Happy halloween week, if that’s you’re sorta thing. If it is, we’ve been writing a bunch of Halloween reviews that you can keep up with here. If that’s not you’re thing, that’s alright, next up is Thanksgiving, and then it’s the dreaded holiday season for folks in retail.
We’re 8 days from another catastrophic election in America, and we’re told it’s the most important election in history. You’ll get at least 5 texts a day from an unpaid volunteer pushing you to vote or asking for your money. You’ll see friends, and random celebrities for some reason, on social media telling you that your vote matters. Depending on your level of nihilism, of course, you may think that it doesn’t and we’re all doomed either way. But still, vote and give it a shot — maybe we’re all screwed and maybe we’re not. At least we can say we tried, huh?
However, if we’re all going out, we might as well go out in-style and with some good tunes. Luckily the creative artists in the world haven’t let us down, as new music keeps coming out and we keep being lucky enough to soak it in. While we could never give you every single song released to check out, we’ll — as we always do — give you five of our favorites from the last week.
The Wonder Years – “Brakeless“
The Wonder Year had the best run for a pop-punk band in the 2010’s when they put out stellar back-to-back albums with 2010’s The Upsides, 2011’s Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing, and 2013’s The Greatest Generation. While we won’t get the highly-clamored after anniversary shows for The Upsides this year, The Wonder Years did give us the next best thing: new music meant to intentionally sound like those earlier records. First up is “Brakeless,” which magically captures the magic that was Suburbia, both lyrically and musically. The band has shown that can shed their pop-punk skin and make fantastic alt-rock records, most recently with 2018’s Sister Cities, but now have shown that they could make a pop-punk record and have it be one of the best, even still. “Brakeless” is required listening for fans of the band.
Sydney Sprague – “steve“
We have been talking about Sydney a lot over the past few weeks, and we don’t take any of it back. Substream premiered the song last week and we still haven’t stopped listening to it. I called it an Everclear song in that post last week, and you know what, it still stands. Grunge-tuned guitars lead the way and kick the song off to pull you in, and Sydney’s calming voice will keep you hooked. If you aren’t listening yet, we don’t know what to tell you. Just trust us.
A Story Told – “On and On”
I love these guys and this band. I’ve followed them since my pre-Substream days, and it’s been truly fun to watch their growth over the past 4 or 5 years. However long it’s been, time is a social construct anyway. A Story Told is a pop-rock band that truly does it right, with “Feel Bad” and “All of You” being prime examples of that, with their recent singles like “Home for the Summer” showing them lean more into their pop-side. It’s all good, truly. Last week, though, the band thrower it back to their roots by releasing “On and On,” a straight up pop-punk song that — like The Wonder Years mentioned above — shows they can still do…well, whatever they want.
Julien Baker – “Faith Healer“
It’s possible that no one is doing it better than Julien Baker right now. Between Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus (who teamed up for the wonderful supergroup Boygenius), the indie/pop/folk genre is in great hands. Last week, Baker announced Little Oblivions (due out February 26th, 2021) and released the first single, “Faith Healer.” It makes this list undoubtedly and was never in doubt, as it introduces us to a new era for Baker, a transformative sonic shift from Baker’s more spare and intimate previous work.
Fever 333 – “Bite Back“
Fever 333 is relentless, and they never slow down. The band is used as an activism project, and they continued to showcase that when they released their EP, Wrong Generation, this past Friday via Roadrunner Records. “Bite Back” was the first single released last Monday, and it’s perhaps the one that is most important. “Bite Back” is a single that encompasses the idea that you can only put people in a corner for so long, before they realize there is no option but to fight back. It’s an aggressive song that doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel for the band, but it doesn’t need to. You know what to expect, and Fever 333 doesn’t disappoint.