10 pop-punk bands from Canada who are leaving a mark on the genre
There’s no denying that pop punk owes much of what it has to Canada. With greats such as Avril Lavigne and Sum 41, the country has shaped the larger scene pretty significantly. We’ll let you in on a little secret, though… It’s still continuing to do so.
In the midst of today’s pop-punk revival, scenes all across Canada are coming in hot. From the continued success of bands including Simple Plan to the breakout of newer names such as the OBGMs, our friends in the north are leaving a mark.
Read on for 10 bands that we’re excited to see take over the Canadian pop-punk scene.
Like Pacific have been gaining steady traction in the Toronto, Ontario, scene since the release of their debut album, Distant Like You Asked, in 2016. The group boast classic pop-punk energy that’s heightened by powerfully harsh vocals. If you don’t want to take our word for it, just look at their touring stint with Sleep On It to see their promise.
If this list so far is any indication, the Toronto pop-punk scene is thriving, and Nightwell are a living testament. The outfit breathe new life into the genre, drawing on a variety of different influences, from post-hardcore to R&B. The result is a sound that, though modern, could easily hold its own on any Warped Tour stage.
There’s something immediately nostalgic about a three-piece pop-punk band, and LETDOWN bring those feels and more. Seriously, their lyrics are nothing if not evocative. Featuring pared-down instrumentals with riffs reminiscent of the early genre, the group could easily stand in a lineup with 2000s greats such as blink-182 and Alkaline Trio.
Courage My Love
If Courage My Love are representative of the new wave of pop punk's direction, then we’re looking forward to the future. The group have roots in the genre that stretch back to 2011, grounded in their debut album, For Now. Since their breakout into the scene, they’ve become increasingly experimental, incorporating eclectic elements of indie pop and '80s synth. The result is nothing short of striking.
While we’re on the topic of genre-bending groups, we’d be remiss in not shouting out Widmore. A product of Calgary, Alberta, this six-piece showcase a unique blend of pop punk and metalcore with elements of R&B. Though they’ve progressed steadily toward the heavy side over their tenure, their pop-punk foundations ring clear in their early catalog.
We’d say that Bellevue are another heavy hitter of the Calgary scene, but that would be deceptive. In fact, the duo are characterized by a lighter, pop-leaning sound that’s at times downright dreamy. Despite their relatively recent emergence into the scene in 2017, they’ve already supported prominent acts, including PVRIS.
Dear Youth first made their mark on the Québec music scene with their debut EP, Over The Bridge, in 2016. Now, fresh on the heels of releasing their first studio album, Heirloom, they’re ready to take the world by storm. Spoiler alert: This band have range. Be prepared to be taken from upbeat, catchy pop-punk hooks to angsty, emo vibes with each track change.
The OBGMs play a post-hardcore-influenced brand of pop punk that’ll take you right back to the turn of the 2000s. But that’s not to say that they wouldn’t stand out even in the midst of the early scene. The Toronto-based band are notably unrestrained from any arbitrary genre lines, seamlessly blending elements of grunge and hip-hop into their thrash-y punk foundation. Check out their single “All My Friends” from 2020’s The Ends for a good taste of their aggressive and anthemic energy.
If you like your pop punk to smack you in the face, look no further than Chief State. Between powerful, characteristically punk energy and poignant emotionality, this band will hit you in the feels and make you want to fight about it. Here’s hoping that shows return in the not-so-distant future because we can only imagine this act drive one hell of a pit.
We’d argue that this Toronto-based outfit should have blown up by now, but it’s only a matter of time. Even in the short time since their debut in 2015, they’ve been able to share stages with the likes of Hawthorne Heights and Bearings. Carried Away bring all the nostalgia of the 2000s pop-punk heyday mixed with a dash of emo for a sound that will appeal to any former scene kid.
Who are your favorite emerging Canadian pop-punk artists? Let us know in the comments below!