In the spirit of March Madness, behold my own personal Cinderella stories from the past month. Each one deserves a spot in your collective final four, so have at it. The slipper fits!
All Human – Teenagers, You Don’t Have To Die
Taking cues from traditional pop and alternative rock melody, Adam Rupert Fisher (Fear Before/ORBS) releases another All Human record, pent with similar emotion as the last. Songs dive into a hodgepodge of different influences, and utilize piano and a female voice (Angela Jane Bachmann) careening throughout the wave of synths. Pick this one up too if you’re a fan of post-hardcore undertones, as Trophy Scars’ drummer Brian Ferrara joins the lineup to complete the sound.
Big Ups – Before A Million Universes
Tough Love Records
There’s no shame in Before A Million Universes‘ influences, the most apparent being the in your face Slint references. Songs will halt to an eerie electric guitar picking followed by bombastic explosions of energy and angst. It’s like they’re one in the same, yet here Big Ups are apologetically blessing us with their own record 25 years later.
Carter Tanton – Jettison The Valley
In an over-saturated market over singer/songwriters, it’s nice to hear an artist with some credentials as a collaborater with many respectable artists, as a musician and as a producer. Jettison The Valley carries a familiar theme of a relationship dissolving. His breathy voice and earnest tone of voice make for all of the elements of his narrative, the joys of life, and subsequent heartbreak.
Dustin Kensrue – Thoughts That Float On A Different Blood
In terms of reunion turnarounds, Dustin Kensrue and Thrice surely make LCD Soundsystem’s reformation seem like one decades in the making. As it stands, Thrice are already poised to storm back in 2016 too, with album and tour announcements as well as a lead single already released. To warm viewers up, Kensrue has provided a string of covers ranging from Brand New to Miley Cyrus, in textbook, growling delivery, just man and his guitar.
Fero Lux – No Rest
No Rest provides energetic mathcore/hardcore that invokes the feelings accredited to bands like Glassjaw and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Fero Lux focus production tactics to let the instrumentation take center stage, and the trade-off of harsh and clean vocals keeps the album fresh.
Heron Oblivion – Heron Oblivion
Sup Pop has some absolute treasures if you wade through all of the run-of-the-mill indie pop fakes in the way. Heron Oblivion released their debut album this month, with it’s own personal charm of psychedelic tinge of indie rock jams. Pick this one up for the swaggy guitar solos and Meg Baird’s gorgeous vocals.
Jealousy – Paid For It
Paid For It is abrasive, loud, and altogether weird. You’re in heaven if reverb is your friend, but the record also offers a unique rock experience, throwing in crunchy bass and an almost ghost-like performance on vocals.
O’Brother – Endless Light
Triple Crown Records
O’Brother continue their dystopian blend of post-rock on Endless Light. Given the grand scale of the songs, they add some heavier, darker instrumentation in the mix, yet sound just as beautiful as ever with Tanner Merritt’s soft, tenor. If anything, listen to this record for “Complicated End Times”, an absolute mammoth of a song.
Yndi Halda – Under Summer
Burnt Toast Vinyl / Big Scary Monsters
I admittedly have never listened to Yndi Halda’s classic debut LP, Enjoy Eternal Bliss. Since then, there hasn’t been real evidence as to whether new music would ever come, but nonetheless, Under Summer finally arrived, and it is a treat. Four epic songs stretch the album’s play time, and with renewed fervor of booming builds and wonderful crescendos, the post-rock staples are officially back.
Be sure to check out these other March reviews…