Options main man Seth Engel Credit: Johnny Fabrizio, courtesy of Options' Facebook

In September prolific Chicago musician Seth Engel dropped Maxed Out, a full-length of woeful but ebullient power pop by his long-running solo project, Options. And when Engel turned 27 on Monday, he released Besides, which consists of tracks he’d intended to include on two Options tour EPs. He opens the glum, mellifluous “Milk” with the lines “I am afraid / Of what I’ll say / If I would just let it out of my head”—which to me sounds like a reference to the anxiety plenty of folks felt about sharing Thanksgiving dinner with relatives who supported the president-elect. All proceeds from the sale of Besides benefit the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council, which provides aid for the encampments at Standing Rock protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (and to the Standing Rock community at large). The EP is available as a pay-what-you-want download through local microlabel Grandpa Bay, so you can donate as much as you can afford.