AP&R playlist: Acoustic dream pop, fiery pop punk and ’90s-fueled indie
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. Point North – “A Million Pieces”
For fans of: Stand Atlantic, Neck Deep and Trophy Eyes
Los Angeles rock trio Point North shared their new track “A Million Pieces,” the first release since “Into The Dark” featuring Kellin Quinn. The track features vocals with a wide range for the song’s narrative and carefully articulated riffs for a truly raw piece. Vocalist Jon Lundin noted how this was a particularly introspective track. “The verses are basically my vulnerabilities and insecurities, and when the chorus hits, it's the voice I need to hear to get me through whatever it is I'm going through,” he says.
2. guccihighwaters – “needle & thread”
For fans of: lil aaron, nothing,nowhere. and Lund
guccihighwaters signed to Epitaph Records in late 2019, releasing his first song with the label, “highschool.” . He’s now on to his third single of 2020 after “smother” and “candy” featuring Lund. with Characterized by trap beats, mellow vocals and simple synth sounds, “needle & thread” shapes into the perfect modern emo song.
3. Casa Loma – “Travelers”
For fans of: Man Overboard, Locket and Elder Brother
Man Overboard vocalist/bassist Nik Bruzzese shared exciting news this week. His band released “Lifeline,” their first song in five years. Then he dropped two new tracks from his solo project Casa Loma and signed to Pure Noise Records. “Travelers” and “Famaglia” employ laid-back acoustic strums and dreamy vocals, a stark transition from the pop-punk nature of his previous projects. Bruzzese recorded with Ace Enders of the Early November to create his debut solo EP, This Is Coping, due out June 5. Preorders are available here.
4. KIITA – “Thinking About You”
For fans of: Billie Eilish, tiLLie and Halsey
17-year-old Columbus-native KIITA shared her new track “Thinking About You” from her three-track EP, BAYARD THE BLOODHOUND. The song uniquely combines airy vocals, simple indie-pop guitar chords and trap beats to create radio-play-worthy alternative bliss. “Love Lakes” and “Straight 2 Hell” from her EP share similar easygoing vibes, maintaining a strong theme throughout the whole release.
5. Plasma Canvas – “Firecracker”
For fans of: Hot Mulligan, Microwave and Heart Attack Man
Fort Collins, Colorado, duo Plasma Canvas released their urgent pop-punk track “Firecracker.” With compelling, unceasing guitar riffs and powerful vocals, this track will set a spark to your playlist. “It's a tribute to those intense-but-fleeting-but-intense crushes that 20-somethings get between crowded, sweaty parties at the local punk house on summer nights, but with the added fun fact that it's queer as hell,” guitarist Adrienne Ash shares. This serves as one of five tracks on the duo’s forthcoming EP, KILLERMAJESTIC, available June 12. Preorders are available here.
6. joan – “love me better”
For fans of: flor, Nightly and COIN
Pop duo joan shared their new light and refreshing tune “love me better.” The two have made quite a splash in the indie scene and recently signed to Photo Finish Records to continue their musical journey. This particular track features bouncy vocals and a heavy dose of nostalgia with Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air vibes. Even their music video reflects simpler times with a colorful mural, hopscotch, hula hoops and more.
7. The Frst – “Simulation”
For fans of: Badflower, Palaye Royale and Bryce Fox
Nashville’s the Frst released their new song “Simulation,” which is full of angst-ridden vocals and heavy guitar riffs that are keeping grunge very much alive. The song was actually inspired by comedian Joe Rogan’s interview with tech mogul Elon Musk, who discussed how humans rely too much on technology. Along with the song release, the band are sharing an augmented reality app where fans can see bloopers, behind the scenes and other exclusive content.
8. Alex McArtor – “Biggest Fan”
For fans of: Lana Del Rey, Lorde and FKA twigs
17-year-old Alex McArtor shared her brand-new single “Biggest Fan,” made for classic-rock fans. Her style of melancholy vocals and smooth guitar transitions will make listeners sway and transport them back to the 70s. Her track is drenched in nostalgia and shares the fantastical range of heavy-hitting stars such as Lana Del Rey. “I wanted to write a song that expressed the idea that sometimes people or things are better left untouched for the sake of not killing the magic or the fantasy that surrounds them…the mystery of the unknown,” McArtor says.
9. 7candystars – “Corners”
For fans of: Graf Orlock, Elvis Depressedly and Glitterer
7candystars are emerging onto the alternative scene with their debut single, “Corners.” The band are inspired by the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins and Bush, sharing the same low vocals and crunchy guitar chords in their new track. They will be releasing their debut EP, Cherish, May 15, featuring three additional rock-fueled tracks. Preorders are available here.
10. chloe moriondo – “bugbear”
For fans of: Cavetown, mxmtoon and dodie
17-year-old singer chloe moriondo shared a new track and visual for “bugbear.” She blends conversational verses with garage-rock chords for a unique experience reminiscent of Cavetown’s storytelling and delivery. In fact, Robin Skinner, the mind behind Cavetown, produced the track. Listeners can check out this track, as well as her other singles “kindergarten” and “ghost adventure spirit orb,” on her brand-new four-track EP, spirit orb.