The Fest 17 - Friday's Best Under 1000

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Welcome to the beginning of MELTT’s Fest 17 coverage! We’re going to be down in Florida in a few weeks getting the low-down on all the happenings of Fest and the sets you NEED to be catching.

This playlist consists of some of the best songs that have less than 1000 Spotify plays. All the artists on this particular playlist are playing on Friday 10/26. We’ll have a version of this playlist for bands on that Saturday and Sunday too! Along with a little bit of commentary, the time & location of their sets are included.

featuring: We Bless This Mess Greg Rekus Sarchasm Billy Reese Peters Sandspur City Starter Jackets Headlines Four Lights Hans Gruber and the Die Hards California Cousins

We Bless This Mess - “Live For Today” - “Conscious Folk Punk” from fucking PORTUGAL! Definitely catch this set… you need to see this band and, unless you live in Portugal, this might be a rare opportunity. - Civic Media Center, 9-9:30pm

Greg Rekus - “Never Satisfied” - Another international artist, canadian Greg Rekus has toured from Canada to Ukraine to Mexico and everywhere in between- along with releasing three independent full length albums of folk-infused rock and roll. -- Civic Media Center, 8:20-8:50pm

Sarchasm - “Cut My Hair” -  “Don’t tell me because I already know that I’m a lie” Sarchasm, from Berkeley, CA has been tearing up the west coast for years, and I am very sad that I am just NOW running into them. According to the Fest bio, their favorite pizza topping is “Pesto or cheese + olives!” which is probably the most unique that I have seen.  - Boca Fiesta/Palomino Pool, 7:10-7:40

Billy Reese Peters - “The Night ‘Dude’ Became A Four Letter Word” - Billy Reese Peters’ bio is literally just “The party ain’t easy” and their favorite pizza topping is “Lizards”, so I think that pretty much encapsulates the vibe of the music, honestly. -  Durty Nelly’s, 10:30-11pm

Sandspur City - “Hey Dude, Your Dad’s a Dick” - Opening with pop punk-ish guitar riff, one of my favorite parts of this song is the lyric “I know I’m fuckin up, you know I’m fuckin off”. I’m listening to this on the train right now, and I can already tell that it’s going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. - Durty Nelly’s, 9:40-10:10pm

Starter Jackets - “Northender” - I am not much of a dancer, but this song makes me want to dance. It actually makes me feel really, genuinely more confident. “I’m building my masterpiece but it ain’t time to show it/I’m the king of this goddamn town but nobody knows it” - Durty Nelly’s, 6:20-6:50pm

Headlines - “Teething” - Hailing from NYC, Headlines is the result of seasoned pros who describe themselves as “melodic garbage punk”. You know they’re too legit to quit by both the infectious chorus of the song and the fact that they don’t have a favorite pizza topping in their bio… I’m assuming this means that every topping is their favorite. - High Dive, 6:30-7pm

Four Lights - “Again and Again” - “Why does it always end like this / one more shot and one more miss”. These Seattle pop-rockers wake up the sometimes tired idea of a literal “I miss you” song in “Again and Again”.   - Mother’s Pub, 6:30-7pm

Hans Gruber and the Die Hards - “My Bad Luck”- Even though their set starts at 4:50, I fully expect everyone to put all of their energy into moshing for this 54 second song. -  Mother’s Pub, 4:50-5:20pm

California Cousins - “Sand in Pockets” - One time I was making a grocery list for my mom and not paying attention to what I was writing and accidentally wrote “california cousins” on it, because that’s how hooked I am on this band. -  Rockey’s Piano Bar, 10:30-11:00p

Keep an eye out for more FEST content in the coming weeks!

Brewster - 9/12

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We’re going in a little bit of a different content-direction today… check out Brewster and their playlist highlighting the best of Country!

Country, Dad Rock, and Expansions Thereof

An hour of music in defense of Country, exemplifying how it influenced some of my favorite songwriters and how it morphed into music being written today.

Notoriously defined as "three chords and the truth" by Harlan Howard, I was originally attracted to Country music's compositional simplicity and the bed that laid for a songwriter's lyrical voice to shine through. This came at a time that I was coming to terms with my identity as an American after a period of about 10 months that saw me touring in Africa and in the Midwest and Southern US, during which our current political climate began to take hold. While playing in Ethiopia, I found myself missing things about home that I had been taking for granted, and the US tours had me fall in love with them in a new way. At the same time, spending time in those parts of the country really show you the effects of the persistent, growing wealth division, inequality, and alienation here. There is a deep-rooted sadness in the spirit and history of America, and I began to feel that very much with this music as my backdrop.

Country music is the sound of this American sadness, and along with Blues and Jazz, the whole story is here. Whether it's confessional, wallowing, or supremely goofy and tongue-in-cheek, the music has an unparalleled honesty to me. Unrequited love, loneliness, to be beset in your misfortune; it's all here exposed. Compositionally, I hear this sadness braided inexorably into the music's common harmonics. It weaves an inescapable history through these sounds, and I became fascinated by how musicians experimented in pushing them to new heights without ever losing the thread. This playlist starts with a mix of classic songwriters sewing into this quilt, and moves into music made today by artists that have followed that strand to stitch in their own squares.

Featuring: Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, Neil Young Leonard Cohen Townes Van Zandt Bruce Springsteen Jackson C. Frank Arthur Russell Songs: Ohia Wilco Sam Evian Big Thief Loose Fur Vetiver Hiss Golden Messenger Buck Meek Cass McCombs

Bob Dylan - "Wallflower" Just like you I'm wondering what I'm doing here. Just like you I'm wondering what's going on. What more needs to be said than that? A classic from Big Boy Bobby D, his wandering pleading to a partner here feels universal.

