All Time Low – Last Young Renegade, 2017 (Album Review)

All Time Low is regarded as one of the most  monumental pop rock/pop punk bands of the 21st century, beginning their music career in 2003 and consistently releasing records since then. Through label changes and stylistic shifts, the four-piece from Baltimore has managed to make quite the name for themselves and garner a large, devoted fanbase over the years. However, 2017’s polarizing Last Young Renegade seemed off-putting for many of their longtime listeners. So how does it really shape up? Let’s (finally) dive into the latest long-player from All Time Low.

If you’ve been keeping up with my album reviews, you know that I take quite a while to get around to covering some releases, like 5 Seconds of Summer’s Sounds Good, Feels Good or Panic! at the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor. I allow myself plenty of time to form a coherent, grounded opinion on these albums because that’s what the art deserves. And I’m really glad I waited to review Last Young Renegade.

I’ll be honest, I did NOT like this album when it came out. I considered it their weakest project to date and only appreciated about two songs. I can now firmly say that I’ve genuinely come around and gained a new perspective on this LP, and I’m finally ready to share my full opinion. (Fun drinking game: take a shot every time I say “synth.”)

Last Young Renegade is All Time Low’s seventh studio album and first release after signing to Fueled By Ramen in 2016 (2015?), which spelled trouble for many fans. Fueled By Ramen has established a reputation in recent years for polishing up their rock outfits in favor of a sleek radio-friendly pop sound. It also seemed strange for All Time Low to depart Hopeless Records which they called home for the majority of their career. (They even included Hopeless in their song lyrics. See: “So Long, Soldier” from 2012’s Don’t Panic.) However, Fueled By Ramen was probably the most predictable place for the four-piece to sign with considering the label’s roster and association with other mainstream pop rock acts, like Paramore, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, The Academy Is…, Cobra Starship, Twenty One Pilots, and Yellowcard, just to name a few. The band claims that they felt more free to be themselves and explore new territories with Fueled By Ramen, that the label wasn’t holding them back or forcing them to sound a certain way. That’s disputable… But we’ll get more into that later.

So once the band dropped “Dirty Laundry” as the lead single for their upcoming record Last Young Renegade, it proved to be one of the most divisive tracks in their discography. Many fans began blaming Fueled By Ramen for the stylistic change and comparing the label shift to when All Time Low signed with Interscope to release Dirty Work, which is generally regarded as the “worst” album in their catalog. I personally didn’t enjoy “Dirty Laundry” at first, besides the rock-infused final chorus, because it felt like such a stark departure from their previous album.

Over a year later, I can say I feel differently. 2015’s Future Hearts put All Time Low at a crossroads: stick with this amazingly well-balanced brand of pop rock or move in a new direction. I love Future Hearts; it’s one of my favorite albums from the group and I think the sound worked extremely well for them. They captured both rock fans and pop fans while still maintaining their edginess, fun, and personality, crafting a record that is undeniably catchy, entertaining, and worth countless replays. But I knew they couldn’t stick with the same tone forever, and change makes most of us apprehensive. When any artist mixes up their trademark approach, it’s typically unwelcome at first. But we can’t expect a band that’s been around for so long to keep making the same record over and over, especially with how much the members have grown and matured over the years. People change and their art changes with them.

At first, Last Young Renegade seemed like a change for the worse — the band was devolving, taking steps backwards, heading in the wrong direction. Nine months later, I can say that Last Young Renegade is a natural progression for All Time Low, and a good one at that. This record is what The Summer Set’s Stories For Monday would have sounded like if it were darker, less optimistic, and less focused on the impending indefinite hiatus of the band. While Last Young Renegade is overall a solid project, it still has its flaws. Frontman Alex Gaskarth (picture is of guitarist Jack Barakat) routinely touted the record as a “concept album,” which, I mean, I guess…? To an extent? He claims the character on the album artwork is utilized as a way to bundle all the ideas together, but I don’t really think there’s a cohesive storyline throughout the tracks.

