August 2017 Alt Col Picks

A lot of great albums appeared in August, so here are our favorite records of the month! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist? Click here! Also stick around for our featured singles at the end of this post!

  • Brand New – Science Fiction

Eight years since their most recent full-length release, alt-rock veteran group Brand New returns with their final effort, Science Fiction. Science Fiction is transcendental and otherworldly at times with psychedelic guitar melodies, biblical allusions, and therapeutic dream analysis tapes. The band still unleashes their ferocity through fiery breakdowns and also showcases their softer side with gentle balladry. Standout tracks include “Can’t Get It Out,” “Same Logic/Teeth,” and “451.” Science Fiction is sure to interest fans of The Early November, La Dispute, and Slow Bullet. (It’s Brand freakin’ New, do you really need a recommendation?)

  • PVRIS – All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell

PVRIS is recognized for their mesmerizing blend of piercing rock and colorful electronic music, as well as frontwoman Lynn Gunn’s soaring vocal performances. That trend is continued and expanded upon on their new album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, in which the band utilizes the synthetic production even more candidly throughout the latest LP. Standout tracks include “What’s Wrong,” “Heaven,” and “Anyone Else.” All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell will appeal to fans of She Is We, Colours, and Against the Current.

  • Neck Deep – The Peace and the Panic

Energetic percussion and gritty guitar riffs characterize Neck Deep’s newest album titled The Peace and the Panic, and it’s nothing short of a triumph. The band explores some new timbres, like early 2000s emo on “In Bloom,” and improves upon their solid pop punk proficiency with catchy hooks and memorable lyrics. Standout tracks include “Motion Sickness,” “In Bloom,” and “Where Do We Go When We Go.” The Peace and the Panic is sure to attract followers of With Confidence, WSTR, and Seaway.

  • Turnover – Good Nature

Turnover recrudesces with their trademark daydreamy tonality and spellbinding assonance on their new record Good Nature. The band comfortably dominates the floaty, gossamer sonic style they have established, and the lighter lyrical content is a step in a more buoyant direction from their previous long-player. Standout tracks include “Pure Devotion,” “Sunshine Type,” and “Butterfly Dream.” Good Nature will capture listeners of Dryjacket, Foxing, and Glass Towers.

  • Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins

The intimate intricacy and roisterous abandon exhibited on Grizzly Bear’s latest release proves what this band is capable of crafting. Painted Ruins is a familiar yet fresh approach in the outfit’s catalog between its indie attitude, warm guitars, and thumping percussion. Standout tracks include “Mourning Sound,” “Three Rings,” “Aquarian,” and “Sky Took Hold.” Painted Ruins will appeal to listeners of Atlas Sound, Deerhunter, and Local Natives.

  • Wage War – Deadweight

Metalcore band Wage War unleashes their sophomore full-length detailed by thunderous guitar refrains and melodic vocal performances. Through impassioned screams, hard-hitting breakdowns, and electrifying lyrics, Deadweight is gripping and a must-listen for any metal fan. Standout tracks include “Don’t Let Me Fade Away,” “Witness,” “Gravity,” and “Indestructible.” Deadweight will capture followers of Fit for a King, Beartooth, and Oh, Sleeper.

  • The Accidentals – Odyssey

Delectable melodies and lively musicality outline The Accidentals’ latest long-player, Odyssey. This jaunty album is construed by thoughtful libretto, distinct vocal delivery, and palatable guitar playing, making for a timeless indie rock listen. Standout tracks include “Odyssey,” “Memorial Day, and “In the Morning.” Odyssey is sure to satisfy fans of Nickel Creek, Elephant Revival, and The Ragbirds.

  • Woolbright – Busybody Lazybones

Pensive and refined, (but with a granular edge), this indie alt-rock project delivers fervor and competence. Busybody Lazybones is intense and rousing through its boisterous, spirited anthems and hearty choruses, but the more relaxed moments provide this album its effectiveness and diversity. Standout tracks include “What’s It Gonna Be,” “Symbiotic Harmony,” and “19th Street.” Busybody Lazybones will appeal to listeners of Glass Towers, People Like You, and Dryjacket.