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner - "The Last Thing On My Mind"

An early favorite country song of mine. The remorseful chorus of I could have loved you better, didn't mean to be unkind is especially relatable to me, and As we walk along my thoughts are tumbling round and round / Underneath our feet a subway's rumbling underground is just such a magnificent painting of a couple walking together in a city, their doubts in each other politely silent.

Neil Young - "The Losing End (When You're On)" Neil Young's unabashed country songwriting that shows up on this record works wonders on me. The swaying rhythm of this song accompanied by the opening lines I went into town to see you yesterday but you were not home / So I talked to some old friends for a while before I wandered off alone, his sigh of and I feel that way again, topped off with his unintelligible yelping before a wonderfully boisterous guitar solo seal the deal for me.

Leonard Cohen - "Fingerprints" - Taken from the notorious Death Of A Ladies' Man record, this song is a fine example of one of the greatest songwriters showcasing an uncharacteristically walloping hoe-down tune scattered with wonderful and goofy lyrics about a loss of identity. This kind of juxtaposition between the dopey and carefree and regretful and mourning is something that I love about Country music. I touched you once too often / Now I don't know who I am / My fingerprints were missing when I wiped away the jam. The jam?? Leonard you are disgusting and I love it.

Townes Van Zandt - "Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel" - Townes Van Zandt's selt-titled record from 1969 is a beautiful example of heartbreaking songwriting, and the only artist I trust to follow Leonard Cohen on a playlist.

Bruce Springsteen - "Open All Night" - I felt like using a Nebraska song on this playlist might be a cheap shot, but I could not resist Bruce's subdued rockings on the Early north Jersey industrial skyline. His belting of This turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone / Gotta hit the gas, baby, I'm running late / New Jersey in the morning like a lunar landscape is a sentiment I've held my whole adult life.

Jackson C. Frank - "Blues Run The Game" - If you don't know the story of Jackson C. Frank, and this song speaks to you, I suggest looking him up. A crushingly sad, and terribly American story. Hop Along fans will know it from the song "Horseshoe Crabs." This beautiful string of verses has a set of my favorite lyrics: Send out for whisky, baby / Send out for gin / Me and room service, honey / Me and room service, babe / Me and room service, well, we're living a life of sin

Arthur Russell - "This Time Dad You're Wrong" - Usually known for his wild and meditative cello-lead electro songs, Arthur Russell has a collection of more traditional songwriting that was posthumously released in 2004 on Love Is Overtaking Me. This is a favorite of mine from it. Always tragically ahead of his time, the composition of the guitar in the main lick hints at where some artists would be taking Country and Americana influences decades later.

Songs: Ohia - "Farewell Transmission" - Another magnificent artist haunted by the American Sadness, Jason Molina brings us, objectively with no doubt, one of the greatest songs ever written. Not much has made my skin crawl the way he does when he sings Someone must have set us up / Now they'll be working in the cold grey rock, and nothing epitomizes that feeling quite like the opening riff. This triumphant song buries you in those rocks and then moves one little stone to let in the sliver of light that is I will try and know whatever I try / I will be gone but not forever. This hope is then soiled by a storm that rolls in, raining down the realization of The real truth about it is there ain't no end to the desert I'll cross / I've really known that all along / Mama here comes midnight with the dead moon in its jaw / Must be the big star about to fall. The closing lines of this song haunt me in my bed. Enjoy.

Wilco - "Normal American Kids" - Jeff Tweedy is my favorite modern songwriter, and a perfect illustration of everything I've talked about here. Jeff immediately grabbed me with this quiet country waltz ballad and Nels Cline's whispering, meandering leads secured this as an early favorite off Wilco's most recent record. This song in particular exhibits everything that I love about Country songwriting: a typical (and literal) American anguishing of not fitting in. Lightning crazed and cracked like an egg / High behind the garden shed / Painting myself as a normal American kid. Fantastic.

Sam Evian - "Apple"
Sam Evian is a recent favorite of mine, especially with this new record from Saddle Creek, a record label that embodies a lot of what I admire in modern songwriting. This is a really beautiful song from that record, and in his fingerpicking I can smell the spirit of artists like Townes Van Zandt and Jackson C. Frank.

Big Thief - "Haley"
Adrianne Lenker is also one of the best songwriters around right now, and another Saddle Creek favorite. Big Thief show off their American music chops here with a really great example of a current artist experimenting with that and pushing it further.

Loose Fur - "The Ruling Class"
Another Tweedy-penned ditty, this song is a catchy struttin' tune that shows off that juxtaposition in Country music when the goofy and boppin' are adjacent with a heavy American topic. This one features the return of Jesus Christ as a cleverly disguised CEO junky putting tax brackets on all of mankind.

Vetiver - "I Know No Pardon"
Vetiver is a brand new discovery for me, but from what I've heard so far it looks like I've been missing out on an artist that exhibits the progression of American music very nicely. This is a lovely Country-inspired tune I've been listening to lately.

Hiss Golden Messenger - "John The Gun"
This song's start, with what sounds like singer MC Taylor's watch hitting his guitar as he strums, gives way to a supremely groovy rhythm that I did not see coming when I first listened to Hiss Golden Messenger's recent album Hallelujah Anyhow. The record has a lot of great moments where classic-informed musicians bring it their own groove, and I found myself revisiting this record a lot because of it.

