New Music Playlist: February 2020

Feb 2020 NM Playlist
Top row left to right: Ratboys, Soccer Mommy, Scratchy Blanket, Post Louis, PRIZM; bottom row: Dad Bod, ALITA, bugsy, Best Coast,

Every year, February is a slog. The late winter days drag out and snow melts to gray slush on the sidewalk. But what saved me from the late-winter slump this month was the whirlwind of new music that came out. We got new releases from household indie names like Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers, and Ratboys (who even got a shout-out from Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail). February brought a medley of uptempo and brooding pop tracks from PRIZM and ALITA respectively, along with bedroom pop from Dad Bod and Gladie. Keep reading for a run-down of some of my favorite releases from this past month.

Minneapolis’ Bugsy has had some demos floating around Bandcamp for a while, but this month we were graced with the first full-band EP from the group. Bugsy is buoyed by songwriter Emily Schoonover, who transforms visceral emotions into explosive songs. Part emo, part alternative, part homemade dynamite, the songs on Teratoma pack a punch.

I’ve been a fan of Best Coast ever since discovering the duo’s sun-soaked California indie sound in high school — I even skipped prom one year to see them in concert — so their music is close to my heart. As much as I’ve been a fan of Bethany Cosentino’s songwriting, I’ve also looked up to how she uses her platform to speak openly about the issues that matter to her, like mental health and sexism in the music industry. On Always Tomorrow, Cosentino gets personal, recounting stories of depression, sobriety and writer’s block and making it out the other side more hopeful and renewed than ever.

Feeling burnt out from the corporate grind? So are Post Louis. In February, the London-based art rock band released their debut full-length album, Descender, which explores the physical and mental toll of labor, as well as gender roles and toxic masculinity. If you want to learn more about the album, you can check out my conversation with songwriter Stephanie Davin.

For their first full-length album, Pittsburgh’s Scratchy Blanket were inspired by relationships, loss, personal change, and of course, cats. I talked to couple Shannon Keating and Chloe Hodgkins about how Something for Everyone came out of a multitude of collaborations, including music video cameos from friends, guest vocals from Adult Mom, and heartfelt lyrics dedicated to the people who matter most.

To round out this month’s releases, we’ve got a new video from San Francisco’s Zelma Stone for the song “Fly,” from the upcoming EP Dreamland. The song is dedicated to singer-songwriter Chloe Zelma Studebaker’s grandfather, and its chilled-out synth lines and softly strummed guitar pay homage to some of his favorite songwriters including Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline. The song meditates on grief with a soothing tenderness, managing to embrace a painful loss while also finding solace in the process.

Check out more new music from February in the full playlist below:

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