AP&R playlist: Midwestern pop punk, international techno and raw pop
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!
Read more: 40 pop-punk albums from the 2000s that’ll make you grab your old Chucks
1. Honey Creek – “Paper Roses”
For fans of: Tiny Moving Parts, Belmont and Hot Mulligan
Milwaukee’s Honey Creek will take you back to your first suburban breakup in their new track “Paper Roses.” These Midwestern pop-punks channel the likes of Belmont and Hot Mulligan with their conversational and insightful lyrics. Honey Creek have a show set for Aug. 29 at Milwaukee’s The Rave Eagle Club where they will be opening for Bowling For Soup. Tickets are available here. The band will also be releasing their debut album, A Whole Year In Transit, April 17. Preorders are available here.
2. Dead Lakes – “Close 2 Me”
For fans of: Chase Atlantic, MISSIO and Emarosa
SharpTone Records’ newest signees Dead Lakes just shared their new single “Close 2 Me.” The quintet fuse alt-rock riffs with melodic choruses and electronic elements, shaping up for a genre-fluid experience reminiscent of experimental rockers Chase Atlantic. The band will be sharing their forthcoming EP, New Language, expected May 1. The EP is sure to delight alt-rock fans looking for diverse sounds and raw emotion that packs a punch across a short tracklisting.
3. Charmer – “VCR 666”
For fans of: Microwave, Free Throw and Mat Kerekes
Michigan’s Charmer shared their new music video for “VCR 666” featuring a heaping dose of nostalgia by way of cassette tapes. The emo quartet use feedback and haunting vocals to create a delightfully creepy undertone to the song, and they slowly trudge across their video set and destroy VHS tapes for equally eerie visuals. The band just released their sophomore album, Ivy, featuring this single among many other riffy tunes sure to captivate fans of Microwave, Hot Mulligan and others. The LP is available here. Though Charmer had to cancel their upcoming tour dates, they shared a quarantine cover for fans to listen to during this time of self-isolation.
4. 4th & Orange – “Not The End”
For fans of: Katastro, Tribal Theory and the Elovaters
SoCal’s 4th & Orange’s “Not The End” featuring subtle guitar melodies and soft, controlled vocals may be just the ray of light you need right now. The band offer a discography full of pop-reggae budding with calming guitar and mellow vocals to offer good vibes. “We wanted to find a way to spread a little positivity and hope,” they say of the track. “When it feels like it’s close to the end, it isn’t. It’s only the beginning of something new.”
5. Intelligency – “August”
For fans of: RSAC, Grechka and GSPD
Intelligency are making musical waves all the way from Minsk and sharing “August” across the globe. The single, which went viral on TikTok, was originally recorded in Russian and shot up on pop charts throughout Eastern Europe. Recently, the band recorded the song in English so they could reach new countries. The catchy techno beats are sure to transcend any language barrier and make you want to dance or even hop on the TikTok dance trend.
6. Kadeema – “Good Lies”
For fans of: AWOLNATION, Walk The Moon and flor
English duo Kadeema radiate positivity and empowerment in their booming, electronic pop-rock single “Good Lies.” In fact, the duo collaborated with Isaac Carpenter of AWOLNATION who produced the track and added his “magic touch” to the final product. Listeners can let go of their quarantine woes for three minutes when they tune into this synth-heavy track that will transport you to the summer music festivals you wish you could be at right now. “Don't be afraid to be yourself, and don't be afraid to demand honesty from your surroundings,” the band say of the song. The track will be featured on their debut EP, Napoleon Tornapart, set to be released in May.
7. The Elwins – “Take Me All The Way”
For fans of: The Strokes, Dashboard Confessional and Cold War Kids
Newmarket quartet the Elwins unleash prolific and high-energy indie-rock sounds in their new single “Take Me All The Way.” The band combine guitar riffs straight from ’70s classic rock with modern powerhouse vocals to create a unique blend that’ll make you feel like a seasoned rock fan. Fans of the Black Keys will find much to love with these up-and-coming rockers. The catchy single will appear on their fourth studio LP due this fall.
8. Kat Cunning – “Broken Heart”
For fans of: girl in red, dodie and PVRIS
Actor/singer Kat Cunning examines love and heartbreak in their vulnerable and glittery pop track “Broken Heart.” For many, it’s hard to open up and express one’s true feelings. However, Cunning encourages listeners to express themselves and their pain, noting how “we all have scars.” Their expressive vocals are raw and can be heard on the Netflix series Trinkets, where Cunning stars as Sabine.
9. Faouzia – “Wake Me When It’s Over”
For fans of: Maggie Lindemann, Alec Benjamin and Sasha Sloan
At just 19 years old, Faouzia is shaping up to be pop’s next fascination. Her incredible vocals exude maturity and control well beyond her age. If you don’t want to take our word for it, her new single “Wake Me When It’s Over” will make you a believer, where her insane vocal range steals the show. With simple synths and string instrumentals, she soars in this pop tune, relating to listeners in their darkest times.
10. Dizzy – “Sunflower” (MUNA remix)
For fans of: Ashe, Arkells and the Aces
Ontario-based quartet Dizzy gave their folk-rock single “Sunflower” a remix with techno stars MUNA. The track originally sent listeners back to the past with nostalgic feelings of simpler, sunnier times. The remix offers all those feelings and more, making listeners want to dance and sway to the new beats and rhythms that bend genre constraints. “Being given the opportunity to put a spin on a song I already think is great is always very challenging,” MUNA’s Naomi McPherson says. “I’m always just happy if the band like it and if it makes me feel like dancing.”