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Crisman // "Surprise" Music Video Premiere

The Alternative has premiered the music video or Crisman's song "Surprise", with accompanying interview. Read the statement from Madeline Dowd, lead vocals and guitar for Crisman:

The video for “Surprise” revolves around dependency, letting go, and urgency versus patience. The story starts as the main character purchases ice from the local ice store. The video showcases a relationship between the main character and the bag of ice—they spend time together through activities such as playing basketball, going to the park, feeding the ducks etc. Eventually the ice starts to melt and their relationship starts to dwindle. The ice eventually melts away and the character is confronted with feelings of emptiness and loneliness. Being able to bury these emotions and ultimately come to terms with them is what this video is talking about.

"Surprise" was the first single from Crisman's self-titled debut album, released April 3.

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Thanya Iyer // Visual Album "KIND"


Thanya Iyer has shared "KIND", a ~20 minute film to accompany her forthcoming record of the same name.

Crucial questions around healing, cultural identity, and disability are among the many subjects visited by Thanya Iyer's sophomore album, KIND. Although represented by a concise title, KIND explores an expansive universe where Iyer and her band examine interpersonal relationships, ideas of home and destination, and our collective responsibilities to one another. To aid in this journey of big, difficult questions, Iyer enlists the help of a huge cast of musicians, with guest features ranging from brass trios, vocal sextets, flautists, and harpists.

You can find the film on Youtube or on our igtv, and if you like what you hear, you can pre-order KIND in our shop now <3



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Alfred. // New EP "One Trick Pony" & video for "PRNDL/DR. CALL"

Today marks the release of the latest and greatest EP from our very own Alfred. While frustration is inherent to Alfred.'s life and creative output, they're careful not to make it the sole focus of their work. Rather than play into others’ expectations, Alfred. opts for imaginative self-storytelling and twisted streams of wordplay consciousness, set to longtime collaborator clwdwlkr's immaculately produced beats and wavescapes. On One Trick Pony, Alfred. covers a striking breadth of styles across a mere six songs, dancing between dark gospel, Dilla-inflected sampling, and hypnotic bops. You can find these tracks now digitally and on cassette.

One Trick Pony comes paired with a stunning, ecstatic music video for track 04 "PRNDL/DR. CALL". On the video, Alfred. had this to say:

"Self-expression through several mediums is a reminder that art is the tool guiding our innards to fill a space/time. Connor is a friend who pushes and challenges me to creatively hold onto my zeal with reserve and tenderness. I’m fascinated by the world they’ve built through photography by freezing a small universe in time. Truthfully, I fear holing myself into old frames of mind moving forward on my journey of radical self-expression. Connor facilitates the stillness of this world through bleak skies and through the dances of our environments — it melts around the heat of acquiesced chaos and together we relish in an air of suspense and poise. Dealing with chronic eczema makes sharing my body as a queer artist a tricky territory (one of several reasons) —— it’s as if I should know how to celebrate myself in a world that moves around me like I am an eyesore. I shy away from physical vulnerability in my work or centering it around the body. Using myself as a picture frame through small, organized movement informs me that my body works as a cloak, as a weapon, as a presence, as several things that I fail to rejoice in. This work encourages me to embrace the roundness in my face and the boldest parts of my shadows. To be captured dancing like Death in the valley, to lounge as a scarecrow of the field, to be seethe in the red echo chamber of my imagination, to softly gaze over moving water all feel so very familiar. I feel carefully placed in a sequence of memories and dreams, I’m thankful for this shared experience."

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Ratboys // "I Go Out at Night"

Today we're stoked to share the video for the newest Ratboys single, "I Go Out at Night," directed by coool and taken from their upcoming album, Printer's Devil.

Listen to the new single today on your platform of choice and check the video below
Pre-order Printer's Devil on vinyl, CD, cassette, or digital

In addition to the new video, a little reminder that Ratboys will embark on a headlining tour this year, kicking things off with a release show for Printer's Devil in Chicago on February 28. Find the dates below, and have fun at the gig~

