Welcome to New Music Friday, where we give you the best new music in the alternative space, ranging from the dreamiest bedroom pop to the grungiest noise in hardcore. This week, we see releases from all over the place, so let’s dive right in.
1. “If He Wanted To, He Would,” by In the Mourning
This one has been on my working playlist for ages. It’s got the perfect repetitive riff that I can never stop singing all day. In the Mourning is a relatively new act, but with tunes like this single, they’re going to blow up. If “Ultimate” from Freaky Friday (2003) was your punk-rock go-to, you’ll find yourself right at home.
While the instrumentals—punchy power chords, smart breakdowns, and killer drums—sound simply nostalgic, and rounded with the talent that’s all original, the lyrics and vocalist are extremely up-to-date (plus, catchy as hell). Besides, who can’t relate to the message—if they wanted to, they would. Promise.
2. “Nosebleed” EP by Blue Venus
I love a 10-minute record. And this one is definitely something to write home about.
“Am I Punk Yet?” is energetic, reminiscent of old school punk, in the way that it’s quick, screams, and has a fuzzy, almost blurred instrumental layout. Not only that, but in true punk form, the lyrics are basically a big middle finger to Nazis. And the political theme doesn’t stop there.
“S.P.P.D.K.” is a one-minute song with the thesis of “Fuck 12,” and I couldn’t be more obsessed with the way it gets its point across, raises your heart rate with the drums, and has catchy guitar riffs. “Number One Fan” is another one, tackling racism, and how the public has similar arguments when defending famous people. For instance, “Shut up, play ball!” is given like a sports chant.
Don’t think that all punk is angry, it’s not. But “Under the Rug” is angry. You’d think because the guitars and amps are going at a slower pace that it’s a slower track, but it just builds the anger and rushes in like clouds before a storm.
All in all, this EP has a lot to say. But the question is whether or not you’re ready for it.
3. “Everything’s Not Gonna Be All White,” by The 1865
I love how it starts, with a slow repetitive riff that caps off with kick-ass hi-hit work. And then it starts again, with rushing vocals that are so quick, you can barely understand that most of the lyrics are the song’s title. The chorus, a headbanger, rushes by, and then the verse starts. If this sounds so confusing, that’s probably because this single is unlike anything you’ve heard before. It ends with a spoken “Period,” a blunt, yet powerful statement. And that which I love.
4. “Wyoming,” by Pictoria Vark
For all you indie-alt fans, this is a double feature single. The title track starts quiet and subdued, Vark’s vocals rolling with its beat. Then a slow-down and a second wave comes through. We get more punchy guitar riffs and a little nod to rock here, before it echoes out. These two modes of instrumentation weave in and out, and it’s really a beautiful clash, the way they interact, the singing floating on top of it all.
“I Can’t Bike,” the B-side, is more upbeat, but still keeps the indie vibes. It’s a chill track that leans into indie roots a bit more by the way the guitars shape up. As a hardcore girl, I love this guitar solo in the end, that mashes up fuzzy prod with—I see you drum work—a fizzled fade-out.
5. “The Girl Who Lived in Limbo,” by Jupiter Rex
Maybe alt-pop is your thing. I got you. Check out this lo-fi spinner by Jupiter Rex. The rolling synth is my favorite part here. It holds its own underneath the breathy, dreamy vocals. They fit so well together. When you add in that bass riff, there’s a match made in heaven on your hands. This is the perfect mellow bop you need in every work playlist.
Don’t forget to check previous editions of New Music Friday, and keep your eyes peeled for more! Also, COVID-19’s genetic code got turned into ambient music, kind of crazy right?