Wow, it’s been almost a month since I last wrote one of these. Time flies when you’re miserable, huh? Just kidding, I’m not miserable. Or am I? Who the hell knows, aren’t we all at least a little miserable these days?

Anyway, is it too early for New Years resolutions? Mine is to be less manic and more consistent with writing these things. I know we haven’t even had thanksgiving or the rest of the holidays yet this year, but since they’re all collectively canceled — or should be, at least — why don’t we just skip to the new year. After all, 2021 can’t be as bad as 2020…..right? RIGHT? Fuck.

Last week sucked. I ordered a couch off alleged child-trafficking site Wayfair (this is a joke, but doesn’t that seem like ages ago?) and FedEx sent it to my apartment complex. The driver marked it as delivered to an address that was over a block (!) away from me, saying it was delivered at my door. You can guess that it wasn’t at my door. So I went down to the lobby where large packages usually are left, not there. I called FedEx, the opened up a case. I went to the address they said they left the package, not there — nothing was there. It was simply an empty parking lot, no way they’d leave it there, right?

Turns out, it was inside the rental office of my apartment complex. Whoops. I didn’t find this out until after I angry-tweeted at FedEx and made some annoyed phone calls to their corporate center. Consider this my public, apology FedEx.

You’re probably wondering why the hell I’ve written almost 300 words so far without mentioning anything about new music. Fuck if I know. No parents no rules. Alright, I’ve officially hit 300 words with this sentence.

Pale Waves – “Change”

That’s right, baby, we’re kicking this thing off with a song that was released almost two weeks ago, Pale Waves’ “Change.” Almost every other song included here will be from last week (except the fifth one), but I wanted to catch you up here on Pale Waves. In case you haven’t been listening to them, it’s not too late to start now. In 2018, I gave their debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, a 4.5/5 rating, and that actually holds up pretty well. But with “Change,” Pale Waves ditches their synthesizes for a sound that, upon first listen, sounds like an Avril Lavigne song from the early-2000’s. Put this and “Complicated” on the same album and whew. Substream vet Joel Funk shared on Twitter that the song sounded like Michelle Branch singing songs from Third Eye Blind’s Out of the Vein — and truthfully, that’s solid too. “Now you act like I’m nobody / But you still wanna go down on me” is a very Stephan Jenkins lyric.

The Juliana Theory – “Can’t Go Home”

Hold onto your butts. This isn’t the same Juliana Theory that wrote “We’re At the Top of the World” or “If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?” — and that’s perfectly okay. Those songs came out 20 years ago (wtf?), and vocalist Brett Detar and guitarist Josh Fiedler have changed a lot since then. As we all have. New music from The Juliana Theory was personally not on my 2020 bingo card, and even if it were, I’m not sure I would have predicted this. “Can’t Go Home” ditches the loud alt-rock, almost post-hardcore leaning guitars for a more indie type sound. It’s a song that deserves to be big on the radio, and probably would be if Imagine Dragons wrote it. Luckily they didn’t, so you can still retain your “indie credit” if you say you like the song.

Seahaven – “I Don’t Belong Here”

Much like The Juliana Theory mentioned above, I did not have new Seahaven music on my 2020 bingo card. If you did, and especially if you had both, you better hide and keep to yourself before someone (me) finds you and asks you for the winning lottery numbers. Back in October, Seahaven announced their return with new music and a signing to Pure Noise Records, sending fans into a frenzy.  Their new record, Halo of Hurt, was released this past Friday — so you need to stream it now. If there’s song I’d recommend, it would be “I Don’t Belong Here.” Not only is it lyrically the birthplace of the album title, it’s perhaps the best song on the album. It’s moody, beautiful, and heartbreaking. What else do you need from a Seahaven song?

Frontside – “Einstein Killed Me”

Sometimes people are “too cool” to still listen to pop-punk music. I get it. You want to pretend to only listen to indie or alternative music, so you can try to impress women on Tinder. So when you say “I only listen to indie music, small bands you don’t know” you can name someone other than The Pixies or Joy Division. But, take a step back, and listen to Frontside. “Einstein Killed Me” is a straight up pop-punk song from start to finish, and it’s good. Walter Stanley of Frontside shares about the single, “‘Einstein Killed Me’ is about the conflicting feelings one goes through knowing that you need to break things off with a significant other yet dread having to do it. It’s a sonically fun track that we are excited to finally get to share with everyone.” Pre-order their new EP, Closer to Closure (due out February 5th, 2021), here.

Loveless – “Better”

Okay, so this song is 7 months old. Sue me. I know I normally include songs from last week, but much like Pale Waves above, sometimes I bend the rules. Like I alway say, no parents no rules. I just heard this song last week, so it’s new to me at least. If it’s new to you too, awesome. If it’s not, then listen again anyway. “Better” exists somewhere on the edgier side of pop-punk, sort of Anberlin-esque in ways. I just thought of that comparison as I was typing it, and as I listen back to “Better,” that comparison becomes even better. If you don’t believe me, let’s check out a few of the always-trusty Youtube comments:

  • “Holy hot heaven what a chorus,” says user The Will to Grow.
  • “Nice!,” says ThePandemicStudio.
  • “12 out of 10 would sell my soul for more music like this,” says Cody DelFava.
  • “Mexican fan here,” says David Garcia.
  • “Come to Brazil,” says PARKER music.

You get it. Loveless rocks.