Buck Meek - "Ruby"
Another member of Big Thief, Buck Meek just released an LP that feels like an artistic breakthrough to me, given his past solo work. This song's snaky, drunken writing style totally manifests the way Buck plays everything with Big Thief. Throughout the self-titled record, he lets his Texas heritage show, and I spent the summer enjoying how his slippery style crept throughout its Country roots.

Cass McCombs - "There Can Be Only One"
This simple, groovy, windows-down summertime jam is a favorite of mine from Cass McCombs. Big Lou Reed and 70s vibes here to ride us out and take us back home with that country-hinged guitar lick.

Thank you Mark!

Check out Brewster on social media:

twitter: @brewstertunes
instagram: @brewstertunes

MELTT 8/22

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Brewster - “Kiss Me While I'm Down” - Brewster was a twitter introduction, as many of the artists I feature are. I PROMISE that the next music-related purchase I am involved in will be this.  


laughingstock - “Coffee” - This is such a wholesome song y’all. I want to play this over a Two Lovers’ Lazy Day In Bed montage in some sort of movie.


The Front Bottoms - “Maps” - Haven’t featured my main guys in a while, and CERTAINLY haven’t featured their s/t. (Also had a dream last night that they were gonna feature LEAD DIY signs at their shows, I cried it’s fine.)

Absinthe Father - “I Wish I Was The One Who Sent You To Jail” - Haley is a wonderful person who is vocally supportive of accessibility and their music deserves your listen send commentary

Plain White T’s - “Hey There Delilah” - I literally can’t believe I’m featuring this song but apparently someone’s making a TV show about it and I couldn’t not do it I’m sorry

California Cousins - “Asprin” - Cali Cuz’s released this new album at the end of last week, check it out here!

The Story So Far - “Take Me As You Please” - New track yesterday from TSSF, which came alongside an “eh” fall tour announcement.

Bad Bad Hats - “1-800” - “You touched me on my shoulder blade, soft like a tomb / I wanna hear you tell me you don’t know what you’ll do / the words you were not saying nearly filled up the room” well fuck

Just Friends - “Sick of It All” - I just needed some JF crew in my life today, okay???

Toy Cars - “Albatross” - Bought this 7” the other day, I promise not to use it as a frisbee

8/20 - Isaac's Birthday!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY to drummer of Barely Civil, wonderful houseguest, and cool pal Isaac! He made me this playlist a few days ago and I got distracted and didn't put it up, but it's cool because NOW IT'S A BIRTHDAY PLAYLIST!!!!

featuring: Teenage Wrist Bottom of the Lake Smidley Sinai Vessel Caracara Manchester Orchestra Phoebe Bridgers Kayak Jones Foxing Frail Body The Present Age Elliott Smith Bristletongue Future Teens Ness Lake Death Cab for Cutie

Teenage Wrist - “Chrome Neon Jesus”

Bottom of the Lake - “Something / / Anything”

Smidley - “Milkshake”

Sinai Vessel - “Ramekin”

Caracara - “Glacier”

Manchester Orchestra - “Where Have You Been”

Phoebe Bridgers - “Smoke Signals”

Kayak Jones - “12/21”

Foxing - “Nearer My God”

Frail Body - “Cold New Home”

The Present Age - “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”  

Elliott Smith - “Ballad of Big Nothing”

Bristletongue - “Ivy Creep”

Future Teens - “What’s My Sign Again?”

Ness Lake - “Salt Stains”

Death Cab for Cutie - “A Lack of Color”



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I made a bunch of signs for LEAD DIY last night and asked Twitter for recommendations for a playlist of stuff to listen to while doing so…. And Twitter came through... Here’s the result!

featuring: Barely Civil KovaTova Harvey Danger The Unlikely Candidates Jet Slayer Lorde Mitski  Charmer Prince Daddy & the Hyena Speedy Ortiz  The Wrecks 

Barely Civil - “RE: Your Lungs” - @suzbuczek

KovaTova - “It Only Gets Worse” - @hannahfeldman_

Harvey Danger - “Flagpole Sitta” - @nicolemossyy

The Unlikely Candidates - “Oh My Dear Lord” - @nicolemossyy

Jet - “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” - @nicolemossyy

Slayer - “Raining Blood” - @chriswflannery

Lorde - “Ribs” - @wilsonxcassie

Mitski - “Nobody” - @ggrraavvee

Charmer - “Topanga Lawrence” - @ice1714

Prince Daddy & the Hyena - “Adult Summers (PART 1)” - me 

Prince Daddy & the Hyena - “Adult Summers (PART 2)” - me

Speedy Ortiz - “Raising the Skate” - @michaela_snid

The Wrecks - “Favorite Liar” - @nicolemossyy


itoldyouiwouldeatyou - 8/13

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Today we welcome (I think) our first artist from the UK - itoldyouiwouldeatyou. Here are some of Joey's top picks, as well as some well-written commentary on why they're so special to them. Check out itoldyouiwouldeatyou's single off their new EP Get Terrified, also titled "Get Terrified". Give the music video a watch now! 

Featuring: flirting. Idles Cassels Granola Suicide Farewell Continental  The Get Up Kids Nervus Kero Kero Bonito Pusha T Panic! At The Disco Tatarka SOPHIE Denzel Curry  Wicca Phase Springs Eternal Tyler, The Creator Chance The Rapper The Waterboys Florence and the Machine Matt Maltese  Lil Peep  Leningrad  Keane  Glen Campbell

flirting. - Peppermint

flirting. are a band we’ve been friends with for a little over a year and we try to make sure we can play shows with them as much as possible. They only have two tracks out but everyone I know absolutely cannot wait for what they put out next. Live they have a real post-punk vibe and the set closes with their singer Poppy losing their mind through a tiny pink megaphone. This song is catchy as fuck and I’m in love with this band.

