICK, the most recent LP from Badflower, is a visceral look into frontman John Katz’s anxiety and mental health struggles. The ardent lyricism, guttural vocal delivery, and hard-hitting guitar timbre combine to craft an exuberant contemporary rock album with influences varying from ’90s grunge to Eminem to, well, Xanax. Standout tracks include “Heroin,” “x ANA x,” “Ghost,” and “Wide Eyes.” OK, I’M SICK is sure to capture fans of cleopatrick, Bleeker, and Royal Tusk. Click here to listen.

  • Set It Off – Midnight

After their underwhelming previous record Upside Down (read our full review here), Set It Off has further refined their sound for a more pleasing style of pop rock. Midnight will remind fans of their second studio album Duality, which offered a spot-on balance of pop and rock, but it’s more cultivated this time around. Buoyant guitar riffs, catchy choruses, and a bright horn section dominate Midnight, as well as the undeniable pop direction. Standout tracks include “For You Forever,” “Killer in the Mirror,” “Go to Bed Angry (feat. Wayfarers),” and “Lonely Dance.” Midnight is bound to satisfy followers of The Summer Set, All Time Low, and The Ready Set. Click here to listen.

  • Broods – Don’t Feed the Pop Monster

Indie pop brother-sister duo Broods unleashes their third long-player release, interestingly titled Don’t Feed the Pop Monster. Filled to the brim with gleaming synths, syrupy hooks, and jaunty musicality, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster is a joyous mixture of spirited indie pop and soulful songwriting. Standout tracks include “Falling Apart,” “Dust,” “Peach,” and “Hospitalized.” Don’t Feed the Pop Monster will please fans of Ryn Weaver, Maggie Rogers, and EXES. Click here to listen.

  • SWMRS – Berkeley’s on Fire

Meshing indie rock, new wave, post-punk, and pop rock all together, the latest full-length from SWMRS is certainly an intriguing listen. Berkeley’s on Fire references the 2017 Berkeley protests, giving the band a political edge and attesting to their punk roots. The album is consistently animated and there is never a dull moment to be heard. Standout tracks include “Berkeley’s on Fire,” “Trashbag Baby,” “IKEA Date,” and “Too Much Coffee.” Berkeley’s on Fire will attract followers of Remo Drive, The Frights, and Destroy Boys. Click here to listen.


MORE GREAT ALBUMS
  • ONE OK ROCK – Eye of the Storm

Standout tracks include “Stand Out Fit In,” “Wasted Nights,” and “Worst In Me.” Eye of the Storm is for fans of Set It Off, All Time Low, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Click here to listen.

  • As December Falls – As December Falls

Standout tracks include “Ride,” “One More Night,” and “I Don’t Mind.” As December Falls is for fans of Courage My Love, Mayday Parade, and Forever Starts Today. Click here to listen.

  • American Authors – Seasons

Standout tracks include “Deep Water,” “Neighborhood (feat. Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE),” and “Bring It on Home.” Seasons is for fans of Colony House, X Ambassadors, and The Mowgli’s. Click here to listen.

  • Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary

Standout tracks include “Pretty,” “Minute in Your Mind,” and “Hire.” What Chaos Is Imaginary is for fans of Diet Cig, Cherry Glazerr, and Soccer Mommy. Click here to listen.

  • Youngest of Elders – Nothing Is Wonderful

Standout tracks include “Metaphors & Maps,” “Shame Spiral,” and “Cause to Harm.” Nothing Is Wonderful is for fans of The Dangerous Summer, Driver Friendly, and Green Day. Click here to listen.

  • Threatmantics – Shadow on Your Heart

Standout tracks include “Shadow on Your Heart,” “Krystal Pystol,” and “First Things.” Shadow on Your Heart is for fans of Ought, Estrons, and Howl Griff. Click here to listen.

  • Sean McConnell – Secondhand Smoke

Standout tracks include “Here We Go,” “Rest My Head,” and “I Could Have Been an Angel.” Secondhand Smoke is for fans of Noah Guthrie, Chris DuPont, and Drew Holcomb. Click here to listen.

  • Wicca Phase Springs Eternal – Suffer On

Standout tracks include “Contact,” “Just One Thing,” and “Crushed.” Suffer On is for fans of Smrtdeath, Cold Hart, and Lil Lotus. Click here to listen.

 


Extended Plays
  • Calling All Captains – Nothing Grows Here

Standout tracks include “Chasing Ghosts” and “Out of My Head.” Nothing Grows Here is for fans of The Story So Far, Youth Fountain, and Gold Route. Click here to listen.

  • Carried Away – Start Over

Standout tracks include “Start Over” and “Whispered Riots.” Start Over is for fans of Young Culture, Gold Steps, and Bearings. Click here to listen.

  • Valensole – Imposter

Yes, purposely misspelled. Standout tracks include “Imposter” and “To the Sea.” Imposter is for fans of Foo Fighters, Hemingway, and Teenage Wrist. Click here to listen.

  • Broken Social Scene – Let’s Try the After (Vol. 1)

Standout tracks include “Boyfriends” and “Remember Me Young.” Let’s Try the After (Vol. 1) is for fans of Wolf Parade, Animal Collective, and Deerhunter. Click here to listen.

 


Featured Singles

Let us know what you think of February’s releases down in the comments below!


Our Alt Col Picks are curated lists of the best albums and EPs for each month! We keep a schedule of upcoming releases and pick our favorite ones at the end of the month, giving them a spotlight here and on Twitter. To be featured in one of our lists, hit us up on our contact page or Twitter, though nothing is guaranteed. (We occasionally include past releases, so for instance, if your album came out in June, we might be able to feature it in our post for July or August.)

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