  • February 21, 2020 - Madison, WI, US @ Memorial Union Terrace, University of Wisconsin
  • February 28, 2020 - Chicago, IL, US @ Lincoln Hall
  • March 14, 2020 - Urbana, IL, US @ Rose Bowl Tavern
  • March 15, 2020 - Kansas City, MO, US @ The Riot Room
  • March 24, 2020 - Manitou Springs, CO, US @ Lulu's Downstairs
  • March 25, 2020 - Boise, ID, US @ Treefort Music Fest
  • March 26, 2020 - Salt Lake City, UT, US @ Kilby Court
  • March 29, 2020 - Seattle, WA, US @ Barboza
  • March 30, 2020 - Portland, OR, US @ Mississippi Studios
  • April 02, 2020 - San Francisco, CA, US @ Bottom of the Hill
  • April 03, 2020 - Santa Ana, CA, US @ CONSTELLATION ROOM
  • April 04, 2020 - Los Angeles (LA), CA, US @ The Echo
  • April 05, 2020 - La Jolla, CA, US @ Che Cafe, UC San Diego
  • April 07, 2020 - Phoenix, AZ, US @ The Rebel Lounge
  • April 09, 2020 - Denver, CO, US @ Larimer Lounge
  • April 29, 2020 - Pontiac, MI, US @ Pike Room at the Crofoot
  • April 30, 2020 - Lakewood, OH, US @ Mahall's 20 Lanes
  • May 01, 2020 - Pittsburgh, PA, US @ Club Café
  • May 02, 2020 - Toronto, ON, Canada @ Monarch Tavern
  • May 05, 2020 - Allston, MA, US @ Great Scott
  • May 07, 2020 - Brooklyn, NY, US @ Rough Trade NYC
  • May 08, 2020 - Philadelphia, PA, US @ Johnny Brenda's
  • May 09, 2020 - Washington, DC, US @ Songbyrd Music House
  • May 10, 2020 - Richmond, VA, US @ The Camel
  • May 12, 2020 - Atlanta, GA, US @ The Masquerade
  • May 13, 2020 - Nashville, TN, US @ Mercy Lounge / the High Watt
  • May 14, 2020 - Columbus, OH, US @ Rumba Café
  • May 15, 2020 - Louisville, KY, US @ Zanzabar
  • May 16, 2020 - St Louis, MO, US @ Duck Room, Blueberry Hill

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No Vacation and Okey Dokey // "Really Truly"

Out everywhere today, “Really Truly” is the dreamlike joint effort by summertime tourmates No Vacation and Okey Dokey.

Kicking off with a quaint sluggishness, “Really Truly” seems to beckon the slow-paced moods of summer before slipping into an upbeat, disjointed phrase cloaked with the calls-and-responses of No Vacation and Okey Dokey. Supple and warm synth tones pepper the song with a comforting pulse, guiding the listener through its delicate, ethereal passages to its skittering, hopeful coda.

Check out the song on your preferred streaming platform today, or scope the video below, animated by Aaron Martin of Okey Dokey. (WARNING: Video may trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy)


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Ratboys // Announce album 'Printer's Devil' and 2020 headline tour

Today we're very thrilled to announce the upcoming record, Printer's Devil, by Ratboys, out February 28, 2020. We've released a music video for the album's lead single, "Alien with a Sleep Mask On," directed by the duo coool. The video follows a team of scientists attempting to save the life of the video's protagonist, portrayed by the band's very own Julia Steiner. The song will be available on your platform of choice come Friday, November 15.


Pre-order Printer's Devil

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Starting the night of the album's release, Ratboys will embark on a full US headline tour, with Ellis supporting the first leg, and Topshelf labelmates, Another Michael, on the second. Make sure to peep the dates below before tickets go on sale this Friday, November 15.

  • February 28, 2020 - Chicago, IL, US @ Lincoln Hall - get tickets
  • March 14, 2020 - Urbana, IL, US @ Rose Bowl Tavern - get tickets
  • March 15, 2020 - Kansas City, MO, US @ The Riot Room - get tickets
  • March 24, 2020 - Manitou Springs, CO, US @ Lulu's Downstairs - get tickets *
  • March 26, 2020 - Salt Lake City, UT, US @ Kilby Court - get tickets *
  • March 29, 2020 - Seattle, WA, US @ Barboza - get tickets *
  • March 30, 2020 - Portland, OR, US @ Mississippi Studios - get tickets *
  • April 02, 2020 - San Francisco, CA, US @ Bottom of the Hill - get tickets *
  • April 03, 2020 - Santa Ana, CA, US @ CONSTELLATION ROOM - get tickets *
  • April 04, 2020 - Los Angeles (LA), CA, US @ The Echo - get tickets *
  • April 05, 2020 - La Jolla, CA, US @ Che Cafe, UC San Diego - get tickets *
  • April 07, 2020 - Phoenix, AZ, US @ The Rebel Lounge - get tickets *
  • April 09, 2020 - Denver, CO, US @ Larimer Lounge - get tickets *

  • April 29, 2020 - Pontiac, MI, US @ Pike Room at the Crofoot - get tickets ^
  • April 30, 2020 - Lakewood, OH, US @ Mahall's 20 Lanes - get tickets ^
  • May 01, 2020 - Pittsburgh, PA, US @ Club Café - get tickets ^
  • May 02, 2020 - Toronto, ON, Canada @ Monarch Tavern - get tickets ^
  • May 05, 2020 - Allston, MA, US @ Great Scott - get tickets ^
  • May 07, 2020 - Brooklyn, NY, US @ Rough Trade NYC - get tickets ^
  • May 08, 2020 - Philadelphia, PA, US @ Johnny Brenda's - get tickets ^
  • May 09, 2020 - Washington, DC, US @ Songbyrd Music House - get tickets ^
  • May 10, 2020 - Richmond, VA, US @ The Camel - get tickets ^
  • May 12, 2020 - Atlanta, GA, US @ The Masquerade - get tickets ^
  • May 13, 2020 - Nashville, TN, US @ Mercy Lounge / the High Watt - get tickets ^
  • May 14, 2020 - Columbus, OH, US @ Rumba Café - get tickets ^
  • May 15, 2020 - Louisville, KY, US @ Zanzabar - get tickets ^
  • May 16, 2020 - St Louis, MO, US @ Duck Room, Blueberry Hill - get tickets ^


  • photograph by Johnny Fabrizio // design by Dave Sagan

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    LITE // "Double" Music Video

    Just a few days ahead of their US tour with Elephant Gym, LITE have shared a new music video for the song "Double," taken from their recently released album Multiple. Enjoy the video below and mark your calendars!

