While summer is winding down, sometimes it helps to have some tunes to get you back into your school grind. Here is a short list of some recently released records to have your creative side entertained while keeping your mind in the books.
“Living Proof” - State Champs
As an intro to summer, pop-punk band State Champs released their follow-up record to “Around The World And Back,” and fans were dying to hear it. Leading up to the record’s debut, the guys in State Champs did not disappoint with singles “Dead And Gone,” “Crystal Ball,” and “Our Time To Go.” “Living Proof” showcases maturity while staying consistent to their previous records. The lyrics throughout the album have a dimmer aspect compared to the optimism fans are used to hearing from the band. While State Champs has a way of adapting to the changing times within pop-punk, they keep their own sense of familiarity, which leaves their fan base on their toes as they stay loyal to their development.
Highlighted tracks: “Frozen” and “Safe Haven”
“Pray For The Wicked” - Panic! At The Disco
Although this album was also released back in June, it’s still an anthem for any time of the year. Pop-rock band Panic! At The Disco never fails to amaze listeners with upbeat melodies while simultaneously sticking to their rock roots. Singles such as “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” exude a celebratory atmosphere. Meanwhile, “High Hopes” reminds you to keep going to reach your goals, even when it’s more appealing to stray away from the hard world of your academic path.
Highlighted tracks: “Dancing’s Not A Crime” and “Roaring 20s”
“A Light In A Dark Place” - Point North
Bringing us to July, pop-punk band Point North dropped “A Light In A Dark Place” which is a electrifying and catchy record. Singles such as “Dearly Departed” and “Empathy” were vigorous and addictive, making listeners want more. This record features a number of new tracks and as you reach the end of the album, your ears are refreshed with acoustic renditions of four of the full-band tracks included on the album. If you’re interested in hearing more from the band, be sure to check out their cover of rapper, Nothing, Nowhere’s track “Hammer.” The band stays true to their sound while making sure not to contrast from the original version of the track. If you’re a fan of pop-punk, Point North is going to be one of your new favorite bands.
Highlighted tracks: “Godspeed” and “Conditions”
“Composure” - Real Friends
Creeping up on the middle of July, pop-punk band Real Friends dropped “Composure.” The record is raw and honest, tackling issues of mental health and self-worth, just to name a few. Singles “From The Outside” and “Smiling On The Surface” have a gritty sense of putting on a fake front to acquaintances while really feeling like a mess on the inside. These tracks are just a hint into the rare quality that Composure manifests.
Highlighted tracks: “Me First” and “Take A Hint”
“Crown Shyness” - Trash Boat
At the end of July, “Crown Shyness” was dropped. Trash Boat produces records with a strong pop-punk presence, and with this new album the band seemed to lean more on their punk influences to create a harder sound. The vocals are distressed throughout the record while the music contains callow melodies. Singles like “Old Soul” carry out as solemn yet abrasively passionate. Trash Boat delivers an inspiring new sound, keeping listeners on their toes.
Highlighted tracks: “Don’t Open Your Eyes” and “Love, Hate, React, Relate”
“The American Dream” - Trophy Eyes
Punk band, Trophy Eyes, pushed boundaries with their release of “The American Dream” in the first week of August. While the band’s music usually consists of continuous screaming vocals and hard music with underlying melodies, “The American Dream” brings something unique to the table. The record shocked fans while showcasing a poppier sound and cleaner vocals in single “Friday Forever,” meanwhile, “ You Can Count On Me” is honest with a trace of their recent sound. “The American Dream” is a groundbreaking album, flirting with the idea of being different and embodying it without caring what another person has to say about it.
Highlighted tracks: “Autumn” and “Something Bigger Than This”
“Love And Loathing” - With Confidence
Pop-punk band, With Confidence, released “Love And Loathing” the second week of August. The band did nothing but release pop-punk powerhouse singles such as “That Something,” “Jaded,” and “Moving Boxes” leading up to the album’s release. Each single creates the same ear-catching elements as the last, and all tracks are accompanied by relatable lyrics. The album has a feel-good aura to it, even if the lyrics don’t always match the hook. “Love And Loathing” has something for every listener—no matter their mood.
Highlighted tracks: “Bruise” and “Icarus”
“Identity Crisis” - WSTR
Reaching the very end of August, pop-punk band WSTR dropped an incredibly catchy, hook-filled record. Singles include “Bad To The Bone,” “Crisis,” and “Silly Me.” Each track glides into the next, exploring themes of rebellion and passion. Songs including “See You In Hell” transition the up-beat album into an acoustic moment, giving the record a well-rounded feel. “Identity Crisis” will have you searching more from WSTR.
Highlighted tracks: “Fling” and “Hide Everything Sharp”
“Welcome To The Neighbourhood” - Boston Manor
Entering the month of September, Boston Manor launches us into fall with their newest record, “Welcome To The Neighbourhood.” The record is complete with singles such as “Halo,” “Bad Machine,” and “England’s Dreaming.” Despite the darker nature of the singles, the record still embodies some of the band’s former pop-punk undertones. This new record is a definite wildcard and will end up on your replay list in no time.
Highlighted tracks: “Flowers In Your Dustbin” and “Hate You”
Honorable Mention: “Swimming” - Mac Miller
Only about a month after releasing “Swimming,” rapper Mac Miller passed away. Whether you’ve been around since Miller’s “K.I.D.S” mixtape, his debut album “Blue Slide Park,” or just really enjoyed his hit songs—“Donald Trump” and “Wake Up”—losing him is tragic and all music communities felt it. “Swimming” is made up of singles such as “Small Worlds,” “Self Care,” and “What’s The Use.” The record is mellow throughout, showing the rapper’s vocal talents intertwined with raps. It’s a great recognition of Miller’s talents.
Highlighted tracks: “Hurt Feelings” and “Ladders”
This article appeared in the October issue of The Vindicator. The online version of the issue is here!