AP&R playlist: Experimental pop, heartbreak anthems and hip-hop-infused alt
You’re welcome: We’ve made finding new songs by rising bands easy. Each week, we’re gathering the best from the underground and offering it to you in one concise list. Scroll below and check out our Spotify Discover playlist, featuring these tracks and more!
In return, we want to hear your favorite. Let us know which new songs you’ll be spinning for the rest of the weekend in the comments!
1.RAT BOY – “BRAVE NEW WORLD”
For fans of: The Wombats, Circa Waves and Vistas
Hailing from Essex, RAT BOY recently shared his genre-bending single “BRAVE NEW WORLD.” The track combines elements of pop-punk guitar riffs, funky bass, angelic background vocals and even a dialogue sample from the 1980 English crime movie The Long Good Friday. The singer offers a fresh take on alternative by combining a myriad of genres and remaining down to earth in his bedroom-themed music video, where he dons a fashionable red bucket hat.
2. Amnesia Scanner – “AS Going” (feat. LYZZA)
For fans of: Halsey, the Chainsmokers and Logic
Berlin-based duo Amnesia Scanner are sharing their experimental new song “AS Going” featuring LYZZA. The track features heavy synths, rap and a heavy dose of melodic pop vocals reminiscent of Halsey. The duo created a trippy visual for the new song with distorted and, at times, horrifying faces. The project announced their new album, Tearless, available June 5 featuring the likes of Code Orange and Lalita, serving as “a breakup letter with the planet.” Preorders are available here.
3. Yours Truly – “Composure”
For fans of: Stand Atlantic, With Confidence and ROAM
Sydney pop-punk outfit Yours Truly offered their soaring new track “Composure” as the follow-up to 2019’s Afterglow EP. The quartet share powerful vocals and undeniably satisfying guitar riffs with an embroidery-themed music video. Lead singer Mikaila Delgado notes the track is a heartbreak anthem detailing the pitfalls of an on-and-off relationship. “It's natural to be upset, angry and a million different other emotions at once," she says of the track. “I wrote it at a time when I really needed to reclaim my self-worth after losing so much of it. I was over being miserable waiting for acceptance.”
4. Kelsy Karter – “Devil On My Shoulder”
For fans of: The Struts, Kesha and the Regrettes
Some listeners may recognize singer Kelsy Karter as the viral sensation who “tattooed” Harry Styles’ face on her own cheek for her single “Harry.” Now, she’s sharing her new single “Devil On My Shoulder.” The song is a testament to where rock is headed, with a mix of powerful vocals and of course unforgettable electric guitar licks. The track also features a must-watch music directed by Karter, with a narrative of two robbers on the lam, one of those robbers being a monkey. This particular monkey is a movie star, having appeared in The Hangover Part II and alongside Ben Stiller in Night At The Museum.
5. Holding Absence – “Birdcage”
For fans of: Thornhill, Hundredth and Glass Tides
Welsh rockers Holding Absence shared their single “Birdcage,” complete with raw vocals and vulnerable lyrics as well as booming drums and heavy riffs reminiscent of Australia’s punk-rock outfit Glass Tides. The band also shared another single in March entitled “Gravity.” They worked with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me The Horizon), mixer Adam “Nolly” Getgood (Architects, Periphery) and mastering technician Jens Bogren (Loathe). Both new songs are available on a limited seven-inch picture disc here, The band will support Creeper on a postponed U.K. run currently set to kick off in August with tickets available here.
6. Alex O'aiza – “Out Of My Mind”
For fans of: Foster The People, Saint Motel and Miike Snow
Dallas pop-rock vocalist Alex O’aiza debuted his track and accompanying music video, “Out Of My Mind.” The vocalist teamed up with Forever The Sickest Kids’ Austin Bello and Caleb Turman to co-write. Bello also produced, and Turman added in guitar and bass among an array of synth beats and melodic pop hooks reminiscent of pop-rock giants Foster The People. Taking an alternative approach to the typical music video format, O’aiza opted for Instagram to create his visuals.
7. GARZI – “Sick Of Me” (feat. Travis Barker)
For fans of: blink-182, Machine Gun Kelly and iann dior
Following up last year’s “My Temptations” and “Higher,” alternative hip-hop artist GARZI collaborated with blink-182’s Travis Barker to deliver alt-rock dream track “Sick Of Me.” The artist tapped into his Warped Tour roots to build on scene rock elements such as raw, soaring vocals and intricate drum parts with trap beats, creating a genre-bent tapestry. His forthcoming EP, Stuck In The Middle, is due out in May via John Feldmann’s Big Noise with the Goldfinger frontman also working his producing magic.
8. Hockey Dad – “In This State”
For fans of: OK Go, Weezer and the Fratellis
Australian duo Hockey Dad are the group keeping modern rock alive in their new track “In This State.” Undeniably energetic guitar riffs give a new life to garage rock, and the vocals evoke an urgency reminiscent of alt-rock giants Weezer. The duo are sharing their forthcoming album, Brain Candy, July 31. The LP will also feature their singles “itch” and “I Missed Out,” and preorders are available here.
9. Mouth Culture – “Say It In Reverse”
For fans of: Boston Manor, Valleyheart and Bilmuri
Mouth Culture share laid-back vibes in their new track, “Say It In Reverse.” The pop-rock band hail from Leicester, England and offer powerhouse vocals and precise guitar notes to capture a dynamic story with musical depth. The band also shared singles “Paradise” and “15 Missed Calls” within the last year, showcasing their artistic range.
10. Same Side – “The Way It Seems”
For fans of: The Story So Far, Elder Brother and Have Mercy
Kevin Geyer (The Story So Far, Elder Brother) just shared his debut solo single “The Way It Seems” from his brand-new project Same Side. The mellow track offers a soothing presence with ambient vocals and distant guitar chords, which is a distinct departure from previous projects. Geyer will release his project’s self-titled debut EP May 29, with five tracks including this one. Preorders are available here.