However, there is certainly thematic and stylistic cohesion. Last Young Renegade revolves around tales of heartbreak, nostalgia, and emotional struggles while still offering a hopeful outlook on the road ahead, and these notions are buoyed along all throughout the LP. However, I think the tracklisting could have been a bit more thought-out; “Good Times” probably should have been pushed down on the program in order to really pack that teary-eyed, bittersweet punch. It felt fairly jarring to go from a string of songs about heartache and loss to a rosy reflection on youthful triumphs and memories. Nonetheless, Last Young Renegade as a whole is equally drenched in euphoric nostalgia and emotional turmoil so there are definitely some major motifs to tie everything together. The pop rock timbre is complemented by experimental synths and atmosphere, although the production does have its fair share of pitfalls, like feeling too sterile and over-polished at times. To really examine this more in-depth, let’s jump into the full-length track-by-track.

The album opens up with the title track “Last Young Renegade.” Accomplished by sentimental reminiscence and Gaskarth’s descriptive songwriting, this tune sets up the elemental vibe for the album: glistening pop rock dazzled with synthetic melodies and moody ambience. “Last Young Renegade” is evidence of that natural progression from Future Hearts by combining smooth pop ingredients with a rock-leaning vantage. This track is probably the strongest and most enjoyable on the record, rightfully deserving of repeated listens and chanted choruses.

The second track “Drugs & Candy” offers a darker side to the new style by exploring the struggles of toxic relationships and introducing a more sinister instrumental sound. You can pick up on the slightest inflection of an acoustic guitar buried in the mix if you listen closely enough, but it quickly fades during the explosive chorus in favor of underlying electronic components and distorted guitars. However, the guitars (all throughout this record!) seem insatiably washed-out and overly pristine. It’s a bit too muted coming from the pop punk All Time Low we know and love, but again, this is showcasing the band moving in a new direction. As long as I tune out how the four-piece used to sound and go into Last Young Renegade with a clear and open mind, it’s really not that harrowing. I know what the band is capable of but I have to remind myself that they can’t keep doing the same thing over and over. That being said, “Drugs & Candy” is actually quite likable! It’s adequately catchy, and Alex’s vocals get a bit more coarse in the denouement of the piece. It’s nothing groundbreaking but still serviceable enough.

Next on the bill is “Dirty Laundry,” decisively the most controversial track of Last Young Renegade. This song has a slow build, creating a foreboding and mysterious atmosphere achieved by reverb-heavy, laundered guitars, mellow percussion, and glossy vocal effects. The instrumentation seems somewhat artificial and ersatz, and the guitars again feel painfully subdue. The bridge section kicks in, reining in a more biting guitar timbre and eventually combusting into the closing chorus which displays All Time Low recrudescing to their signature pop rock intonation. “Dirty Laundry” overall is a steady, brooding experience, but is the payoff truly worth the wait? Most fans probably would have rather had the entire song sound like the final refrain and done away with the more hazy, simulated build-up. For me personally, I don’t mind the song; the lyrics are decent and the melody isn’t too bad. It’s certainly not my favorite by any means but I still appreciate it and what the band was aiming to do.

“Good Times” is the next article on the album, outlined by computerized synth melodies and pulsing cadences in order to craft a nostalgic attitude to complement the retrospective libretto. Similar to “Drugs & Candy,” a faint acoustic guitar is pushed to the back of the mix, only receiving its time to shine for a split second in each chorus. The amplified guitar melodies are achingly simplistic as the song depends more ardently on the vocal and synthetic diapasons to lead the tune. The lyricism is defined by pictorial imagery and poignant recollection of youthful jubilation, tugging at the heartstrings of the listener. “Good Times” doesn’t exactly affect me on any deeper level, but I acknowledge that it’s an enjoyable track nonetheless. I think it could have been lowered on the tracklisting to effectively deliver its touching demeanor considering it is preceded by multiple songs detailing relationship struggles, giving the listener whiplash moving from those darker tones to a more upbeat one. The band released an “orchestral arrangement” of the tune which really isn’t anything exciting. They changed the lyrics from “middle fingers up” to “turn the music up,” which seems rather strange for All Time Low. They’ve said f**k in their songs before, and the CD booklet for Nothing Personal featured a photo of them with their middle fingers up. I’m not sure if they were trying to tone down the angst to fit the more stripped-down version (which is fairly uncharacteristic of them) or if Fueled By Ramen possibly told them to do so. However, the “orchestral arrangement” isn’t officially part of Last Young Renegade, so we won’t worry about it too much.