    LITE's Nobuyuki Takeda explains that the group's objective with "Double" was to "remove the useless to the utmost limit," effectively eliminating effects and accessory pedals to approach the truest sound of their instruments. This self-imposed limitation is meant to emphasize the physicality of the band's music, characterized by melodically disjointed, rhythmically challenging passages and unpredictable songwriting.

    "This physical sound expresses the best of our style, born from the history of playing in so many various and sometimes tough environments, and keeps only what’s necessary to express ourselves on stage," says Takeda. "When we asked ourselves how to express this physical feeling visually in a music video, we came to think naturally of dance. We chose the spirited young dancer Aoi Yamada, as we believed her contemporary dance expresses in the best way LITE’s current identity."

    As Takeda suggests, Aoi Yamada's swift, precise movements assertively capture the the song's agile twists and hairpin turns. Her physical prowess and the viscerally demanding nature of "Double" are underscored by the focus on LITE's hands, symbolic of their mastery of the finer "points" of composition.

    East coast tour dates:

    • October 24, 2019 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
    • October 25, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
    • October 26, 2019 - Washington, DC @ DC9

    West coast tour dates with Elephant Gym:

    • October 28, 2019 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
    • October 29, 2019 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
    • October 30, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Lola's Room
    • November 1, 2019 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
    • November 2, 2019 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's
    • November 3, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
    • November 4, 2019 - San Diego, CA @ Music Box
    • November 6, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge

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    Elephant Gym // "Gaze at Blue"

    Elephant Gym have surprise-dropped a new track and music video today in anticipation of their upcoming west coast tour with Topshelf labelmates LITE.

    Check out the new single today on your platform of choice, or enjoy the video below.

    Taiwanese trio Elephant Gym’s new one-off “Gaze at Blue” carefully synthesizes elements of jazz, ambient, and post-rock into a groove-replete freeform introspection. The interplay of its nimble, explorative guitar and bass bounces between unison and syncopation, coated with subtly glitched sample-clicks and the cool ambience of a droning synth. “Gaze at Blue” teases in and out of hints toward its enthralling climax, a drawn-out crescendo with no precise resolution, as if to evoke the illusory and ambiguous endpoints of freedom.


    In the upcoming weeks you'll be able to catch the band on the West Coast with LITE. And if you're based in LA, you'll be thrilled to discover that the band will play at Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw festival. Check the dates and be stoked!

    • October 28, 2019 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
    • October 29, 2019 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
    • October 30, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Lola's Room
    • November 1, 2019 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
    • November 2, 2019 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's
    • November 3, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
    • November 4, 2019 - San Diego, CA @ Music Box
    • November 6, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
    • November 9, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA, US @ Dodger Stadium

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    Elephant Gym // "Half" | Level Live

    Level is a new platform providing tools for musicians with a focus on building community with independent artists. Elephant Gym recently teamed up with them for an incredible live performance of their song "Half," taken from their most recent record, Underwater. The Alternative praised the band's performance in a premiere earlier this week, explaining that "no one locks down such intricate instrumentation with more obvious joy than Elephant Gym."

    If the live video wasn't news enough for fans, the band also announced this week that they'll be playing Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw festival this fall, after a sweet run of west coast dates with Topshelf labelmates LITE. Tickets are on sale today.

    You can also enjoy the live performance of "Half" on your preferred streaming platform, courtesy of Level.

    West Coast dates with LITE:

    • October 28, 2019 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Ballroom
    • October 29, 2019 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
    • October 30, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Paris Theatre
    • November 1, 2019 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone Berkeley
    • November 2, 2019 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's Restaurant & Nightclub
    • November 3, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
    • November 4, 2019 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
    • November 6, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge

    photo by Joshua Bilhan (@j.bilhan)


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    Field Mouse // "Heart of Gold" Video Released

    Yesterday saw the drop of Field Mouse's new video for "Heart of Gold" with an exclusive premiere, courtesy of The Alternative.

    The video for “Heart of Gold,” the [new] album’s second track, was shot entirely on an iPhone and, like the record, is simultaneously intimate and expansive. Gorgeous, wide open spaces form the backdrop for the band’s camaraderie as they dance and sing along to the shimmering tune.

    Check out the video in the embed below and make sure to add the new album Meaning to your library on your favorite streaming platform.

    shot and directed by Field Mouse

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