  • The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

The War on Drugs lets the music speak for itself on A Deeper Understanding. Lengthy guitar solos are strewn throughout the track listing, which is balanced with the heartfelt lyricism to create a perfect blend of instrumentation and vocals. From downtrodden ballads to rollicking, vivace tunes, A Deeper Understanding never grows monotonous. Standout tracks include “Pain,” “Up All Night,” “Knocked Down,” and “In Chains.” A Deeper Understanding is bound to attract followers of Future Islands, The National, and Spoon.

  • Forever Starts Today – Always Hope

Forever Starts Today releases an enthusiastic debut characterized by gutsy rock anthems and poignant acoustic ballads. Always Hope is an unforgettable display of musical aptitude, reverberate singalong chants, forthright guitar refrains, and upbeat percussion beats that give the album a driving sense of conation and eagerness. Standout tracks include “Optimist,” “Miracle,” “Growing Pains,” and “Alannah.” Always Hope will satisfy listeners of Deaf Havana, Tonight Alive, and The Getaway Plan.

  • Everything Everything – A Fever Dream

The pungent, charismatic intonation of Everything Everything’s latest indie rock LP is undeniably enchanting and nearly hypnotizing. The introspective and politically-minded lyrical content is veraciously coupled with the savory instrumentation and musicianship on A Fever Dream. Standout tracks include “Night of the Long Knives,” “Ivory Tower,” and “Run the Numbers.” A Fever Dream is sure to interest fans of Modest Mouse, alt-J, and Young the Giant.

  • Queens of the Stone Age – Villains

With biting distortion and raucous percussion, Villains finds a comfortable home in the Queens of the Stone Age discography. Four years since their last album, the rock band returns with energy, excitement, and a pop sensibility, evident from the production work of Mark Ronson. (“Uptown Funk.”) Standout tracks include “The Evil Has Landed,” “Head Like a Haunted House,” and “Un-Reborn Again.” Villains will appeal to followers of Grouplove, Geographer, and Foster the People.

  • The Districts – Popular Manipulations

Mellow indie alternative bliss. Standout tracks include “If Before I Wake,” “Ordinary Day,” and “Salt.” For fans of The Apache Relay, Dr. Dog, and Deerhunter.

  • Lilly Hiatt – Trinity Lane

Ecstatic, heartfelt Americana rock. Standout tracks include “The Night David Bowie Died,” “Trinity Lane,” and “Records.” For fans of Courtney Barnett, First Aid Kit, and Trampled By Turtles.

  • Iron & Wine – Beast Epic

Contemplative singer/songwriter goodness. Standout tracks include “Call It Dreaming,” “Thomas County Law,” and “Summer Clouds.” For fans of The Milk Carton Kids, Damien Rice, and Sufjan Stevens.

  • Rainer Maria – Rainer Maria

Vociferous rock with firm vocals. Standout tracks include “Lower Worlds,” “Suicides and Lazy Eyes, and “Blackbird.” For fans of Sleater-Kinney, Wolf Alice, and Royal Blood.

  • Like Ghosts – To Feel Like You’re Drowning  (EP)

Animated rock with impressive musicianship. Standout tracks include “Iris” and “To Feel Like You’re Drowning,” but the whole EP is stellar! For fans of Too Close to Touch, Crown the Empire, and I Prevail.

  • Offended By Everything – Never Too Late to Start Again  (EP)

Energetic, punky rock. Standout tracks include “22” and “What’s So Great About Hollywood?,” but the whole EP is great! For fans of Knuckle Puck, Cold Climb It, and Woes.

  • Sincerely, Me – Aesthetically Pleasing  (EP)

Vivacious pop punk littered with catchy hooks. Standout tracks include “Main Attraction” and “Hella,” but the whole EP is awesome! For fans of State Champs, 7 Minutes in Heaven, and With Confidence.

  • Lakeshore – 41

Vibrant rock with robust musicality. Standout tracks include “Future,” “History,” and “Pure Imagination.” For fans of Issues, I Prevail, and Starset.

  • Smallpools – The Science of Letting Go  (EP)

Effervescent indie excellence. Standout tracks include “Million Bucks” and “Passenger Side,” but the entire EP is fantastic! For fans of WATERS, Walk the Moon, and COIN.

  • Picture This – Picture This

Enlivening pop rock with ardent lyrics. Standout tracks include “Take My Hand,” “Addicted to You,” and “Never Change.” For fans of Amber Run, Kodaline, and Samestate.