Idles - Danny Nedelko

No one I know doesn’t like Idles. If you’re reading this and you know me and you don’t like Idles, you don’t know me anymore. It’s over. We’re done mate. The world needs a hooky working class punk song about solidarity with immigrants right now.

Cassels - When Completing Handshakes

Why won’t these guys let me feature on a track? I can sing! I can sing good! When I hear sick records like this from Cassels it’s great and all but I’m just like, ‘where’s mine?’. Where’s mine, Cassels. Release bad music so I don’t want to do a feature any more. Where’s mine.

Granola Suicide - Consumerist Healthcare

Indigo from GS is one of my best friends in the whole world and honestly I’d jump in front of a train for them. This track makes me cry and it has done since I heard the very first demo of it. Indy is better than us all.

Farewell Continental - Capybara

I recently rediscovered this band, which was a Motion City Soundtrack side project. It seems to be them just getting all of the 90s alt-rock out of their systems which pushes some very emotive and foundational buttons for me. The whole thing is designed to be this time capsule of what would have been chart toppers in 1996 so of course the hooks are phenomenal.

The Get Up Kids - I’m Sorry

I met one of my best friends (and our driver), Dockers, watching The Get Up Kids at Reading just after they reformed. Seems like way fewer UK bands cite them as an influence than US bands which is sad. They were doing the power pop/emo thing so early and the as time goes on the more forward thinking that looks. This track is as catchy a song as they’ve ever done, and I’m just stoked beyond belief that it came out on Big Scary Monsters, in 2018.

Nervus - It Follows

Nervus are the band I wish I’d had growing up. This song is, if you can imagine, even better live. Just the sweetest, most fun and inclusive vibes. Tryna keep the bouncy alt rock vibes up for the opening salvo of the playlist til we take a trip to synth town where the streets are paved with…. Macbooks.

Kero Kero Bonito - Only Acting

KKB are the voice of a generation of cheerily depressed peripheral Londoners. Sarah is a master of tone of voice in delivery. It’s like she’s daring people to think of her as cute because in the end she’s having the last laugh. Honestly, she’s a genius and no one has summed up the brighter side of our generation’s experiences as well as she has. Fun fact: their live band now has Jennifer Walton on it who, as well as being a fanatic solo artist, plays guitar in our South London faves Socket. I also believe this track has guitar from James Rowland who used to play in Fresh. So essentially I woke up one morning and one of my favourite bands had two mates in it. Sick.

Pusha T - If You Know You Know

This is just classic Pusha T. Not sure what to say other than that his music  was a big part of my teenage years and my respect for his output grows every album cycle.

Panic! At The Disco - High Hopes

I didn’t believe people when they said post-New Perspective P!ATD was good. I was a fool. Like, every chart songwriter at the moment is trying to work out how they can use elements of trap as bells and whistles on their standard ballads but PATD are actually understand and implementing the signifiers of other genres to make the song better. That, and fuck me this is fun as shit to sing along to. Reminds me of when Fall Out Boy first put out From Under The Cork Tree and I wanted to hit all the notes just like he did.

Tatarka - Altyn (Gold)

Honestly this just bangs so hard. I don’t have a translation so I don’t know if the lyrics are like actually disgustingly bad or something, but it’s just incredibly fun.

SOPHIE - Immaterial

This year, the real, actual Queen of England gave us a perfect record. This track comes after a section of the record that a lot of people criticised for being meandering. Quite apart from the fact that that section of the record is genius and clearly an exercise in alienating people who want to review her music like she’s fucking Justice, this track cuts right through the bullshit and just gives us a pop banger. Lyrically, it says more than the metamodernist manifesto ever could - and that’s my very favourite manifesto.

Denzel Curry - CLOUT COBAIN

Songs are good. Records are good. But far better is when a release so perfectly expresses a feeling and an aesthetic as well as a sound. This record does that perfectly. Down to how the tracks are typed out this record just feels like a whole piece. The man deserves a grammy if only for naming a track ‘Black Metal Terrorist’. Incredible. The best song name I’ve ever heard.

Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Secret Boy

Yeah I know he’s goofy but no one wants to acknowledge how much influence he’s had on where counterculture has gone over the last few years. I’m fascinated by this guy. He just does his weird thing and suddenly it’s huge and everyone’s on it. He just plows ahead. Who else can you say was the principal songwriter in one of the biggest bands of the emo revival and is literally the guy who signed Lil Peep?? No one does that.

Tyler, The Creator - 435

I still get butterflies when I see Tyler’s dropped something new. I think to a lot of kids his voice is just like a time machine back to being 17, drunk and just stoked to be outside and talking to people. Guy is a cultural mastermind too, he deserves so much more props than he gets.

Chance The Rapper - 65th and Ingleside

Chance might be the most consistently high quality mainstream artist going at the moment. The guy never phones in it, he’s always saying exactly what’s on his mind with the best words in the best order. Last week I was exhausted standing on Prinsengracht with my headphones on at like 9am, just crying at how much this guy loves his wife. I don’t even know him.

The Waterboys - Whole of the Moon

If you’ve ever been out with me, odds are I highjacked the aux and yelled til you listened to this. If that has happened to you, I have two things to say:

1. I’m sorry for yelling

2. I’d do it again

Nothing touches me like this song. Every instrument is perfectly placed, no one fighting for attention, just allowing tyre beauty of the part to come through. On the top of it sit some of the most genuinely touching and profound, joyful lyrics ever recorded. It’s like listening to being in love.

