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!

November 2016 Alt Col Picks

novpicks

Many great releases appeared in November this year, so here are our favorite albums of the month! (In no particular order.)

  • Waterparks – Double Dare

Waterparks, hailing from Houston, Texas, is known for efficiently blending electronic elements and high-energy pop rock, and the amalgam continues on their full-length debut album, Double Dare. The pop punk luster is not covered up by the computerized components, but is instead perfectly complemented. Standout tracks include “Stupid for You,” “Hawaii (Stay Awake),” and “Royal.” Double Dare will attract fans of State Champs, As It Is, and With Confidence.

  • Highly Suspect – The Boy Who Died Wolf

The hard rock and bluesy accents of Highly Suspect’s abilities are capitalized upon in this mesmerizing, head-bobbing release. The Boy Who Died Wolf showcases a rollicking yet leisurely approach to crisp, amplified guitar work and smooth percussion. Standout tracks include “My Name Is Human,” “Little One,” and “Serotonia.” The Boy Who Died Wolf is sure to appeal to listeners of Deftones, The Pretty Reckless, and Evans Blue.

  • Masketta Fall – Golden

A sheer pop band, Masketta Fall has begun moving away from the rockier sound of their 2012 release Something Beautiful to a more radio-friendly style leaning heavy on the pop side. And hey, don’t let that turn you away from checking this album out! Guitars are still prevalent and amped up, even if the pop aspects shine through. Standout tracks include “Mercedes,” “Defenceless,” and “Butterflies.” Golden will interest followers of The Vamps, The Summer Set, and Crash the Party.

  • Black Box Warning – Black Box Warning

Album art.jpegThe debut self-titled long-player from metal band Black Box Warning has something for every rock fan: breakdowns, screams, clean vocals, and deep lyrics. The stellar musicianship and execution is simply something to marvel, and the emotional passion bolsters it even more. Standout tracks include “Nothing is Everything,” “Neon Mind,” and “Hypnagogia.” Black Box Warning will attract fans of Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Bullet For My Valentine.

  • Homesafe – Evermore

Looking for some decent pop punk to listen to? Well, here’s a great cut to come from November. Homesafe recrudesces with an 8-track album filled with solid rock jams and some of their best work to date. The crisp production and talent of this band refuses to be overlooked and begs for you to listen in. Standout tracks include “Float Away,” “Two (Bare) Hands,” and “Exoneration.” Evermore will certainly appeal to followers of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and Sleep On It.

  • Broken Back – Broken Back

Jérôme, under the stage name of Broken Back, debuts an electro indie folk album that surely leaves one scratching their head at how to properly label it… Broken Back fuses together many different styles to create a wonderful collection of upbeat earcandy displaying acoustic guitars, electronic principles, and raspy vocals. Standout tracks include “Lady Bitterness,” “Excuses,” and “Better Run.” Broken Back will interest listeners of The Shoes, ALB, and Mai Lan.

  • Summer Lights – From Start to Finish (EP)

Another great pop punk release, the From Start to Finish EP by Salt Lake City band Summer Lights boasts rock gravity and brilliance from start to finish. Hopefully these guys will hit it big in the scene soon because this EP deserves to be heard, and we can’t wait to hear more! Standout tracks include “With You” and “Pick Up the Pieces.” From Start to Finish is sure to attract fans of Sleep On It, Knuckle Puck, and You vs. Yesterday.

  • Royal Teeth – Amateurs (EP)

Smooth pop rock band Royal Teeth returns with Amateurs, an EP that proves they’re far more than just amateurs. With artwork that resembles this 5 Seconds of Summer photo, there’s no doubt this EP will capture an upbeat pop rock vibe that balances the two adjectives expertly. Standout tracks include “Kids Conspire,” “Only You,” and “Is It Just Me.” Amateurs will appeal to listeners of 5SOS, The Summer Set, and The Colourist.

  • The Griswolds – High Times for Low Lives

The Griswolds gained traction in the scene from touring with power pop band Walk the Moon and singles from their previous album, but hopefully this release will launch them farther into stardom! This LP is a masterpiece of alt-pop grandeur that you don’t wanna miss. Standout tracks include “Out of My Head,” “High Times for Low Lives,” and “Feels So Right.” High Times for Low Lives will interest followers of POP ETC, Passion Pit, and Neon Trees.

  • Heavy English – Pop Wasteland

Pop Wasteland, the debut full-length from New York City trio Heavy English, boasts various styles and approaches all in the vein of glossy alt-rock that packs a punch. From the denser, darker guitar melodies of “Black Dog” to the buoyant beat of “21 Flights,” this album truly has a lot to offer. Standout tracks include “21 Flights,” “Black Dog,” and “Washed Up Tongue.” Pop Wasteland is sure to attract fans of The Dear Hunter, White Arrows, and NGHBRS.

  • Half Hearted – Terrified (EP)

Half Hearted utilizes clean vocals and impassioned screams to develop contrast on their latest EP, Terrified. The hooky guitar melodies are hauntingly unblemished and the overall musical ability of this group is enthralling. Poignant lyricism and a desire to capture the listener certainly pay off amazingly well. Standout tracks include “Terrified,” “Ghosts,” and “Storm Chaser,” but honestly, the entire EP is fantastic! Terrified will interests listeners of Currents, Wage War, and Beartooth.

  • Woes – Woes (EP)

Pop punk done right yet again! Woes debuts with the 5-track self-titled extended play that is bound to get stuck in your head. While some lyrics are cheesy and troubadouric, this youthfully energetic EP still shines and will fit comfortably in the library of any pop punk fan. Standout tracks include “Winter Sun” and, well, the entire EP! Woes will appeal to followers of Knuckle Puck, Neck Deep, and State Champs.


Honorable Mentions
  • Icon for Hire – You Can’t Kill Us

Standout tracks include “Supposed to Be,” “You Can’t Kill Us,” “War,” and “Get Well II.” For fans of Tonight Alive, Digital Daggers, and New Years Day.

  • DNCE – DNCE

Standout tracks include “Body Moves,” “Truthfully,” “Good Day,” and “Be Mean.” For fans of Maroon 5, Olly Murs, and Set It Off. (Upside Down era.)

  • An Untold Sadness – Sonorous

Standout tracks include “The Truth,” “What of Your Riches?,” “This Far, and No Further,” and “Flowers.” For fans of Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and Crown the Empire.

  • Cold Collective – Through w/ That (EP/Single)

coldStandout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Through w/ That.” For fans of Transit, Man Overboard, and Misser.

  • pronoun – There’s no one new around you. (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “a million other things.” For fans of Knox Hamilton, A Silent Film, and Summer Camp.

  • The Japanese House – Swim Against the Tide (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Good Side In.” For fans of Hayley Kiyoko, Scavenger Hunt, and Summer Camp.

  • Ready to Fire – Satellites (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Nerve.” For fans of 5 Seconds of Summer, Paramore, and All Time Low.


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