Next up is “Nice2KnoU,” which, despite its cringey stylized title, is a pretty great track. It’s more continuation of that natural progression sonically, and the lyrics seem to touch upon this as well, proclaiming, “We can’t go back to yesterday.” This line, of course, is up for interpretation, but in the context of All Time Low’s musical career, this may be evidence of them waving goodbye to their previous fashions. “Nice2KnoU” is construed by raucous guitars and urgent drumming, bringing back that edginess the band seemingly left behind on Future Hearts. I don’t have too many complaints about this track, though the “oh-oh” chanting in the background can grow a bit grating over time.

“Life of the Party” is next on the list, characterized by synthetic refrains and vehement walls of sound while Gaskarth discusses the hardships of losing yourself in tides of fame and the party scene. (No pun intended.) The bombastic chorus is bound to get stuck in your head, and the vocal effects layered on Gaskarth’s voice are more stylistic, not correctional. “Life of the Party” efficiently captures what the band set out to accomplish on Last Young Renegade: animated pop rock tracks that meld the best parts of electro-pop and rock along with catchy melodies and introspective lyricism. It’s anthemic and well-rounded, and while I still think the guitars could be more pronounced, I don’t detect many negative things to extract from “Life of the Party.”

The eighth number titled “Nightmares” is admittedly one of the more mediocre tunes on the record. It opens with a plucky guitar aria and lyrics painting familial issues and internal struggles, and it ultimately reminds me of “Broken Home” by 5 Seconds of Summer. Gaskarth has co-written countless songs for the boys from Australia and the similarities in their work are undeniable. “Broken Home” is easily one of 5 Seconds of Summer’s most well-written pieces, so it’s not necessarily bad to draw influences from it. However, “Broken Home” is a very emotional, personal track and “Nightmares” can feel a bit boring or disingenuous. It’s definitely one of the more toned-down songs on Last Young Renegade, but it’s still executed fairly decently. The vocal melody of the chorus is heartfelt and captivating, and the instrumentation hauntingly consummates the mood. The synths that kick in during the chorus are favorable enough, nothing too offensive or gratifying, but that’s basically how the entire song feels. “Nightmares” isn’t bad, it isn’t revolutionary, it’s just there. It’s enjoyable enough and I don’t have anything against it; it’s simply a filler track to me. And while I’m sure there is sincere emotion behind the writing, it just doesn’t move me one way or the other.

In contrast to that, “Dark Side of Your Room” accelerates the energy once again with pounding percussion and vociferous guitar strumming. The lively chorus is unbelievably anthemic and rhapsodic — you’re destined to be chanting along by the second strain. The pulsing beats and vocal harmonies are enough to keep you hooked all throughout the tune, and the lyrics detailing longing for a doomed relationship are candid and plausible. “Dark Side of Your Room” is another addition to the natural progression presented on Last Young Renegade; it feels like what you would expect All Time Low to instinctively devise after Future Hearts. It’s definitely one of my favorites on the album and I think it deserves some more attention.

Track nine introduces the sole feature on the album: Tegan and Sara on “Ground Control.” This celestial track is speckled with shimmering synths and atmospheric ambience to accompany the astronomic imagery conveyed in the lyrics. It’s a hopeful, optimistic tune, and the vocals contributed from Tegan and Sara really add something to the track. The guitars are almost unnoticeable, minus the occasional accentual measure or two in the background. “Ground Control (ft. Tegan and Sara)” is one of the most pop-centric songs on Last Young Renegade, and it’s not terrible by any means, but it just doesn’t feel like an All Time Low song. But again, to really delve into this record properly, we kinda have to throw out what the band used to sound like.