Florence and the Machine - Hunger

This is such a good example of a track I wish I’d written, honestly. I’ve been dancing around may fear of talking about my issues with eating etc. in my work for years. I always just wanted to write a song that talked about my feelings with this much raw honesty and kindness to myself. But Florence Welch went and did it for me. Thank you Florence Welch.

Matt Maltese - Nightclub Love

The hook to this totally goes the opposite way to how you’d expect. It’s the kind of hook kids who shred piano write because they can see the notes way more clearly than I can. Every time I hear it I just want to recreate how he came up with that chorus so I can get better. He’s also just like, a lovely guy? I genuinely don’t know him that well but the few times we’ve met he’s just been the sweetest dude?

Lil Peep - Benz Truck

You need me to explain why this man’s the voice of a generation of kids the world has failed? OF COURSE YOU DON’T. He saw a trend that was waiting to explode and just nailed it. Most importantly he made as bunch of kids feel better about themselves. That’s what this job should be, and pretty much nothing else.

Leningrad - Не Париж 2 (Not a Paris 2)

This may come as surprising but Leningrad are so high up on my list of artists to work with. The production is always so self-aware and poppy, it’s always hooky, and they’re succeeding as being a mainstream anti-establishment band in Russia. Quite apart from that, they represent something a lot of Western artists completely disregard in that they are marketing themselves almost entirely to Russians. They aren’t trying to please me. Which is inherently very valuable.

Keane - Bedshaped

I hate irony. I really think it gets in the way of talking to people. So I want to say, with no irony, Keane are an incredible band and if we wrote a song half as satisfying as this one I could retire happy. THANK U KEANE

Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman

On our Instagram we have this joke where we play the start of this song as a way to accent great distress, like when you realise you’ve run out of sriracha. We felt it was a strong and marketable meme format, but unfortunately it has yet to take off. It’s one of our highlighted stories on our instagram. Please help us make a famous meme. I’m so cold.

Also this song is a real earworm, it’s not a joke anymore I love it.


laughingstock - 8/9

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Today we welcome Washington band laughingstock! Check out their new album, Thank You, Laughingstock out now! 

Featuring: Laughingstock  Sun Kil Moon The Co Founder Mitski Lorde  Ryan Adams Cataldo Kithkin Andy Shauf Ray Lamontagne Shame Rush 




Laughingstock - Heavier

Here’s our shameless self-promotion to kick things off and get out of the way! We released our first album a few weeks back, and we all feel like this track exemplifies our sound pretty well.

Josh (drums, vocals, piano):

Sun Kil Moon - Carissa 

In the last year or two this has become my mindless go-to when asked my favorite song. I could listen to Mark Kozelek ramble for hours (I have), but “Carissa” is such a succinct and harrowing exploration of everyday death that I’ve started to have a hard time casually listening to it. Favorite storyteller by far.

The Co Founder - Full Stop 

I’ve yet to meet these guys, but they’re my favorite Bellingham band around. They don’t really play up here anymore, which is a shame, but they just signed to Slang Church, so I’m very excited for where they’re gonna go next. This is the first single from their new album Gymnasium that came out last week (which y’all should check out!).

Mitski - Townie

An absolute banger! Mitski pulls off some extremely unexpected vocal melodies, and the guitar absolutely shreds. Makes me want to rebel against something just for the hell of it.

Lorde - Supercut

I worked as a janitor for a dermatologist building last summer when Melodrama came out, and I listened to it so much there that I can’t detach thoughts of one from the other. I’d been in a happy relationship for some time, but “Supercut”— and that whole album, really— helped me come to terms with an old relationship that soured over time with me going off to college. Lorde has a gift for simply explaining the complex, fucked up feelings of teenage nostalgia, and this song has made me cry while wiping down reception rooms.

Ryan Adams - When the Stars Go Blue 

I have an almost pathological desire to write a perfect American prom song, but I don’t know if I could ever top this one. I think Ryan Adams is at his best writing these genuine, endearing ballads, and this song hits a wonderful note just short of the oft-overdone, vague love songs that permeate bad high school dances.


Aiken (Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Drums)


Cataldo - Between You and Me 

Easily my favorite Seattle artist, Cataldo’s voice holds a special place in my heart. This song specifically is a wonderful driven pop song that reminds me of the best parts of being in love. It’s nostalgic, hopeful, and brings a smile to my face everytime.

Kithkin - Sorcerer

Kithkin was the first band I found that made me feel special, that I had found this hidden gem that belonged only to me. I have so many memories of my teenage years tied to these guys. This song is a declaration of moving forward. That even in the face of despair and darkness, we persevere.

Andy Shauf - To You 

No one goes harder on the clarinet than this guy. In this song my favorite songwriter of the time, Andy Shauf tells a beautiful story about a friend confessing his love and homosexuality to another friend. And then being rejected. This album as a whole is so carefully arranged, recorded, and mixed. I come back to it over and over again. I first discovered this album walking the streets of Hamburg at night and it’s the first thing I turn to now whenever I want to drink and go walking.

Ray Lamontagne - Such A Simple Thing

This is simply a beautiful love song. I just recently discovered Ray, but his voice is so enticing to me. I can listen to him in the background for hours and feel at peace. I recently saw him at Sasquatch Festival (RIP) and his performance made me fall in love with him.