  • First Time in Color – Strangers  (EP)

We published our July post before this EP was released, so we’ve included it here! Standout tracks include “Strangers” and “Spirit,” but the whole EP is outstanding! For fans of The Dangerous Summer, Finish Ticket, and The Gaslight Anthem.

  • Able Baker Fox – Visions

Unique and expressive indie rock. Standout tracks include “Purple Mountains,” “Free Flowers,” and “Drift.” For fans of The Bravery, Kaiser Chiefs, and The Shins.

  • Oh Sees – Orc

Experimental, mesmerizing indie rock. Standout tracks include “The Static God,” “Jettisoned,” and “Animated Violence.” For fans of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tame Impala, and Broken Bells.

  • Dead Leaves – Vultures

Earnest rock with a fervent bite. Standout tracks include “Sunrise,” “Death and Taxes,” and “Die Young.” For fans of Modern Baseball, Slow Bullet, and The Front Bottoms.

  • Queen Moo – Mean Well

Profound, unfeigned indie rock with interesting styles and instrumentation. Standout tracks include “What It Comes To,” “Funeral,” and “It’s Become Clear.” For fans of VARSITY, People Like You, and Into It. Over It.

  • Concealed in Clouds – Aspire. Apprise. Assemble. Arise.

Thunderous rock with impassioned songwriting. Standout tracks include “Aspire,” “Dearly Beloved (feat. Naderge),” and “Phenomena.” For fans of Too Close to Touch, Starset, and Crown the Empire.


Featured Singles

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


May 2017 Alt Col Picks

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

  • Paramore – After Laughter

Irresistible melodies, smooth guitar riffs, and heartfelt lyrics define Paramore’s fifth studio album titled After Laughter. The band leans into a colorful new sound gilded by the ’80s and pop sensibility, continuing to push the envelope of their musical range and variation. Standout tracks include “Fake Happy,” “Hard Times,” and “Rose-Colored Boy.” After Laughter will appeal to fans of Walk the Moon, HAIM, and Bleachers.

  • Harry Styles – Harry Styles

I never thought I would be writing about Harry Styles on an alternative music website but here we are. Styles delivers his debut solo album with grandiosity and charm. From thunderous, rocking choruses to calm, sincere acoustic serenades, Styles proves he’s more than just a typical (former) boy band member. Standout tracks include “Kiwi,” “Only Angel,” “Sign of the Times,” and “Two Ghosts.” Harry Styles is sure to attract followers of, um, ZZ Top, Niall Horan, and Aerosmith, I guess.

  • Vinyl Theatre – Origami

Pop rockers Vinyl Theatre offer up some of their heaviest material to date and also some of their catchiest. These compelling tunes are bound to get stuck rattling in your head between their buoyant guitar riffs and clamorous percussion. Standout tracks include “My Fault,” “30 Seconds,” and “The Island.” Origami will capture listeners of MisterWives, The Griswolds, and Finish Ticket.

  • Perfume Genius – No Shape

The soft art-pop of No Shape is haunting, beautiful, and mesmerizing. Mike Hadreas’s eerie falsetto and raw synth accompaniment coagulate for an expressive, stirring record destined to be unforgettable and hallucinatory with every listen. Standout tracks include “Slip Away,” “Wreath,” and “Just Like Love.” No Shape is sure to interest fans of Future Islands, Angel Olsen, and Porches.

  • MisterWives – Connect the Dots

Memorable hooks and enticing instrumentation characterize MisterWives’ sophomore record Connect the Dots. Extraordinary melodies and vocal performances make this indie pop rock album undeniably fun and impressive. Standout tracks include “Machine,” “Drummer Boy,” “Coloring Outside the Lines,” and “Oh Love.” Connect the Dots will appeal to followers of Vinyl Theatre, COIN, and The Griswolds.

  • Gideon – Cold

Hailing from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Gideon releases their fourth studio album and first full-length with Equal Vision Records titled Cold. Brimming with aggression, bite, and pugnacity, Cold is fiery and chilling all at once. Standout tracks include “Champions,” “Cursed,” “Machines,” and “Pulling Teeth.” Cold is sure to satisfy followers of Fit for a King, Colossus, and For All Eternity.

  • Dreamcar – Dreamcar

Dreamcar is a new wave alt-rock supergroup comprised of members from No Doubt and AFI, but their debut release together is not reminiscent of either of those acts. Dreamcar is dreamy, spellbinding, and crisp, sure to put you in a hypnotic trance with each spin. Standout tracks include “Kill for Candy,” “Born to Lie,” and “All of the Dead Girls.” Dreamcar is bound to attract listeners of Knox Hamilton, No Doubt, and The Kin.