The standard edition of the album closes with “Afterglow,” a track intended to act as the “resolution” for the “last young renegade” character. The lyrics of youth and midnight adventures are facilitated by the scintillating synths and enthusiastic percussion, and the stripped-back chorus packs a nostalgic, exultant punch before kicking into the blissful artificial melody that truly defines this track. The song ends on a raw, tender tag with lyricism and rhythm that reminds me of Journey’s “Lights.” (“When the lights go down…”) It wraps the entire song altogether in a similar sense: “Afterglow” emulates the sentimental vibes of “Lights,” infatuated with the city nightlife and hopeful to return to those fond memories. It’s just that the production and instrumental apparatus has been updated for the modern zeitgeist of 2017: electronic melodies and sleek guitar work. “Afterglow” is another strong tune on Last Young Renegade and a perfect conclusion to bundle the recurring lyrical and musical themes together.

The deluxe edition of the album, however, includes two bonus tracks: “Chemistry” and “Vampire Shift.” Honestly, these two songs are some of my absolute favorites on the record and it’s a shame they were slated as bonus material. Simultaneously, I understand why they were not appointed as standard tracks; I feel like their vibes don’t exactly fit in on the rest of Last Young Renegade, and I’m at a loss of where I would coherently squeeze them in on the tracklisting. “Chemistry” follows in the established lyrical vein of nostalgia and reliving past experiences, and “Vampire Shift” commits to the obsession of late night merriment. The boisterous chorus on “Vampire Shift” is extremely catchy and entertaining, and I wish both tracks would get some more publicity.

Overall, just like any art, All Time Low’s Last Young Renegade is assuredly subjective. There isn’t a common consensus on the quality of the record considering some fans adore the full-length and others are sorely unimpressed. While it is quite underwhelming subsequently from Future Hearts, it is nonetheless a decent album. It’s All Time Low exploring uncharted domains and pushing the boundaries of what they’re capable of mastering. It’s new, it’s fresh, and yet familiar all at once. I personally enjoy the record and keep it in my general rotation, but I completely understand why others would be inclined to dispose of it without a second thought. The price of experimenting with new styles is risking the alienation of your fanbase. However, I think All Time Low pulls this new sound off surprisingly well, though the album is certainly not one of the most robust compositions in their discography. I’m giving Last Young Renegade a 7.5/10 for its innovation and ambition but also for its slight drawbacks and sporadic disappointments. Like I said, it’s a natural progression for the band, not exceptionally fascinating but still sufficiently entertaining.

Let me know what you think of Last Young Renegade down in the comments below!

  • Strongest songs: “Last Young Renegade,” “Life of the Party,” “Dark Side of Your Room,” “Nice2KnoU”
  • Weakest (not “worst”) songs: “Nightmares,” “Dirty Laundry”


February 2018 Alt Col Picks

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

  • Senses Fail – If There Is Light, It Will Find You

Senses Fail returns to release their seventh studio album If There Is Light, It Will Find You. If There Is Light straddles the lines between screamo, pop punk, post-hardcore, and traces of emo. The heartfelt lyricism concerning growth, American society, and nostalgia is bound to punch you right in the gut. Standout tracks include “New Jersey Makes, The World Takes,” “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket…,” and “If There Is Light, It Will Find You.” If There Is Light, It Will Find You is sure to satisfy followers of A Day to Remember, The Story So Far, and The Dangerous Summer. Click here to listen.

  • Don Broco – Technology

Don Broco’s slick brand of alternative pop rock has been dialed up to deliver some of their heaviest material to date. Raucous distortion and buoyant rhythms fill Technology to the brim with undeniable energy, bite, and charisma. While the track listing is admittedly a bit bloated, there is plenty to admire on this hard-hitting release. Standout tracks include “Everybody,” “Come Out to LA,” and “Stay Ignorant.” Technology will appeal to fans of Sylar, Issues, and Canterbury. Click here to listen.

  • Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand recrudesces on their recent record Always Ascending, offering up some smooth, fresh disco-rock. With funky grooves and danceable melodies, Always Ascending takes the band to tasteful new heights despite the departure of founding member Nick McCarthy. Standout tracks include “Always Ascending,” “Feel the Love Go,” “Lazy Boy,” and “Finally.” Always Ascending is sure to attract followers of Arcade Fire, The Voidz, and Spoon. Click here to listen.

