'90s Alt Pop: Then & Now
by Annie Zaleski | October 20, 2013
This week, beloved post-R.E.M. folk rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket released New Constellation, their first album in 16 years. To say it was anticipated is an understatement: The band raised over $250,000 from fans on Kickstarter to fund manufacturing/distribution and promotion of the album. Toad are not the only '90s-bred alt pop band who have maintained both their strong fan base and creative streak, however. Vertical Horizon's recently released album is full of sprightly power pop (and appearances from Rush drummer Neil Peart!), while The Wallflowers tapped members of The Clash to add some groove on their most recent album. New England's finest musicians (Buffalo Tom, Juliana Hatfield, Tanya Donelly) continue to hone their wistful, wrenching songcraft, and neo-glam bands (Placebo, The London Suede) and solo shapeshifters (Matthew Sweet, P.J. Harvey) have also extended their legacies with solid new work. Even eternal teenagers Barenaked Ladies have grown up -- just a smidge -- and put a modern spin on their jaunty, rueful pop rock. Look for these groups (and a few more Alternative Nation holdovers) on this hook-filled playlist.