July 2017 Alt Col Picks

A lot of great records were released in July, so here are our favorite albums of the month! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist? Click here!

  • HAIM – Something to Tell You

Four years after their trailblazing debut album, HAIM returns with yet another striking release. With a sound that is familiar yet fresh, Something to Tell You digs its roots in ’80s-inspired pop rock with crisp, modern production quality. Between catchy hooks and diverse instrumentation, this three-sister act has something to say. Standout tracks include “Little of Your Love,” “Kept Me Crying,” and “Right Now.” Something to Tell You will appeal to fans of Heart of Gold, The Wombats, and Fun.

  • The Gospel Youth – Always Lose

Energetic percussion and gritty guitar melodies characterize The Gospel Youth’s debut effort titled Always Lose, and it’s nothing short of a triumph. The album is defined by passionate vocals, cultivated lyrics, and syrupy riffs that are bound to get stuck in your head for days. Standout tracks include “Kids,” “Moods Like English Weather,” and “Tired Eyes and Heavy Hearts.” Always Lose is sure to attract followers of The Early November, Sleep On It, and The Dangerous Summer.

  • Foster the People – Sacred Hearts Club

Foster the People returns with their pop sensibility and a desire to innovate on their new record Sacred Hearts Club. The band moves farther into groovy, funk-styled territory, showered with glimmering synths and cool guitar diapasons, but also showing signs of experimentation with trap inflections throughout the mix. Standout tracks include “Pay the Man,” “Sit Next to Me,” and “Doing It for the Money.” Sacred Hearts Club will capture listeners of Portugal. The Man, Passion Pit, and Atlas Genius.

  • Eternal Boy – Awkward Phase

The upbeat pop rock of Awkward Phase is explosive, nostalgic, and undoubtedly engaging. With teenage reminiscence, reflection on life changes, and references to pop punk veterans like Tom DeLonge, Eternal Boy crafts an album that is entertaining and yet fondly introspective. Standout tracks include “Growing Pains,” “We Still Have Our Stories,” and “Awkward Phase.” Awkward Phase is sure to interest fans of Neck Deep, State Champs, and Real Friends.

  • Goldfinger – The Knife

With the help of pop punk troupers like Travis Barker, Mike Herrera, Philip Sneed, and Luke Hemmings, John Feldmann issues out his first Goldfinger full-length effort in nine years titled The Knife. Ska-esque moments and spirited pop rock cuts compose the track listing on this comeback record. Standout tracks include “Put the Knife Away,” “Who’s Laughing Now,” “A Million Miles,” and “See You Around.” The Knife will appeal to listeners of Sum 41, blink-182, and Less Than Jake.

  • The Technicolors – Metaphysical

Raucous distortion and lively percussion outline The Technicolors’ latest long-player, which is aptly named Metaphysical. This album is construed by transcendent musicality, distinct vocal delivery, and memorable melodies, making for a delectable alt-rock listen. Standout tracks include “Neon Roses,” “Congratulations, You’re a Doll, and “Sweat.” Metaphysical is sure to satisfy followers of The Noise FM, Cage the Elephant, and Divine Fits.

  • Picturesque – Back to Beautiful

Rock band Picturesque unleashes their debut full-length detailed by hard-hitting guitar refrains and thunderous vocal performances. Through impassioned yells, lively drumming, and stirring lyrics, Back to Beautiful will shake you by the shoulders … and you’ll love every minute of it. Standout tracks include “Honestly,” “New Face,” “Believe,” and “Without You.” Back to Beautiful will capture fans of Too Close to Touch, Stolas, and Our Last Night.

  • Joywave – Content

The entrancing allure of Content attests to Joywave’s potent songwriting and stylistic charm. Joywave expands upon their jangly instrumentation to broaden a smooth indie rock terrain the band comfortably dominates. The catchy melodies and mesmerizing enticement causes this release to be undeniably spellbinding. Standout tracks include “It’s a Trip!,” “Going to a Place,” “Shutdown,” and “Thanks. Thanks for Coming.” Content is bound to attract listeners of Atlas Genius, Foals, and Mutemath.