Shame - The Lick

ANGST. THESE GUYS MAKE ME FEEL SO MUCH ANGST. Such a clever song. It’s energetic, hard-hitting, and just fun.

Alex (Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Drums, Piano)

Rush - Tom Sawyer 

Nowadays I’ve been trying to delve into more “complicated” music. Rush is one of those bands that so beautifully blends together pop sensibilities and intriguing intricacies, and I find myself learning a lot from their music. From its rebellious lyrics to its beautiful and sleek production, Tom Sawyer is a song that keeps me coming back for more, both from a place of musical technicality, but also pure glorious songwriting.   

Kids See Ghosts - 4th Dimension 

I don’t listen to much hip hop, but Kanye and Cudi’s new project is the best of the best. The crazy sample and terrific bars on this track are a recipe for a banger.

The National - Nobody Else Will Be There 

I didn’t get into The National until this year. They are everything I need in my life. Dark and dense lyrics, a smooth baritone, and beautiful instrumentation all contribute to sound that is constantly revealing new parts of itself to the listener. Nobody Else Will Be There is the best album opener I’ve heard in a long time.

Fall Out Boy - Grand Theft Autumn/ Where is Your Boy 

You can’t overestimate what Fall Out Boy did for Pop Punk. Their debut album “Take This To Your Grave” is grade A emo through and through, and “Grand Theft Autumn/Where is Your Boy” captures the vibe and emotion that typifies the genre. The production on this project is great too. A big sound with no bells and whistles, and just enough grit to keep it feeling authentic all the way through.




MELTT Daily - 8/7

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I hope your day has been going very well!!!! this playlist is a reflection of my Good Day on friday!!!

featuring : Foxy Dads  save face  With Friends Like These Fool Heavy Watsky Slaughter Beach, Dog  Table Talk oldsoul Barely Civil  Color Tongue 

Foxy Dads - “Water Signs” - Only got to see SF live on Friday in Amityville through the intense kindness of Ilana letting me crash at their place!!! Thank you!!!!!!

save face - “Bad” - Finally got to see these pals live :’) I’m getting the “Bad” single album art tattooed on me somewhere you heard it here first (or, if you know me in real life, for the millionth time)

With Friends Like These - “Two Weeks Notice” - With Friends Like These is a dynamic and underrated band that pulls together the best parts of a number of solid influences for the quintessential fresh pop punk sound. Highly recommend this song, but mostly the entire album.

Fool Heavy - “Pulp Friction” - I have no idea how to describe this song. Like, “happy-angry”? Like it makes me feel a level of frustration but it’s not necessarily negative. Either way, I like it.

Watsky - “Welcome To The Family” - we support artists and writers with disabilities, particularly with epilepsy! George Watsky not only raps about his experience with epilepsy, but also has an essay about it in one of my favorite ever books, his memoir, “How To Ruin Everything”. Also, this is his new song.

Slaughter Beach, Dog - “Phoenix” - I am playing my First Ever Open Mic this week, and I am very nervous!! And I will be playing this song!!! Please send vibes!!

Table Talk - “Evident” - I was pretty generally overwhelmed for a large number of reasons both positive and negative on Friday, so I kind of had to go back and listen to Table Talk to truly get a better idea of their sound. After going through their self-titled a couple of times, I’m excited to go see them again :)

oldsoul - “Easy Without Me” - oldsoul played a show with saltlick last night and this is a saltlick stan blog so here’s my fav oldsoul song bc they roq and are currently touring across the country!!!

Barely Civil - “I’ve Been Getting Headaches Lately”  - Thank u to the pals of Barely Civil for letting me snag a bit of their merch table to set up to benefit LEAD DIY at their NJ show on the 17th!!!

Color Tongue - “Family Bbq” - Discovered via Friday’s show at Amityville Music Hall, Color Tongue’s lyrics in this song give me a bit of an early Front Bottoms’ vibe. (I’ve found that people either take this as a compliment or an extreme dis… I mean it in a good way!)



"the good season" - Olivia Hudson - 8/6

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this playlist was inspired by songs from a time in my life i call “the good season.” i listened to these songs while i was falling in love, taking the train to chicago, riding in cars, and beginning to write my debut album. all of these songs give me a sense of motivating nostalgia.

it’s interesting to me that “the good season” was actually a prelude to a very painful time in my life. so much as changed since then, but i still feel a connection to these songs. maybe things will never feel like “the good season” again, but maybe i can create a better summer for myself.

featuring: filter the replacements sophie b. hawkins the smashing pumpkins against me! typesetter veruca salt spacehog worriers soccer mommy speedy ortiz courtney barnett danielle brisebois edie brickell & new bohemians



1. take a picture {filter }

2. i will dare {the replacements}

3. damn, i wish i was your lover {sophie b. hawkins}

4. 1979 {the smashing pumpkins}

5. white crosses {against me!}

6. monogamy ii (bad actor) {typesetter}

7. shutterbug {veruca salt}

8. in the meantime {spacehog}

9. they/them/theirs {worriers}

10. your dog {soccer mommy}

11. my dead girl {speedy ortiz}

12. need a little time {courtney barnett}

13. maybe love will change your mind {danielle brisebois}

14. what i am {edie brickell & new bohemians}

thank you Olivia! Check out her newest single on Bandcamp here :) 



MELTT 8/02

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The first daily playlist I've made in a whole bunch of time please be gentle!!! 

Featuring: Toy Cars saltlick Short Fictions Jimmy Mayo Foxwood Coco Soundtrack Buggin Barely Civil Barely March Basement Foxing

Toy Cars - “Sarah 1908” -  Hey u still down to get Save Face tats??

saltlick - “Mint Green” - my friend wrote and released a really cool song a few weeks ago and is also playing with oldsoul in Pittsburgh on monday, which you should all go see!!