  • MGMT – Little Dark Age

The experimental mixture of pop, funk, psychedelia, synth-pop, and jangle rock defines MGMT’s latest outing titled Little Dark Age. Little Dark Age pulls you in with its kaleidoscopic allure on the opener and holds you in a colorful trance to the last second of the closer. It’s hypnotic and increasingly interesting with every listen. Standout tracks include “Me and Michael,” “She Works Out Too Much,” and “Little Dark Age.” Little Dark Age will capture listeners of Saint Motel, The Aces, and Portugal. The Man. Click here to listen.

  • Story Untold – Waves

After changing their name and signing with Hopeless Records, Story Untold made it clear they meant business. Waves displays the band refining their pop rock sound and proving they’re here to stay between catchy hooks, anthemic choruses, and outstanding guitar work. Standout tracks include “Delete,” “California,” and “All the Same (Once a Liar, Always a Liar).” Waves is sure to interest fans of All Time Low, With Confidence, and Makeout. Click here to listen.

  • Hockey Dad – Blend Inn

The cut-loose indie garage rock of Hockey Dad’s Blend Inn is characterized by crunchy guitars, punchy percussion, and soaring melodies that are insanely delectable and undoubtedly impressive. The tracklist is packed with countless gems – every tune is rapturous. Standout tracks include “Join the Club, “I Wanna Be Everybody,” “Disappoint Me,” and “Stalker.” Blend Inn is bound to attract listeners of Surf Curse, Bad//Dreems, and Dumb Punts. Click here to listen.

  • Make Out Monday – Visions of Hollywood

Make Out Monday’s fun-loving style of pop rock is animated and enticing on their debut full-length Visions of Hollywood. Released on Valentine’s Day, Visions is outlined by songs of heartbreak and love but also lively party tunes bound to keep you dancing. Standout tracks include “Bullet For Your Sweetheart,” “Desirae,” and “Shake It Like a Polaroid.” Visions of Hollywood will capture fans of All Time Low, Mayday Parade (ALIR era), and 5 Seconds of Summer. Click here to listen.

  • Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers

Sleepwalkers is the sophomore solo record of The Gaslight Anthem’s frontman Brian Fallon. Fallon’s signature gravelly vocal timbre always adds an underlying sense of soul and earnestness to his already emotional songwriting, and that statement surely extends to his latest material on Sleepwalkers, a hearty and profound listen that is sure to hit you in “the feels.” Standout tracks include “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven,” “Forget Me Not,” and “See You On the Other Side.” Sleepwalkers will appeal to followers of The Gaslight Anthem, Dave Hause, and The Menzingers. Click here to listen.

  • Superchunk – What a Time to Be Alive

Standout tracks include “What a Time to Be Alive,” “Break the Glass,” and “Reagan Youth.” What a Time to Be Alive is for fans of Archers of Loaf, Guided By Voices, and Dismemberment Plan. Click here to listen.

  • Neon Insect – Glitches

Standout tracks include “Thoughtcrimes,” “IDC,” and “To the Moon and Back (feat. Twill Distilled).” Glitches is for fans of Hemmingway, DNPQ, and Newenx. Click here to listen.

  • Dashboard Confessional – Crooked Shadows

Standout tracks include “We Fight,” “Heart Beat Here,” “Open My Eyes (feat. Lindsey Stirling),” and “Catch You.” Crooked Shadows is for fans of The Spill Canvas, Taking Back Sunday, and Straylight Run. Click here to listen.

  • Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)

Standout tracks include “My Boy (Twin Fantasy),” “Nervous Young Inhumans,” and “Cute Thing.” Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) is for fans of Chastity Belt, Parquet Courts, and Waxahatchee. Click here to listen.

  • AWOLNATION – Here Come the Runts

Standout tracks include “Seven Sticks of Dynamite,” “Handyman,” and “Passion.” Here Come the Runts is for fans of New Politics, Atlas Genius, and Grouplove. Click here to listen.

