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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January 2019 Alt Col Picks – Bring Me the Horizon, Maggie Rogers, FEVER 333, & More

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

  • FEVER 333 – STRENGTH IN NUMB333RS

FEVER 333 is a quasi-supergroup. Ex-letlive. member Jason Aalon Butler contributing vocals, Aric Improta of Night Verses on drums, and ex-The Chariot member Stephen Harrison on guitar. Their debut record delivers irrepressible energy, angst, and guts through hard-hitting instrumentals and politically-charged lyricism. This hip-hop-meets-punk amalgamation is exactly the medium for their message. Standout tracks include “BURN IT,” “PREY FOR ME/3,” “OUT OF CONTROL/3,” and “ONE OF US.” STRENGTH IN NUMB333RS will appeal to fans of Dropout Kings, SHVPES, and Linkin Park. Click here to listen.

  • Bring Me the Horizon – amo

Bring Me the Horizon further expands their sound on their latest project titled amo. amo displays the ever-evolving UK rock band stepping into uncharted territories, melding polished electronic elements with gritty guitars, pounding percussion, and visceral vocal performances. Standout tracks include “MANTRA,” “in the dark,” “medicine,” and “why you gotta kick me when i’m down?” amo is sure to attract listeners of blessthefall, I See Stars, and Sleeping With Sirens. Click here to listen.

  • The Lone Ghosts – Skeleton Season

The Lone Ghosts, comprised of Wavelight members Seb and Dan, have released their debut full-length Skeleton Season. With its haunting atmosphere, chilling lyrics, raw vocal delivery, and DIY attitude, Skeleton Season will keep you coming back for repeated listens … and sob sessions. Standout tracks include “Sugar Season,” “Wasteland,” “Sad on Halloween,” and “Skeletons.” Skeleton Season is bound to satisfy followers of Preoccupations, Varsity, and Anna Burch. Click here to listen.

  • Maggie Rogers – Heard It In a Past Life

Alt-pop queen Maggie Rogers offers up her strongest material to date on the debut long-player Heard It In a Past Life, which nearly topped the Billboard charts upon release. Filled to the brim with exuberant choruses, syrupy hooks, and buoyant musicality, Heard It In a Past Life is a joyous mixture of spirited pop and soulful songwriting. Standout tracks include “Light On,” “Give a Little,” “Fallingwater,” and “Burning.” Heard It In a Past Life will please fans of HAIM, Wet, and Broods. Click here to listen.

  • Alice Merton – Mint

After the late success of her 2016 single “No Roots,” Alice Merton finally yields her debut record titled Mint. Cool, refreshing, and smooth, Mint lives up to its name with glossy grooves, velvety vocals, and danceable beats, proving that Alice Merton is here to stay. Standout tracks include “Why So Serious,” “Funny Business,” “Lash Out,” and “No Roots.” Mint will attract followers of Florence + the Machine, Jade Bird, and Jain. Click here to listen.

  • Skyward Story – Reborn

After transitioning from the pop rock/pop punk outfit 3PM to Skyward Story, the Baltimore trio recrudesces to provide Reborn, their full-length (re?)debut that defines their new tone, identity, and commission. The band hasn’t completely dispelled their rough-around-the-edges rock sound, instead blending it with a more polished, pop-centric timbre. Standout tracks include “Trading Secrets,” “Riptide,” “New Beginnings,” and “Hey!” Reborn is sure to capture listeners of All Time Low, The Click Five, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Click here to listen.


MORE GREAT ALBUMS
  • Say Anything – Oliver Appropriate

The supposedly final record from this monumental pop rock/pop punk artist. Standout tracks include “Daze,” “Send You Off,” and “Pink Snot.” Oliver Appropriate is for fans of Motion City Soundtrack, The Starting Line, and Bayside. Click here to listen.

  • Born of Osiris – The Simulation

Standout tracks include “The Accursed,” “Under the Gun,” and “Cycles of Tragedy.” The Simulation is for fans of Chelsea Grin, Within the Ruins, and Veil of Maya. Click here to listen.

 

  • CommonWealth – Everyone Around Me

Standout tracks include “Fear,” “Vinyl,” and “Runaway.” Everyone Around Me is for fans of Movements, Glass Tides, and Valleyheart. Click here to listen.

  • Frozen Shores – Haven

Standout tracks include “Blood Box,” “Night Terrors,” and “Senses.” Haven will interest fans of LEDGES, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Crafted. Click here to listen.

 

  • The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All the Time

Standout tracks include “VTr,” “Keep It All to Myself,” and “Videograms.” It Won/t Be Like This All the Time is for fans of The Smiths, Frightened Rabbit, and Idlewild. Click here to listen.