Short Fictions - “Ellen (A Song About A Book)” - Not only is this band awesome, but they are also made up of excellent houseguests, and I’m preeeeettty sure they’re gonna collab with my dad and start a Ska band

Jimmy Mayo - “Self Reflection” - another release from a week or so ago from a good pal of mine!

Foxwood - “Death Star” - Jordi ate a lemon 2 weeks ago and gained a cult following and is now a contributor to The Alternative! And they’re releasing new music soon and let me tell you it’s  PRETTY dope. (Also it’s their birthday on Sunday!)

Coco Soundtrack - “Remember Me (Lullaby)” - it is no secret to the world that I am emotionally inclined to torture myself and let me just tell you that Coco (the soundtrack that this song is on) fucking BROKE ME

Buggin - “cedar key” - the aforementioned Jordi turned me on to this album and, although I am not subjected to the humidity and heat on Florida levels, I really vibe with the sentiment of “a lazy empty summer”.

Barely Civil - “North Newhall” - This song was just released on this dope split with Barely March!

Barely March - “The Ending of Halo 3” - This song was just released on this sick split with Barely Civil ;)

Basement - “Disconnect” - This track was released yesterday and was met with grand approval from my friend/local Basement expert Julian.

Foxing - “Nearer My God” - Foxing released another single yesterday, but prior to that they released this track in English, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese. All the versions can be found on a youtube playlist here.


Kayla Carmichael - 8/1

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Today we welcome The Alternative contributor Kayla Carmichael (@kaylacarmicheal on twitter). Check out what she imagines she'd hear walking down Newbury Street in Boston. 

Featuring: Ava Luna Charly Bliss RENT Original Cast  oldsoul  Great Grandpa Jupiter Styles The Menzingers Tancred  Foxing Tiny Stills T-Shirt Weather

Ava Luna - "Deli Run"

Charly Bliss - "Love Me"

RENT Original Cast - "Santa Fe"

oldsoul - "I Fell Asleep to Twin Peaks, Pt. 2"

Great Grandpa - "Favorite Show"

Jupiter Styles - "The Vampire"

The Menzingers - “Toy Soldier”

Tancred - “Queen of New York”

Foxing - “Nearer My God”

Tiny Stills - “Don’t Call Me a Catch”

T-Shirt Weather - “Valentine’s Day 2015”

Thank you Kayla!!

Luciano Ferrara - 7/26

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I picked a wide variety of songs ranging from a reggae track to my favorite Joey Bada$$ song (there's even a song from a soundtrack that someone special got stuck in my head). I also threw in a few friends' songs, as well as work from artists I feel are underrated and deserve attention, like Absinthe Father. This isn't an underdogs list, or a Most Popular mix; it's just songs I really dig, and am hoping you'll like too! Go find your new favorite artist, or reconnect with one you already love. You never know what kind of surprises you find in music.

Featuring: Future Teens Joey Bada$$ Capital STEEZ Just Friends Gorillaz Ziggy Alberts  Save Face WATERMEDOWN mewithoutYou  Fionn Regan Family Thief Max Romeo, The Upsetters Losing Streak Lily James Mom JeansPrince Daddy & the Hyena Kississippi  D.I.D Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra The Mountain Goats Soul Blind Absinthe Father


Future Teens - “Expiration Dating”

Joey Bada$$, Capital STEEZ - “Survival Tactics”

Just Friends - “Flex”

Gorillaz - Magic City

Ziggy Alberts - “Gone (The Pocahantas Song)”

Johnny Manna - “Trance”

Save Face - “Weak”

WATERMEDOWN - “God I Found Hell”

mewithoutYou - “Lilac Queen”

Fionn Regan - “100 Acres of Sycamore”

Family Thief - “King of the Floor”

Max Romeo, The Upsetters - “Chase the Devil”

Losing Streak - “Chew Well”

Lily James - Mamma Mia

Mom Jeans. - “now THIS is podracing”

Prince Daddy & the Hyena , Kississippi - “Thrashville ⅔”

D.I.D - “Killer Whale”

Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra - “Holy Cannoli”

The Mountain Goats - “Damn These Vampires”

Soul Blind - “Junior”

Absinthe Father - “Bee”


Thanks for swinging by, Luciano! 

tyler plazio - 5/25

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Thanks to tyler plazio for hooking us up with this guest playlist! If you're an NJ reader heck out their show in New Brunswick tomorrow night, DM @tylerplazio on twitter for addy! 

tyler plazio is an indie punk/emo artist from Washington, D.C. His debut EP “Memories” is available everywhere now.

Featuring: Derek Evry Darryl Rahn Elephant Jake Gay Nineties Attic Abasement Wil Wagner Just Nick Lincoln Mom Jeans

Derek Evry - “I’m Sorry That You Had To Go To Hell” - Derek is one of my all time favorite people from around here. He makes some loud punk shit, but this has always been one of my favorites of his.

Darryl Rahn - “Learning To Let Go” - Darryl and I met at this crazy songwriting retreat in upstate New York and ever since then we’ve been real tight. His new record has one of the best songs I’ve ever heard in my life on it, but his new record isn’t out yet. So here’s this one instead :)

Elephant Jake - “Sebastian Bauer” -  This song cranks. Sal is a cool dude. That’s it.

Gay Nineties - “Letterman” - I literally know absolutely nothing about this band except one day I found this song on Spotify and that drum intro hooked me in right away.

