#NewMusicFriday (June 30th 2023)

This week’s round of #NewMusicFriday releases firmly puts the spotlight on “underground” acts.

It’s led by the return of Anberlin, and their new EP – ‘Convinced’. However, I decided to highlight new releases from alt-pop songstress Halflives, meaty hard rockers Throw The Fight, rising post-hardcore mob Keep This Up, and the effervescent debut outing from Carsick.

There’s also the riff-tastic debut EP from Your Future Is Metal, the summer-ready ska punk return of Popes of Chilltown, as well as the debut full-length of Northern Ireland melodic rockers Parker. Finally, there’s music from emo/pop-punk newcomers Savings.

Check out the full list of #NewMusicFriday releases today below.

Halflives – Inferno

Due to a sh*tload of streams and plenty of touring, 2022 proved to be a successful year for Halflives aka Linda Battilani. Now she’s back with ‘Inferno’. It sees her complete the transition of Halflives from being a group to a solo act, yet it doesn’t discredit what’s come before it.

In short, ‘Inferno’ is five slices of energetic alt/pop rock anthems. Lyrically, it sees Battilani be unfiltered and thoroughly honest, with mental health struggles (see ‘sorry mom x’ ) and the climate crisis being some of the topics she touches on. While there is a wave of female-led alt/pop-rock acts out there, Halflives continues to show plenty of promise. Tracks like the aforementioned ‘sorry mom x’, ‘Dynamite’, and ‘EVERYTHING SUCKS’ embrace bold pop sensibilities brilliantly, yet maintain a raw edge. Whereas ‘everybody knows it’  ignites the EP from the outset with a thriving chorus.

Going forward, ‘Inferno‘ gives Linda Battilani and Halflives a solid foundation to go on to do bigger and better things.

Throw The Fight – Strangeworld

Having been together for two decades, Throw The Fight has continuously adapted and evolved their sound yet have retained their hard alt-rock origins. ‘Strangeworld’ sees the Minneapolis, Minnesota group ride on a wave of meaty, anthemic hooks. The opening pairing of ‘Cover Your Tracks’ and ‘Obey’ soon set the standard; bold and dense instrumentation mixed with soaring melodies.

While ‘Lost Without You’ reins things in slightly, the momentum soon picks up with ‘Sorry, Not Sorry’ before ‘Hourglass’ turns up the aggression. Throughout, it’s a blast with a hefty amount of thick grooves among the thick guitars, vicious drums and towering vocals. Whereas ‘Shadow Self’ contains a weighty breakdown that’s akin to A Day To Remember and Bad Wolves.

The only downfall to Throw The Fight is that despite their anthemic and melodic strengths, they lack any distinct characteristics. While ‘Strangeworld’ is a thrilling onslaught of hard rock, it doesn’t stand out from the pack.

Keep This Up – Paper Houses

Having ditched their pop-punk sound, Peterborough’s Keep This Up unleash a raw, emotional post-hardcore side on ‘Paper Houses’.

Its six tracks are scrappy yet executed with plenty of intention. From the stellar riffing on ‘Fire Bottle’, the pounding drum work on ‘Find Me’  and ‘Lost’ and the duel vocals on recent single, ‘As Above / So Below’, ‘Paper Houses’ is carried with momentum. While the raw production is reminiscent of early Funeral For A Friend and other bands from the early to mid-2000’s. Whereas comparisons to Four Year Strong, A Day To Remember, and Beartooth are understood, in terms of meeting their standards, Keep This Up still sound like a work in progress.

Photo Credit: Dev Place

Carsick – Drunk Hymns

With a blend of punk, indie, hip-hop, and electronic elements, Carsick somehow make it all work on their debut EP – ‘Drunk Hymns’.

Threaded together by tongue-in-cheek lyricism, ‘Anaconda Frank’ and ‘Runner’ shine in their very British-sounding melodies. The former thrives in a rumbling, energetic punk skin, whereas the latter is undoubtedly the EP’s highlight. Its earworm of a chorus with some playful rhyming thrown in, ‘Runner’ is one track you’ll be coming back to. Then there’s a ‘Nothing To Do’. In short, it’s a Jamie T-esque tale of living in a boring town with jangly indie guitars and a raucous chorus.

Although it’s an all-too-brief snapshot of what Carsick are capable of, they’re able to show they’re more than a one-trick pony. Take the final track, ‘Heartbreak at The Anchor & Hope’, for example. Its shimming guitar chords and early Arctic Monkeys-like lyricism of young heartbreak make for a compelling closure.

What is out on #NewMusicFriday?

Anberlin – Convinced
Halflives – Inferno
Throw The Fight – Strangeworld
Your Future Is Metal – Your Future Is Metal
Carsick – Drunk Hymns
Parker – Never Let This Go
Keep This Up – Paper Houses
Popes Of Chillitown – Take A Picture
Savings – Get Well Soon
Lift the Curse – Suffer and Survive
Strike Twelve – Last Band Standing
Divide And Dissolve – Systemic
Dwellings – Little Garden
Elwood Stray – Gone With The Flow
Loma Prieta – Last
Power Of Fear – A Breed Apart
Spine – Raíces

If you think I’ve missed something or have a new album/EP/song to tell us about, tell us about it here.

If you’re looking for the latest tracks focusing on rock, punk, hardcore, metal, emo, and everything in between, then check out our ‘Newish Music’ playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.


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