  • Anna Burch – Quit the Curse

Standout tracks include “2 Cool 2 Care,” “Tea-Soaked Letter,” and “In Your Dreams.” Quit the Curse is for fans of Dream Wife, Alvvays, and Phoebe Bridges. Click here to listen.

  • The Plot In You – Dispose

Standout tracks include “Feel Nothing,” “Not Just Breathing,” and “Disposable Fix.” Dispose is for fans of Like Moths to Flames, The Color Morale, and Secrets. Click here to listen.

  • The Wombats – Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

Standout tracks include “Turn,” “I Don’t Know Why I Like You But I Do, and “Lemon to a Knife Fight.” Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life is for fans of The Vaccines, The Pigeon Detectives, and The Kooks. Click here to listen.

  • Ought – Room Inside the World

Standout tracks include “Disgraced in America,” “Desire,” and “These 3 Things.” Room Inside the World is for fans of Parquet Courts, Preoccupations, and Iceage. Click here to listen.

  • Pop Evil – Pop Evil

Standout tracks include “Waking Lions,” “A Crime to Remember,” and “Be Legendary.” Pop Evil is for fans of Saving Abel, Royal Bliss, and Art of Dying. Click here to listen.

  • I’m With Her – See You Around

Standout tracks include “Game to Lose,” “See You Around,” and “Ain’t That Fine.” See You Around is for fans of The Stray Birds, Sara Jarosz, and Nickel Creek. Click here to listen.

  • Slaves – Beautiful Death

Standout tracks include “True Colors,” “The Pact,” and “Deadly Conversations.” Beautiful Death is for fans of Issues, Picturesque, and Too Close to Touch. Click here to listen.

  • We Were Sharks – Lost Touch

Standout tracks include “Beyond Repair,” “Ashley,” and “Stay.” Lost Touch is for fans of Forever Came Calling, Carousel Kings, and Seaway. Click here to listen.

  • Caroline Rose – Loner

Standout tracks include “Money,” “More of the Same,” and “Soul No. 5.” Loner is for fans of TORRES, Anna Burch, and Big Thief. Click here to listen.

  • Screaming Females – All At Once

Standout tracks include “Glass House,” “Black Moon,” and “I’ll Make You Sorry.”  All At Once is for fans of Sleater-Kinney, Superchunk, and Jeff Rosenstock. Click here to listen.

  • American Pleasure Club – A Whole F**king Lifetime of This

Standout tracks include “this is heaven & id die for it,” “new years eve,” and “all the lonely nights in your life.” A Whole F**king Lifetime of This is for fans of Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else, salvia palth, and Elvis Depressedly. Click here to listen.


Extended Plays
  • Off Road Minivan – Spiral Gaze

Standout tracks include “Spiral Gaze and “Glow.” Spiral Gaze is for fans of Household, Hearts Like Lions, and LOYALS. Click here to listen.

  • The Oh Hellos – Eurus

Standout tracks include “Eurus” and “O Sleeper.” Eurus is for fans of Twin Forks, Drew Holcomb, and Great Lake Swimmers. Click here to listen.

  • Familiar Things – Fade Into the Scenery

Standout tracks include “October and “Meant A Lot.” Fade Into the Scenery is for fans of Chase This City, All Year Round, and Seasonal. Click here to listen.

  • Ride – Tomorrow’s Shore

Standout tracks include “Catch You Dreaming and “Pulsar.” Tomorrow’s Shore is for fans of Slowdive, Chapterhouse, and Teenage Fanclub. Click here to listen.

  • Facing Fire – Facing Fire

Standout tracks include “Dying Inside” and “Overcome.” Facing Fire is for fans of Stone Broken, DED, and Sons of Texas. Click here to listen.

  • The Anchor – Make It Last

Standout tracks include “September” and “Make It Last.” Make It Last is for fans of Light the Fire, If I Were You, and Monument of A Memory. Click here to listen.