Attic Abasement - “Australia” - My girlfriend hates this song but I think it’s cool so here it is.

Wil Wagner - “Eviction Notices” - Wil is the singer of this DOPE band from Australia called The Smith Street Band. I love them but when I found this record it made me so happy, it’s like pretty Smith Street Band haha.

Just Nick - “I Hate Everything” - The line about God being dead makes me laugh everytime. I want to be his best friend, maybe I’ll tweet at him when this comes out.

Lincoln - “How I Survived Bobby Mackey’s Personal Hell” - I don’t have many comments on this one except Lincoln is a good songwriter and he should put out more shit.

Mom Jeans. - “Scott Pilgrim vs. My GPA - Audiotree Live Session” - Well as everyone knows Mom Jeans. is the best band of all time, HOWEVER, what you may not know is that this is the best Mom Jeans. song and this version is 1 million times more hype than the record version.

Mira MacNeill - 7/23

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Here's a playlist courtesy of my friend Mira! thanks pal <3 We're back! Needed a little break for a second.

Featuring: Champagne Superchillin’Alvvays, Save FaceBROCKHAMPTONRex Orange CountyDayglowSatellite ModeMitski, Con DavisonWhatever, Dad

Champagne Superchillin’ - “Fragment” - I love french music more than I love myself. This one particularly makes me feel like I’m about to commit a heist.

Alvvays - “Saved By A Waif” - I saw Alvvays at a local festival last week and they’re just as great live. This album was one of my favourites of last year. Absolutely slaps.

Save Face - “Reds” - The only reason I listened to this album was because of MELTT, (thanks Mira :) )  so it felt appropriate to put on here. I listened to this while walking to work today and got way too pumped.

BROCKHAMPTON - “1999 WILDFIRE” - My dad likes this song (says it sounds like Outkast) so this one’s for him. This song makes me want to exclusively listen to songs where people rap about wizards.

Rex Orange County - “Never Enough” - I like to listen to upbeat songs that make me happy on rare occasions. This is my July one.Hinds - “New For You” - Last month I listened to this song so much it skewed my top Spotify artists for the year. My dad says it sounds like a bunch of 6 year olds screaming so if that's what yore into hit this song up.

Dayglow - “False Direction" - I use every opportunity I have to shout this band out. They’re a pretty tiny band, but everything they’ve put out so far (only three songs) has been great. Please watch the video for “Can I Call You Tonight”.

Satellite Mode - “Terrified” - This particular song was co-written by a favourite folk/rock musician of mine - the frontman of Del Water Gap. It reminds me of the kind of music i listened to c. 2014, and I legally have to like it for nostalgia's sake.

Mitski - “Nobody" - This is really a bop if you (like me) are depressed and lonely this summer. I love a good sad song you could dance to.

Con Davison - “Subtle Kick” - Con is the drummer of MN band Bad Bad Hats and his new solo stuff has been great. This and "Somebody Else" are on HEAVY rotation for me - really worth a listen.

Whatever, Dad - “Death of the Phone Call” - I haven’t taken French since 9th grade but I know enough to know that this song is about a swordfish that lost its phone?? If that doesn't intrigue you I don't think we can be friends.


MELTT Daily 7/13

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Happy friday the 13th! You should go get a tattoo. 

Featuring: WATERMEDOWN Rome Hero Foxes  The Orwells Rarity Kayak Jones Against Me! Summer Wars  Hamilton The Music Man  Green Day 

WATERMEDOWN - “Search Box” - Such a simple first lyric that’s the definition of millennial relationship recovery.

Rome Hero Foxes - “Horoscope” - This band is The Shit, and “the best band you’ve ever sent me” according to former guest playlist-coordinator Julian Cruz.

The Orwells - “Mallrats (La La La)” - This was recommended to me by a guy on tinder who was intrigued by my current listens, so I gave it a shot and LOVED. Come to think of it, I should do a playlist of recommendations from people on tinder.

Rarity - “Exhale” - This song resides somewhere in between acoustic and rockin’ sad vibes.

Kayak Jones - “Matter (accoustic)” - Another acoustic sad vibe song that lowkey made me cry at work. No big deal. “Just stop saying that there’s next year/cause I don’t think I’ll make it past today”

Against Me! - “Thrash Unreal” - My friend Nick (actually also a former Guest Playlist-er) was always a big Against Me! Person but I could never really get into it, until today, apparently. I also just really appreciate this band and their story.

Summer Wars - “End of an Era” - This is a great opening track to Summer Wars’ 2018 EP. (And I fucking love the album art.)

Hamilton - “The World Was Wide Enough” - For all of you normal people, this song is from the musical Hamilton. This song in particular is about Hamilton getting shot in a DUEL with the then VICE PRESIDENT, Aaron Burr. He died. No one knows what the fuck happened except for the 5 people who were there, all of whom are long dead. The two backup people that Burr and Hamilton brought made an agreement on the boat back across the Hudson (they fought in Weehawken NJ) to never, ever tell anyone what actually happened. Which frustrates me. That was 214 years ago, like, 2 days ago!

The Music Man - “Goodnight My Someone” - This was on my list of “favorite songs from musicals” and I recently learned how to play a version of it on guitar; once you listen to it I guarantee it will be stuck in your head.

Green Day - “American Idiot” - Ok, I’m aware that I JUST had this on the playlist, but it’s fucking charting in the UK right now for Trump’s visit. That’s amazing. Props to the UK for elevating an album released almost 15 years ago to the top of the charts in the digital age.