  • Guide Dog – Lovely Domestic Bliss

Moody and granular, this experimental alt-rock solo project embodies intensity and aptitude. Lovely Domestic Bliss is vigorous and electric through its robust, gutsy anthems and boisterous choruses, but the more casual moments provide this album its dynamicity. Standout tracks include “I Am the Daddy,” “Lovely Domestic Bliss,” and “Sir Yes Sir.” Lovely Domestic Bliss will appeal to followers of Glass Towers, Car Seat Headrest, and Remo Drive.

  • Coast Modern – Coast Modern

No automatic alt text available.The savory, charismatic intonation of Coast Modern’s alt-pop self-titled debut is certainly captivating and evidently fun. The amalgam of genres displayed on this LP are perfectly melded together for a smooth, enjoyable listen constituted by sing-along choruses and interesting instrumentation. Standout tracks include “Dive,” “Pockets Full of No,” “The Way It Was,” and “Guru.” Coast Modern will satisfy listeners of Grouplove, Geographer, and Foster the People.

  • Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder

Mellow indie alternative bliss. Standout tracks include “Hug of Thunder,” “Halfway Home,” and “Skyline.” For fans of The Decemberists, The Mountain Goats, and My Morning Jacket.

  • The Vamps – Night & Day (Night Edition)

I mean, it’s pop but it’s good (guitar-driven) pop. Standout tracks include “My Place,” “Hands (with Mike Perry & Sabrina Carpenter),” and “It’s a Lie (feat. Tini).” For fans of Before You Exit, New Hope Club, and Masketta Fall.

  • Milk Teeth – Be Nice (EP)

Angsty rock with strong vocals. Standout tracks include “Owning Your Okayness and “Prism,” but the entire EP is great! For fans of Muskets, Wolf Alice, and Sleater-Kinney.

  • Us and Us Only – Full Flower

Captivating yet melancholy indie rock. Standout tracks include “My Mouth,” “Bored of Black,” and “After Halloween Slump.” For fans of Local Natives, Deerhunter, and Grizzly Bear.

  • Canadian Softball – Awkward & Depressed

Satirical alternative pop punk metal indie rock…? It’s a (hilarious) mixed bag. Standout tracks include “Ohio Is for Emo Kids,” “Your Validation,” and “Mathematical.” For fans of Sunrise Skater Kids, Amidst the Grave’s Demons, and, well, Jarrod Alonge.

  • Oh Wonder – Ultralife

Experimental electronic/synth indie alternative. Standout tracks include “High on Humans,” “Ultralife,” and “Bigger Than Love.” For fans of HONNE, Broods, and The xx.

  • Arcade Fire – Everything Now

Groovy, ’80s-inspired smooth alternative vibes. Standout tracks include “Electric Blue,” “Everything Now,” and “Signs of Life.” For fans of NONONO, HAIM, and ABBA. (So many all-caps bands!)

  • People Like You – Verse

Unique and expressive indie rock with a jazzy touch. Standout tracks include “Variations on an Aria,” “Thumbnail,” and “Hackensack Hospital.” For fans of Dryjacket, Cold Fronts, and Daytona.

  • Silverstein – Dead Reflection

Impassioned rock with gripping melodies and lyrics. Standout tracks include “Retrograde,” “The Afterglow,” and “Ghost.” For fans of A Skylit Drive, Too Close to Touch, and Dance Gavin Dance.

  • Naturalist – Everything in Rotation

Poignant indie rock with a balance of soft and loud moments. Standout tracks include “Dwell,” “Patterns, Behaviors,” and “Mainstay.” For fans of From Indian Lakes, Driver Friendly, and Glass Towers.

  • The News Can Wait – The News Can Wait (EP)

Animated rock with underlying estrangement. Standout tracks include “Demonstrations and “Black Gold,” but the whole EP is stellar! For fans of Hail the Sun, A Lot Like Birds, and Stolas.

  • A Summer High – Pretty Little Liar (EP)

Pop rock that (unfortunately) keeps its 5SOS influence a little too on-the-nose… Standout tracks include “Do You Remember” and “Pretty Little Liar.” For fans of All Time Low, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Far Too Young.

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

December 2016 Alt Col Picks


Not many releases appeared in December to wrap up this year, but here are our favorite albums of the month! (In no particular order.)