  • Magic Giant – In the Wind

Indie rockers Magic Giant unleash their debut long-player detailed by folky alt-pop inflections and catchy, anthemic choruses. In the Wind is colorful, vibrant, and lively, each song bringing a new spectacular attitude to the table. Standout tracks include “Set On Fire,” “Window,” and “Celebrate the Reckless.” In the Wind will capture fans of The Mowglis, Grouplove, and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

  • Free Throw – Bear Your Mind

Invigorating pop punk and poignant lyricism elucidate Free Throw’s sophomore album titled Bear Your Mind. Between impassioned vocals and alluring guitar melodies, Bear Your Mind is certainly a record you will gladly bear in mind with every play. Standout tracks include “Randy, I Am the Liquor,” “Better Have Burn Heal,” and “Weight On My Chest.” Bear Your Mind will capture fans of Neck Deep, The Wonder Years, and The Story So Far.

  • Grayscale – Adornment

Grayscale’s sophomore full-length Adornment testifies to the band’s engaging songwriting and stellar musicianship. With animated choruses and tireless libretto, Adornment doesn’t need to be adorned with enhancements—it’s already amazing. Standout tracks include “Atlantic,” “Come Undone (ft. Patty Walters),” and “Beautiful Things.” Adornment will capture fans of As It Is, Moose Blood, and Like Pacific.

Honorable Mentions & eps
  • Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else – Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Mellow indie alternative bliss. Standout tracks include “Smoker’s Paradise,” “Static Electricity,” and “Wrong Turn.” For fans of Yellow Ostrich, Varsity, and Rayland Baxter.

  • A Lot Like Birds – Divisi

Piercing rock with infectious riffs. Standout tracks include “The Sound of Us,” “Trace the Lines,” and “Infinite Chances.” For fans of Emarosa, Slaves, and Hail the Sun.

  • Gold Route – Prosper

Upbeat yet ardent pop punk. Standout tracks include “Void,” “Build,” and “Ropes.” For fans of Detour North, Talk to You Never, and Seaway.

  • Chasing Velvet – Wings (EP)

Smooth, captivating pop rock. Standout tracks include “The Clouds” and “Vertigo,” but the entire EP is wonderful! For fans of 5 Seconds of Summer, Royal Teeth, and Hollywood Heartache.

  • Seasonal – Bloom (EP)

Energetic pop punk with an indie tinge. Standout tracks include “Certainty,” “These Games,” and “Ranger,” but the whole EP is great! For fans of Moose Blood, Seaway, and Turnover.

  • Wavves – You’re Welcome

Enthusiastic indie rock. Standout tracks include “Million Enemies,” “Daisy,” and “Dreams of Grandeur.” For fans of FIDLAR, Cloud Nothings, and SWMRS.

  • At the Drive-In – in•ter a•li•a

Gravelly rock with overflowing angst. Standout tracks include “Governed by Contagions,” “Pendulum in a Peasant Dress,” and “Hostage Stamps.” For fans of Billy Talent, The Mars Volta, and Sparta.

  • Girlpool – Powerplant

Velvety, expressive indie rock. Standout tracks include “123,” “It Gets More Blue,” and “Powerplant.” For fans of Palehound, Car Seat Headrest, and Pinegrove.

  • flor – come out. you’re hiding

Exhilarating indie alt-pop. Standout tracks include “overbehind,” “hold on,” and “guarded.” For fans of LANY, Paradise Fears, and Against the Current.

  • Waters – Something More!

Fun, sprightly indie rock. Standout tracks include “Hiccups,” “You Don’t Know What You Want,” and “Molly Is a Babe.” For fans of Grouplove, Bleachers, and Cold War Kids.

  • Fire From the Gods – Narrative Retold

Ragged rock with a spirited bite. Standout tracks include “The Voiceless,” “The Taste,” and “End Trasmission.” For fans of Of Mice & Men, Wovenwar, and Beartooth.

  • The Mountain Goats – Goths

Transcendental indie alternative vibes. Standout tracks include “Rain in Soho,” “We Do It Different on the West Coast,” and “Stench of the Unburied.” For fans of Tame Impala, Lady Lamb, and alt-J.

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