13 artists who are reclaiming the pop-punk music scene in 2021
The casual music fan must notice that pop punk is undergoing a renaissance. 2020 brought a slew of artists taking a stab at power chords and aggressive lyrics, but simmering under the surface are plenty of up-and-comers.
2021 is a big year for many musicians. Concerts are returning, and artists can show off all the new music they produced during the pandemic. For pop-punk artists, however, it may be a chance to pick up increasingly interested listeners.
If you are looking for fresh pop-punk jams, here’s a list of 13 artists with new music. If you’re a new fan, or maybe one returning to the genre, there is so much catch up on.
Sleep It Off
The California pop-punkers feature a soaring sound, throwback vocals and, most importantly, relatability. Their newest track “Hopeless Hearts” is their best yet—anthemic and pedal-to-the-floor from the opening seconds. It’s layered with interesting chord progressions coupled with a bouncy chorus. Sleep It Off spent the last few months crafting new music, strumming for virtual acoustic performances over social media. They may release more music at the end of the summer.
Here’s an artist fresh off a new release. Evan Greer blessed us with Spotify Is Surveillance in April, charged with socially motivated, punk-rock and eclecticism blends. It’s a gorgeous, plump cherry on top of her passionate campaign against the streaming giant. The hilariously titled “Emma Goldman Would Have Beat Your Ass” is a standout track. “Back Row” and “The Tyranny Of Either/Or” are also exceptional.
The U.K. fivesome are the other side of the pond’s version of State Champs. There’s plenty of pop with a purposeful stick-it-to-the-man sound at the forefront. Their duo of 2021 tracks, “Jaded” and “Worldwide Catastrophe,” are major steps forward. Plus, they helped Royals build anticipation for their new EP, A Spark To Ignite, dropping June 11.
Bad Sandy blend ’80s and ’90s pop-rock with an upbeat, punky rhythm. The talented New Hampshire natives released a Christmas tune in December and will put out a single at the end of June. But the band say they’re working on a few projects, which may turn out to be their second full-length. We are all looking forward to what comes next.
Think Wheatus but in the year 2021. Always Grounded utilize that iconic sound but spread it over a contemporary pop-punk ethos. The band have been hard at work on a new LP since early in the pandemic. Always Grounded establish their sound in their new work, with the track “Bad Blood” being a real punch to the jaw. The new EP, Letters To My Youth, is fresh out of the oven, ready to be listened to.
Kings Of The Wild Things
With the breakneck pace of old-school punkers, Kings Of The Wild Things’ new EP, Golden State Of Mind, never lets up. It’s extremely polished with vocals that reminisce of genre greats, a little bit of Good Charlotte with a pinch of MxPx. Their new music is a must-listen for pop-punk fans. The best track might be the opener, “Smile,” but it’s worth streaming in its entirety.
This new band from Northeast Ohio are a pandemic baby. Started a year ago by an Emo Night Brooklyn DJ, the crew possess that pure pop-punk sound reflected in their track “All The Rage.” With its excellent vocals and polished production, the track is an early favorite for most underrated pop-punk song of the year (hint, hint Spotify playlist creators). Mighty Vices take big swings, partnering with Metro Station’s Mason Musso. The band’s next single will drop in mid-June.
First And Forever
Here’s a band that grind. Singer Alex Ryan is a great promoter on social media and clearly never drinks decaf. The effort paid off when the band’s new song “Let This Love Lie Dead” blew up during quarantine. First And Forever must have graduated summa cum laude from the Used university because the comparison is uncanny.
Meet Me @ The Altar
By now, you’re probably familiar with Meet Me @ The Altar. However, you may not be familiar with their new single “Hit Like A Girl” (pssst, it’s their best yet). Did you know they’ll release new music and perform at the scene’s biggest festival Riot Fest in Chicago in September and hit the road with All Time Low and nothing,nowhere. in October? Big things are on the horizon for the ladies in Meet Me @ The Altar.
The New Jersey natives debuted in 2020 with the help the Dangerous Summer’s AJ Perdomo and In Her Own Words’ Joey Fleming, both featured on their excellent EP The Things We Used To Be. Northvale begin dropping new tracks June 11 with “Good Intentions ” featuring Broadside's Ollie Baxxter. It sounds like Valencia on steroids, a soaring single with complex vocal layers that takes a handful of listens to fully appreciate. Northvale are a pop-punk fan’s perfect band, with all the elements genre lovers fall for.
From what it looks like on Instagram, the Wisconsin natives spent the month of March in the studio and at work stations, tracking vocals, then editing mixes. It’s been two years since Gold Steps released “Empty Space,” an electric pop-punk ballad that made rounds on playlists. With the scene in a better place compared to 2019, the group feel like the kind of band that could blow up. Get on the train early.
The Ohio pop singer incorporates elements of punk in her hooky tunes that draw more attention with each release. Under Rise Records, she recently dropped her debut album, Push Back, with its top three tracks reflecting serious versatility. “Taking Up Space” is a Taylor Swift-like pop track, while “Nothing” is an ’80s-feeling jam. “That’s All” is more tailored to the scene, with a quickened pace and a pop-punk vibe.
After growing their following during the pandemic, Lonely Avenue will release their new song, “Ashland,” June 18. It’s edgier than past work—think if Pierce The Veil or Sleeping With Sirens tilted more pop. Perceptive listeners could even draw comparisons with city mates Dance Gavin Dance. Whatever they sound like, we wish nothing but success for the talented artists in Lonely Avenue and can’t wait for the new music.
Who is your new favorite pop-punk artist with recent releases? Drop your picks in the comments below!