North-side microlabel Friendly Otter releases a lot of underground emotive posthardcore. Some of it's the kind of bristling, erratic screamo spiked with whiny yelps that doesn't have much reach beyond the folks who pack basement DIY spaces. And then there's Asterisk Ellipses, which makes fragile, lightly detailed fourth-wave emo indebted to American Football. It's a solo project from Luming Hao, a Lehigh University student majoring in computer science and music composition; his fragile, slightly restrained singing suggests he's recording in a dorm room late at night and wrestling with a strong desire to belt out his vocals. Hao sometimes lets the music get loud when his voice cannot, and the layered, sparkling instrumentals on "Show Off" shoot for the stars. The tune is on an eight-track release called Acceptable
, which Friendly Otter released on cassette in July. "Show Off" is today's 12 O'Clock Track
—listen to it below.