Alt Rock Rising

Samantha Mohr and Josh Rhymer

Staff Writers

It is a great time to be alive for any alternative rock fan. With the success of music-streaming services such as Spotify, new bands have been able to gain publicity and a solid fan base with only a few songs out the gate. The problem with this new process of discovery is choice overload: there is just so many dang bands to pick from! Well, we decided to make it easier for you by sharing some of our favorite alt-rock bands that have flown under the radar until now.

One of our favorites right now is Young Rising Sons.  A cross between Walk the Moon and American Authors, Young Rising Sons succeeds at being familiar while being their own band.  Their first self-titled EP mixes basic folky rock with unique, acoustic-based alt-rock melodies.  The EP opens up with a light-hearted whistling melody that remains simple with a simplistic strumming pattern and hand drums. The rest of the album carries this same tone throughout.  Their cover of “Habits (Stay High)” by Tove Lo is an odd but welcome addition to the EP. It is more solemn and vaguely recognizable, but carries new meaning when sung by the male lead singer of the band, Andy Tongren. Overall, Young Rising Sons is a band to keep up with.  We love looking forward to hearing what they do next.

The next on our list of favorites is Cruisr. Cruisr is an American indie-pop band out of Philadelphia, and they are awesome. They have a happy, upbeat groove to all of their tracks, and you can not help but attempt to sing along to the unfamiliar lyrics. Their pop rhythms sound like a cross between Walk the Moon and Andy Grammer, both familiar artists that Cruisr imitates but still create their own sound. The song “Kidnap Me” carries an almost reggae beat while keeping their indie-pop sound. Their first single, “All Over,” is definitely the catchiest song of the bunch. Its playful lyrics and vocals drive the song, and the syncopated drums make its simple time signature a lot more interesting. Now, we can not judge the band in its entirety when they only have three songs out, but those three songs give us a good idea of what their future songs will sound like, and it sounds good so far.

The next band is Catfish and the Bottlemen. Their lyrics pay homage to the teenage angst of 90’s emo-rock, while their sound keeps a current alt-rock tone. Their overall sound is a dark, layered, guitar-driven mash-up that works for their melancholy tone.  The guitar melody in Homesick carries a more pop vibe, but quickly transitions into the classic, dark tone they are currently known for.  Rango  starts right off with a slightly distorted and layered riff that manages to lock in the listener for a great and diverse song.  It takes generic chord progressions and gives them new life with the perfectly distorted guitar leads.

Now we look at the more chill side of alt rock with Dan Croll.  This British singer/songwriter blends John Mayer-like grooves and vocals with techno-pop instrumentals.  Depending on which song you listen to, you will hear an entirely different sound.  Home  has a more prominent acoustic guitar progression alongside more natural vocals.  However, in Wanna Know, the techno-pop instrumentals take center stage, with Croll’s unique and strange vocals floating over the melodies.  Dan Croll shows his uniqueness and his songwriting originality through his first full length album

These bands were just suggestions.  Now go discover some new music for yourself.