  • Afterlife – Breaking Point

Standout tracks include “Throat,” “Giving Back the Pain,” and “Holding On.” Breaking Point is for fans of Cane Hill, Sylar, and My Enemies & I. Click here to listen.

 


Extended Plays
  • dodie – Human

After over four years, singer/songwriter dodie (of YouTube fame) finally blesses us with a studio version of “She.” Standout tracks include “She” and “If I’m Being Honest.” Human is for fans of Julien Baker, Layla, and Fleurie. Click here to listen.

  • Naked Giants – Green Fuzz

Standout tracks include “Green Fuzz” and “That’s Who’s Really Pointing at Me.” Green Fuzz is for fans of Remo Drive, Daddy Issues, and Lady Legs. Click here to listen.

  • Young Culture – (This Is) Heaven

Standout tracks include “Breathe It In” and “Drift.” (This Is) Heaven is for fans of Dear Youth, The Happy Alright, and You vs. Yesterday. Click here to listen.

  • Lostboycrow – Santa Fe…Orange Juice

Standout tracks include “Orange Juice” and “Waste of Time.” Santa Fe…Orange Juice is for fans of Lauv, EXES, and ayokay. Click here to listen.

 


Let us know what you think of January’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 rarely make exceptions to include past releases, so if your album came out in June, we might be hesitant to include it in July or August, for instance.)

August 2018 Alt Col Picks – lovelytheband, With Confidence, As It Is, & More

Plenty of great records were released in August, so here are our favorite albums, EPs, and singles of the month! (In no particular order.)

This month’s list will be heavily abbreviated. I apologize in advance.

  • With Confidence – Love & Loathing

A fabulous pop punk record filled to the brim with energy and emotion. Standout tracks include “That Something,” “Spinning,” “Moving Boxes,” and “Jaded.” Love & Loathing will capture listeners of All Time Low, State Champs, and Broadside. Click here to listen.

  • Trophy Eyes – The American Dream

Quite a stylistic transition from their previous outing, The American Dream offers a brighter, more upbeat display of Trophy Eyes. Standout tracks include “Friday Forever,” “You Can Count On Me,” “Lavender Bay,” and “Autumn.” The American Dream will appeal to fans of Like Pacific, Grayscale, and Homesafe. Click here to listen.

  • As It Is – The Great Depression

Just about a year and a half after their 2017 record, As It Is delivers a refreshingly dark album, a haunting commentary on mental health, interpersonal struggles, and social norms. Standout tracks include “The Wounded World,” “The Truth I’ll Never Tell,” “The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry),” and “The Fire, the Dark.” The Great Depression is bound to satisfy followers of Oh, Weatherly, Story Untold, and WSTR. Click here to listen.

  • lovelytheband – Finding It Hard to Smile

~~~cool LA vibes, bro~~~ Standout tracks include “Make Believe,” “Maybe, I’m Afraid,” “Stupid Mistakes,” and “Coachella.” Finding It Hard to Smile is sure to attract listeners of Beach Weather, Tilian, Anarbor’s recent material, and joan. Click here to listen.

  • WSTR – Identity Crisis

Another quick album turnout, WSTR recrudesces on Identity Crisis with more exhilarating pop punk anthems. Standout tracks include “Bad to the Bone,” “Silly Me,” “Crisis,” and “Hide Everything Sharp.” Identity Crisis is for fans of ROAM, Seaway, and Neck Deep. Click here to listen.

  • Vinyl Theatre – Starcruiser

After escaping the neglect of Fueled By Ramen, Vinyl Theatre blows everything out of the water with Starcruiser, an album chocked full of experimental sounds and blazing hooks. Standout tracks include “Feel It All,” “We Make the Music,” “Our Song,” and “Done With These Days.” Starcruiser will attract followers of COIN, twenty one pilots, and Night Riots. Click here to listen.

  • Deaf Havana – Rituals

Yet another fast release and stylistic shift. Deaf Havana’s Rituals steps outside their typical rock boundaries to serve a polished, pop rock sound with electronic elements and poppy hooks. Standout tracks include “Sinner,” “Holy,” “Heaven,” and “Hell.” Rituals is sure to satisfy fans of Anarbor, PVRIS, and LANY. Click here to listen.

  • Belmont – Belmont

Belmont’s debut self-titled record is a hard-hitting pop punk project with a bit of a harsher tone than most. Standout tracks include “Hollowed Out,” “BMC,” “Empty,” and “Pushing Daisies.” Belmont will appeal to followers of Trash Boat, WSTR, and Like Pacific. Click here to listen.


MORE GREAT ALBUMS

Click to listen.


Extended Plays

Click to listen.


Featured Singles

Click to listen.


Let us know what you think of August’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 rarely make exceptions to include past releases, so if your album came out in June, we might be hesitant to include it in July or August, for instance.)