Alaska: 'Everything Is Fine'
Recommended if you like: Touché Amoré, At the Drive-In, Caravels.
Perfect for: Kids cruising for circle pits in abandoned warehouses.
Sample lyric: “Desert kid, even dirt finds its way home/Doesn’t make it more than speck of dust caught in the breeze.”
Standout song: “Pt. I (The Sun Is Gone).” Toss traditional structure out the window—Alaska composes by feel. Super-intense and super-enveloping.
Get it at: alaskanv.bandcamp.com
The All-Togethers: 'Ridge Runner'
Recommended if you like: Old Crow Medicine Show, Yonder Mountain String Band, O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack
Perfect for: Lazy nights on the back porch with a special someone … or a bottle of something special.
Sample lyric: “Now I shed the skin that drags me down/Even though I’ll miss having it around/Now I shed the tears that drive me nuts/And to that I say, ‘So what?’”
Standout song: “The Monotone of Promises,” where the acoustic trio’s folky instrumentation meets its jazzy state of mind.
Get it at: thealltogethers.bandcamp.com
Bobby Meader Music: 'My Coffee’s All Cold'
Recommended if you like: Jawbreaker, Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms.
Perfect for: The punk rocker who’s a romantic at heart.
Sample lyric: “What’s the deal/with all of us/f*cking up/the things we love?”
Standout song: “Sometimes.” Hoarse vocals, swift drumming and guitar hooks—it’s the missing track on your old punk mixtapes.
Get it at: bobbymeader.bandcamp.com
Candy Warpop: 'Transdecadence'
Recommended if you like: PJ Harvey, Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots.
Perfect for: An angry post-breakup playlist. Send it to your ex.
Sample lyric: “I’m surfing the channels/For reality/Get it on credit/Greed then forget it.”
Standout song: “Godart.” It starts aggressively, softens up, then ends with Amy Pate shouting “Burn! Burn! Burn it down!”
Get it at: candywarpop.bandcamp.com
GoldBoot: 'The Electric Eccentric EP'
Recommended if you like: Holy Ghost!, Supertramp, Electric Light Orchestra.
Perfect for: House parties and road trips—with the windows open.
Sample lyric: “I’m sleepin’ in a cold sweat/A cold sweat on the floor/Livin’ out someone else’s dream world.”
Standout song: “Hot Right Out the Gates,” a throwback to the days where piano and sax were actually considered cool.
Get it at: goldbootmusic.com
Guilty By Association: 'American Decay/Detox' reissue
Recommended if you like: Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Descendents.
Perfect for: Disillusioned Las Vegans as fed up with Wall Street friends as they are with rising booze prices.
Sample lyric: “Bingo attacks! B-I-N-G-O!/Fifty dollars/All you can drink/The drummer got wasted/... Billy was up to his usual tricks/Apparently whiskey and bingo don’t mix!”
Standout song: “Critic,” a pummeling dose of eff-the-Man punk goodness that isn’t shy about its guitar solos.
Get it at: squidhatrecords.com
Pet Tigers: 'Pet Tigers'
Recommended if you like: Cyndi Lauper, Siouxsie and the Banshees, No Doubt.
Perfect for: Power-pop enthusiasts with a penchant for keytars and Frankie’s Tiki Room.
Sample lyric: “You look at everyone like they owe you/like you’re the one holding the gun/But what do you see when you look into the mirror?/What a big head!”
Standout song: “Big Bad Wolf,” a synth-soaked psychedelic romp that lands somewhere between The Zombies and The Cramps.
Get it at: squidhatrecords.com
Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Axwell ^ Ingrosso ...
Emma Watson, with her shaky American accent, never quite gets a handle on her character.
Also: Blues Traveler, KMFDM and a slew of Fremont Street Experience adds.
- Get More Music Stories