This Week in Music: Emo Rock and Feel-Good Pop

There’s something for everyone, this week in music. On Jan. 29, artists ranging from pop icons to Brit-emo originals will release new LPs.

BASEMENT — Promise Everything

Ah, yes, good ‘ol Basement—comforters of insecure adolescents everywhere. The British alt-rock band (which has a pretty pop-punk sound, IMO) is back after a 2013 hiatus. Based off the singles from their upcoming album, they’re not too different from when they left us. The title track, “Promise Everything,” reminds me of “Spoiled” and “Control” off 2012’s Colourmekindess, and single “Aquasun” vaguely reminds me of old Title Fight, in a good way. Check out Promise Everything for an update on Basement’s classic sound—heavy guitar riffs, drums and, of course, Andrew Fischer’s enjoyably detached voice.

MILK TEETH — Vile Chlid

Milk Teeth actually already leaked Vile Child—well, more so willingly released it—on Pandora Premiere early on Thursday, Jan. 21, so you can give the grunge-punk record a listen before it officially releases on Friday. I’m not too familiar with Milk Teeth—when I read they were dropping a new LP, I was briefly confused, as I thought of Keaton Henson’s “Milk Teeth”—but they have a pretty good grip on the garage-band sound, from the looks of Vile Child. If you like Bully, Paramore or Pity Sex, you might enjoy this record. It’s varying vocals, LOUD guitar riffs and banging drum samples reminded me of a fusion of those bands’ sounds.

MONEY — Suicide Songs

Not going to lie—when I read MONEY’s first single off their upcoming LP would be named “You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky,” I kind of cringed. When I read the album itself would be called Suicide Songs, I cringed. I’m not about romanticizing depression. Apparently MONEY frontman Jamie Lee anticipated this response from the listeners—he told DIY Magazine he doesn’t want the album to glorify mental illness, but rather reflect that he was “dabbling with an unworldly attitude toward life” at the time he wrote it. Okay, I’ll take it, I guess.

Album and tracklist name controversies aside, Suicide Songs’ lead singles sound hypnotically whiny. I can’t yet tell if I'm fully into it, but “Sad Painting’s” sway-inducing guitar/piano combo and “I’ll be the Night’s” encouraging violin are interesting enough. Based on its lyrics, I’m sure Suicide Songs will tell a story. 

SIA — This Is Acting

Sia’s upcoming This Is Acting already sounds like another Grammy sweep for the faceless singer/songwriter. Single “Unstoppable” has the same pump-up, power-jam qualities present in her massively popular hit, “Chandelier.”  Actually, now that I think about it, its hook, beat and lyric themes actually sound pretty similar to those in “Chandelier.” Not a bad thing—it obviously worked for Sia last time around, and the song makes you think, only if for a second, that world domination is possible. Only Jan. 29 will tell if the rest of the album emulates 2015’s 1000 Forms of Fear.