  • Enemies – Valuables

Enemies ends their career on a high note with the beautiful, mesmerizing Valuables. This album is the first in their discography to feature vocals, and they execute the new addition expertly well. The smooth guitar work and daydreamy percussion is truly something to be treasured. Standout tracks include “It’sallwaves,” “For Karla,” and “Leaves.” Valuables is sure to interest fans of From Indian Lakes and Glass Towers.

  • A Loss For Words – Crises

A Loss For Words also ends their career on a high note with the hard-hitting, emotional Crises. The detailed and poignant songwriting coupled with the masterful musicianship leaves a slow burn as the band says goodbye. Standout tracks include “Existential Crisis at the Cask ‘n Flagon,” “I Feel an Army In My Fist (ft. Andrew Neufeld),” and “SoCal (ft. Ryan Scott Graham).” Crises will attract listeners of Like Pacific, Hit the Lights, and Transit.

  • Nat & Alex Wolff – Public Places

With five years separating Public Places and its predecessor Black Sheep, Nat & Alex Wolff have been dearly missed. After gaining popularity with The Naked Brothers Band, the Wolff brothers embarked on a personal project to pursue their own musical interests and display their stellar abilities. Public Places is sprinkled with piano melodies, wistful guitars, and crisp drumming. Standout tracks include “Passing Through,” “Public Places,” and “Rollin’ Around.”

  • Now I See – The Bad Chapter

Now I See’s debut long-player The Bad Chapter is far from what the title suggests. The Bad Chapter is an ardent showcase of Now I See’s substantial musicality and considerable songcrafting. Standout tracks include “The Bad Chapter,” “Dead Point (ft. Trevor Wentworth),” and “Jurassic Park.” The Bad Chapter will appeal to followers of Bring Me the Horizon, Issues, and coldrain.

  • Runaway Symphony – American Blood

American Blood by Runaway Symphony melds alt-rock and acoustic folk into one savory concoction of vociferous percussion, piquant lyricism, and delectable guitar work. It is mature, captivating, and wholesome from start to finish. Standout tracks include “The Fall of Man,” “A Robe Upon a Ghost,” and “American Blood.” American Blood is sure to capture fans of The Oh Hellos, Little Chief, and Run River North.

  • Vaults – Caught In Still Life

After releasing numerous EPs and singles, Vaults unleashes the well-rounded and excellent album, Caught In Still Life. The three-piece welds atmospheric synth pop with pure, refined vocals to create a gorgeous listen that is beyond pleasing to the ears and the heart. Standout tracks include “One Last Night,” “Hurricane,” and “One Day I’ll Fly Away.” Caught In Still Life will interest listeners of Florence + the Machine, Broods, and Lana Del Rey.

  • Rebel Kind – Just For Fools

Rebel Kind also makes a fabulous debut with Just For Fools, a lo-fi collection of songs that tend to just barely scrape the two-minute mark. The sentimental guitar melodies and energetic libretto mingles together to produce an exquisite masterpiece that truly grows on you. Standout tracks include “Kiss You,” “At the Party,” and “Everything You Said Was Just a Lie.” Just For Fools is bound to attract fans of Best Coast, Car Seat Headrest, and Varsity.

  • The Middle Ground – Start Again (EP)

middlegroundThe smooth alt-rock combined with raspy warbling characterizes the new EP Start Again from Nashville’s The Middle Ground. Enticing guitar refrains and danceable drum inflections establish The Middle Ground’s musical abilities and songwriting skills. Standout tracks include “Good Love” and “Lake Michigan,” but really, the whole release is delightful! Start Again will appeal to fans of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Finish Ticket, and A Silent Film.

Honorable Mentions
  • The Narrative – Golden Silence

Standout tracks include “Chasing a Feeling,” “California Sun,” “I Can Make a Mess,” and “Oklahoma Air.” For fans of City Harbor, Night Terrors of 1927, and Sun Culture.

  • Faint Silhouette – Living Portraits (EP)

Standout tracks include “Forever Abandoned,” “The Struggle,” and “Mental.” For fans of Bullet For My Valentine, Black Box Warning, and Beartooth.

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