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

January 2018 Alt Col Picks

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

  • The Dangerous Summer – The Dangerous Summer

The Dangerous Summer returns from their nearly 5-year-long hiatus to unleash their fiery self-titled record, proving they still have the poignancy and musicianship to deliver another outstanding full-length. The Dangerous Summer is intense, emotional, and hard-hitting, both lyrically and musically. Standout tracks include “Fire,” “Ghosts,” and “When I Get Home.” The Dangerous Summer will appeal to fans of The Wonder Years, Sorority Noise, and The Gaslight Anthem. Click here to listen.

  • Waterparks – Entertainment

Waterparks’ unique blend of pop punk and electronic power pop is expanded upon and further refined on their sophomore effort Entertainment. Entertainment is undoubtedly entertaining between its anthemic choruses, syrupy synth melodies, and crunchy guitar riffs. Standout tracks include “Blonde,” “Not Warriors,” “We Need to Talk,” and “Rare.” Entertainment is sure to attract followers of As It Is, Against the Current, and PVRIS. Click here to listen.

  • Dream Wife – Dream Wife

Raucous guitar work, blazing vocal performances, and punchy lyricism define the debut long-player from the genre-fusing band Dream Wife. Dream Wife amalgamates garage rock, pop, and punk with their riot-inducing songwriting to create a fierce mixture of empowering attitude and kickass stamina. Standout tracks include “Let’s Make Out,” “Hey Heartbreaker,” and “Somebody.” Dream Wife is sure to satisfy followers of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, girlpool, and The Sounds. Click here to listen.

  • Tonight Alive – Underworld

Tonight Alive recrudesces with their trademark variety of heavy pop rock and powerful vocals, and Underworld captures their strengths better than ever before. Bombastic anthems and searing slow burners give Underworld diversity, and the real spotlight goes to Jenna McDougall’s stellar choral abilities. Standout tracks include “Disappear (feat. Lynn Gunn of PVRIS),” “Temple,” and “Crack My Heart.” Underworld will capture listeners of Mallory Knox, Deaf Havana, and PVRIS. Click here to listen.

  • Phillip Phillips – Collateral

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips cemented himself as one of the few musicians who really “makes it” post-Idol by scoring big radio hits through his authentic brand of folk pop with inflections of rock sprinkled throughout. On Collateral, Phillips flexes his rock edge to the fullest extent and crafts a solid pop rock record bound to interest a wide array of audiences. Standout tracks include “Miles,” “Magnetic,” “My Name,” and “Sand Castles.” Collateral is sure to interest fans of Daughtry, The Fray, and Pearl Jam. Click here to listen.

  • EDEN – vertigo

The organic instrumentation combined with electronic elements elevates EDEN’s debut full-length vertigo to exciting and refreshing heights. With catchy synth hooks and mellow acoustic guitar timbres, vertigo offers something new and yet something for everyone on each track. Standout tracks include “gold,” “crash,” “take care,” and “start//end.” vertigo will appeal to listeners of Lauv, gnash, and FAMY. Click here to listen.

  • The Academic – Tales From the Backseat

Colorful guitar melodies and vibrant production melds with passionate lyricism and infectious vocal hooks to craft The Academic’s indie rock freshman release Tales From the Backseat. Tales has a youthful attitude about it, offering up carefree anthems ready for summer drives with the windows down. Standout tracks include “Different,” “Bear Claws,” and “Fake ID.” Tales From the Backseat is bound to attract listeners of Walk the Moon, Grouplove, and WATERS. Click here to listen.

  • BØRNS – Blue Madonna

Smooth electro-pop artist BØRNS cultivates another outstanding record filled to the brim with energy and style. Blue Madonna showcases the singer exercising his slick falsetto and pop sensibility in a daydreamy soundscape composed of electrifying synths and saccharine guitar work. Standout tracks include “Faded Heart,” “God Save Our Young Blood,” and “Sweet Dreams.” Blue Madonna will capture fans of Saint Motel, Broods, and MisterWives. Click here to listen.

  • Fall Out Boy – M A  N   I    A

Standout tracks include “The Last of the Real Ones,” “Heaven’s Gate,” and “Hold Me Tight or Don’t.” M A  N   I    A is for fans of Panic! at the Disco, Set It Off, and New Politics. Click here to listen.

