The Alt Weekly Roundup (6/28)

Posted: 28th June, 2021 by The Editor

The Alternative Weekly Roundup is a column where our staff plugs a variety of new releases in a concise, streamlined format. Albums, singles, videos, and live sets. Check back each Monday to see what we were jamming the week prior.

Temporex – Blinding

 I don’t think I’ve quite listened to anything like San Diego producer and visual artist TEMPOREX’s album Bowling. True to its name, the record takes the listener through a game of bowling in TEMPOREX’s  incredibly whacky but satisfyingly sweet parallel universe. Throughout the journey, we have sonic and visual nods to ’90s children shows like Pee Wee Herman or Rocko’s Modern Life that build up the warmth of nostalgia overtop it’s more vulnerable  lyrical content. Themes of sadness, self-doubt, ideas of love, and the tides of change are featured in the record to help explain what he describes as the exploration of a new (bowling) lane in life. Like I said, I’ve never listened to anything like it, and I mean that in the best way possible – an awesomely weird reality that only makes sense if you experience it yourself.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Souveneer – Dream Journal

The Republic of Wolves’ 2013 LP No Matter How Narrow is a bit of an outlier in the band’s catalog; a far cry from their usual dark and melancholic indie rock, it was a bright, airy record with more emphasis on melody than atmosphere. Dream Journal, the new release from Souveneer –– side project of TROW vocalist Mason Maggio –– feels like a follow-up to No Matter How Narrow, both sonically and spiritually. It retains the folk spirit of previous Souveneer releases, but with a lighter indie pop sheen this time. It was a great sound for Maggio then, and it’s a great sound for him now.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Charm of Finches – “Gravity” 

There’s something absolutely enchanting about the music and appearances that come out of Australian, indie-folk sister duo Charm of Finches. In their newest single drop, “Gravity,” they battle the ideas of “toxic positivity” head-on. It’s a track with an eclectic soundscape of strings and an entrancing melody reminiscent of a dream-like state. Yet, the spotlight of the song falls onto the fragile sister harmonies that sway the listener back and forth. The music video feels like a cottagecore fantasy, and I cannot get enough of its visuals.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Foxing – “If I Believed in Love”

It’s near impossible to predict what Foxing’s upcoming Draw Down the Moon will sound like. Each single has taken the band in a totally different direction. The newest of them, “If I Believed in Love,” is also the best, and is the first of the four to really follow in the line of the more aggressive Nearer My God cuts like “Grand Paradise” or “Gameshark.” It begins as a quirky indie pop track before Conor Murphy’s wails take the song to entirely new heights, changing at once into a powerful post-hardcore song.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

ALMA – “Mornight”

Brooklyn-based all-woman dream pop trio ALMA offers such a fun bed of sound on their new single “Mornight.” A track about a bartender working the nightshift, it has all the foundations of a refreshing indie-pop jam. The twist is in the little sound effects orbiting the melody that are amusing to hear. Whether it’s what sounds like a phone trilling in the intro built into a beat, the echoed yawns, wailing machinery synths, or maybe even the idea of walking on gravel, “Mornight” is an immersive experience that is as entertaining to listen to as it is good. I like it a lot.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Lakes – “Matches” 

Both new Lakes singles have been among the band’s best. “Matches,” their most recent, gives Lakes’ newest member, singer/synth player Blue Jenkins, a chance to shine. It’s in line with their traditional emo-pop style, but blown up huge. It’s one of the band’s best, and it seems certain that Start Again will be a massive step forward for the six-piece.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Pom Pom Squad – Death of a Cheerleader

Pom Pom Squad’s debut album Death of a Cheerleader transports anyone back to the highs and lows that were stamped to the forehead of our youth. Exploring heartbreak, validating sexuality and identity, and facing the bruises that come along with stepping into costumes like the royal prom queen, the untouchable cheerleader, or the sacrificial, love sick partner to appease society’s pressures, Mia Berrin gives the listener a fisheye lens of the woman experience. The album addresses but subverts these molds of identity while lying overtop a two-toned soundscape of acidic glam-punk and nostalgic pop to showcase the complexities that come with the messy, emotional, sugar-rush that accompanies heartbreak and self-discovery. It is definitely an album I wish I had playing on my iPod nano as a teen girl back in 2011. Yet, maybe that’s the magic of Pom Pom Squad’s music — the ability to transcend adolescence while still making one feel how they did while experiencing adolescence. I mean, adulthood is just a never-ending carousel of the high school mentality, so capturing that emotion at 26 or 16 is a feat only so many can do and do well. Mia Berrin and Pom Pom Squad continue to do both.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

Dim – “Piece It Together”

“Piece It Together” gives us an insight into what a Dim ballad looks like. It’s slower, a little bit sparser, than any of their other songs yet, and Matt Mulkey is at his absolute best vocally, sounding not unlike Tilian Pearson during the song’s hypnotic chorus.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

The Maine – “Pretender”

If there’s one thing The Maine knows how to do, it’s how to make a damn good summer song. With their latest release “Pretender,” they’re fueling the feverish anticipation for their newest record XOXO: From Love and Anxiety which drops in two weeks. There’s such unexpected energy packed into its 3-minute runtime as the song explores identity and self-reflection. It also features some of the best lyricism John O’Callaghan’s written— punching us all in the gut with lines like, “You gotta be brave to be here.” They’ve produced a lot of power here with this track, and as much as it makes me dance it also makes me an emotional sap—begging the question: “Has The Maine ever released a bad song?”

 Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

The Alternative’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlist

Each week our editor Lindsy Carrasquillo compiles a playlist of songs our staff has been jamming. We’ll post it on Fridays on Twitter and then include it in each edition of the ‘Weekly Roundup’ to make sure you don’t miss all of the great music we’re recommending.

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