An alt rock playlist for those who dig creative rock

The Astronots – “How Much Pain”
-When I press play on this dynamic track, I can’t help but feel something. I guess it’s nostalgic pain. But what I love about the track is that it has these intricate layers that feel familiar; I’ve heard this one before, right? But honestly you haven’t. Bringing together vibes from bands like Weezer and Bush from the early 90s, it’s really a fresh take on an old sound.

Shields – “Evidence”
-The vocal harmonies on this track will sit you right down in your seat. I love the 70s chill on the track overall. The funky beat and killer vocals set this one apart from the crowd in a heartbeat. I can’t quite peg what date this sounds like, but it’s definitely bringing some vintage 70s coolness to the modern era. I can’t get over how snappy the lead vocal is on this one. Great stuff.

Nica – “Rut”
-This track is certainly alternative. The vocal, melody, and rhythm are all pretty unconventional. The massive piano base feels a bit like a musical theater piece, but then the layers just take off. It’s like an orchestral composer and a grunge rocker decided to make an expressive, emotional modern alt rock piece. Maybe it’s just me, but I get a bit of a Rocky Horror vibe on this track.

Scott Bison – “Drive”
-The understated quality on Bison’s voice is something to behold. I can’t quite place who he sounds like, but there’s a kind of intimacy in the way that he expresses these lines. It’s like a cross between a sweet love song and a hard, confident forward momentum. The chording on this track feels cinematic while also echoing the hardness of the lead character. It’s the epitome of cool.

Zelah – “Wrap You Up”
-Readers of this site know I’m a sucker for a good syncopated rhythm. Add in a quality, spot on lead vocal, with some sassy attitude… color me interested. When Zelah’s vocal curls around the melody of this track, you can tell there’s a rock diva there. Rather than just soar for the sake of a powerful vocal, Zelah uses dynamics to accent the lyrics about manipulation and control. This is what it sounds like when lyrics, attitude, perfomance, and composition all lock into a singular direction.

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