  • Tiny Moving Parts – Swell

Standout tracks include “Caution,” “Applause,” and “Wildfire.” Swell is for fans of Seaway, Modern Baseball, and Knuckle Puck. Click here to listen.

  • Porches – The House

Standout tracks include “Find Me,” “W Longing,” and “Leave the House.” The House is for fans of LANY, Wild Ones, and Heart of Gold. Click here to listen.

  • Super Whatevr – Never Nothing

Standout tracks include “For You,” “Telelelevision,” and “Bloomfield.” Never Nothing is for fans of The Technicolors, Vinyl Theatre, and Catfish & the Bottlemen. Click here to listen.

  • Speak Low If You Speak Love – Nearsighted

Standout tracks include “Enough,” “Contrasting Colors,” and “Cannot Have It All.” Nearsighted is for fans of The Middle Ground, Hussey, and Faces Like Flint. Click here to listen.

  • First Aid Kit – Ruins

Standout tracks include “Fireworks,” “It’s a Shame,” and “Ruins.” Ruins is for fans of Great Lake Swimmers, The Head and the Heart, and Chris DuPont. Click here to listen.

  • Into the Great Divide – Into the Great Divide

Standout tracks include “Chapter 4: Tests & Enemies,” “Chapter 5: Challenge Accepted,” and “Chapter 2: A Call to Adventure.” Into the Great Divide is for fans of Saor, Kauan, and Nechochwen. Click here to listen.

  • Anderson East – Encore

Standout tracks include “All On My Mind,” “Girlfriend,” and “Cabinet Door.” Encore is for fans of St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Muddy Magnolias, and Hozier. Click here to listen.

  • Young Dreams – Waves 2 You

Standout tracks include “Wildwind,” “My Brain On Love,” and “Somebody Else.” Waves 2 You is for fans of Passion Pit, Mutemath, and Bloody Beach. Click here to listen.

  • Moon Taxi – Let the Record Play

Standout tracks include “Two High,” “Not Too Late,” and “Keep Me Coming.” Let the Record Play is for fans of The Colourist, COIN, and The Mowgli’s. Click here to listen.

  • Django Django – Marble Skies

Image result for django django marble skies

Standout tracks include “Beam Me Up,” “Tic Tac Toe,” and “Marble Skies.” Marble Skies is for fans of Young Dreams, Franz Ferdinand, and Chairlift. Click here to listen.

  • Of Mice & Men – Defy

Standout tracks include “Defy,” “Back to Me,” and “Warzone.”  Defy is for fans of Crown the Empire, Memphis May Fire, and We As Human. Click here to listen.

  • They Might Be Giants – I Like Fun

Standout tracks include “I Left My Body,” “Let’s Get This Over With,” and “Push Back the Hands.” I Like Fun is for fans of The Long Winters, Ok Go, and The Mountain Goats. Click here to listen.

  • Cane Hill – Too Far Gone

Standout tracks include “Lord of Flies,” “Too Far Gone,” and “It Follows.” Too Far Gone is for fans of Beartooth, Sworn In, and Of Mice & Men. Click here to listen.


Extended Plays
  • Zoology – Bloom

Chill, guitar-driven indie pop. (DEFINITELY worth your time.) Standout tracks include “100°,” “Portland,” and “Waterfalls.” Bloom is for fans of pineview, Petit Biscuit, and Anna of the North. Click here to listen.

  • The Neighbourhood – To Imagine

Standout tracks include “Scary Love” and “Compass.” To Imagine is for fans of Lauv, LANY, and, like, blackbear…? Click here to listen.

  • Lizzy Farrall – All I Said Was Never Heard

Standout tracks include “Broken Toy and “Better With.” All I Said Was Never Heard is for fans of Gardenhead, Julien Baker, and The Accidentals. Click here to listen.

  • Persei – 117 Whatever Street

Standout tracks include “Sanity and “Mess.” 117 Whatever Street is for fans of Welman, LEDGES, and First Time In Color. Click here to listen.

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