AP&R Playlist: Nostalgic surf-pop, emotional punk rock and sparkly grunge
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 track you’ll be spinning for the rest of the weekend in the comments!
UPSAHL – “People I Don’t Like”
For fans of: Transviolet, Kelsy Karter, XYLØ
Serving low harmonies, soft beats and lots of attitude, UPSAHL delivers a catchy song about her dislike of people that hits just a little too close to home. The follow-up to her last single “12345SEX,” “People I Don’t Like” slowly builds up to the first chorus, where the singer is joined by claps and other percussion instruments. All the while an unshakeable bass steers the track in the background. “People I Don’t Like” will appear on UPSAHL’s EP due out this fall.
Payton Moormeier – “Habits”
For fans of: EBEN, jxdn, Cash And Maverick
After posting a video with Halsey’s “Without Me” on TikTok, Payton Moormeier started to gain traction on the app. Since then, the 16-year-old released his debut single “Love Letter” earlier this year. Now, he’s sharing his next song with the ever-relatable “Habits.” Encompassing bouncy synths and a dreamy pre-chorus, the singer laments on a lost romance and the anxiety that comes with it. For anyone who’s going through a rough breakup, this track is one to help you through it.
Safehold – “Loose Ends”
For fans of: Lil Peep, iann dior, Lil Lotus
Fusing punk and emo rap, Safehold delivers personal rhymes and upbeat rhythms in his latest song, “Loose Ends.” In front of an infectious backtrack, the rapper talks of young lust and the time when all he cared about was being cool. The track will be featured on his upcoming debut album, Boyish, due out July 24 via Mutant League Records.
Jacqueline Tucci – “Sweeter Things”
For fans of: TEEN BLUSH, TOLEDO, Patricia Lalor
Jacqueline Tucci is tired of others trying to dictate who she is in her latest track, “Sweeter Things.” Short yet intense, the singer expresses other’s thoughts about how they think women should act with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and crisp guitar riffs. “‘Sweeter Things’ emphasizes the importance of being true to yourself and speaking up for what you believe in,” Tucci says. “You know what matters to you, and you should stand up and speak up for that.”
Social Animals – “Something To Keep Me Awake”
For fans of: Young Mister, Iron Eyes Cody, the Dangerous Summer
Recorded at Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba's home studio before COVID-19, indie four-piece Social Animals describe their take on the state of the world in “Something To Keep Me Awake.” Despite beginning with a blast of bright synths and an overall cheery vibe, the track focuses on the band’s thoughts about the media and social unrest. The group are hosting a 14-hour livestream July 31 in partnership with the Allen Ginsberg Estate and HeadCount and will be putting music to Ginsberg’s poetry. The stream will be available to watch here.
Only Sibling – “Native”
For fans of: Sunsleeper, Greynier, Superheaven
The second single off their upcoming debut LP, Get Well Soon, Only Sibling’s “Native” kicks it up with shining guitars and grunge-like vocals. Continuing with their theme of self-reflection, the quartet offer a humorous look at the shallowness that can come with being in a band. Get Well Soon drops Aug. 14 via Other People Records and is available to preorder here.
beabadoobee – “Care”
For fans of: girl in red, dodie, Gus Dapperton
Channeling 2000s rock vibes in her latest single “Care,” beabadoobee’s (Bea Kristi) light vocals are complemented by balmy guitars. Kristi focuses on how she couldn’t care less about what others think of her. The result is a feel-good summer anthem surrounded by a cathartic backtrack. The song is set to be featured on the singer’s debut full-length, Fake It Flowers, which drops later this year via Dirty Hit.
Baby Queen – “Buzzkill”
For fans of: Nasty Cherry, BLOXX, Luz
Baby Queen (Bella Latham) proves she’s no “Buzzkill” in her latest single, which features grunge grooves feathered with pop sparkles. Decorated in bright synths, the track speaks on how in some situations, you may be pressured to feel a certain way because of those around you. “The song is about being really depressed at a party,” she says. “But feeling that you are, in a way, being coerced to be positive by friends who think you are a killjoy.”
We The Commas – “Custom Made”
For fans of: The Beach Boys, SadGirl, La Luz
Inspired by artists such as Stevie Wonder and Nat King Cole, We The Commas’ “Custom Made” throws us back to an era of sweet love songs and chill ambiance. The brotherly trio deliver delicate harmonies backed by a soft guitar and a jazz-like break. The track is fitting for a smooth cruise down the shoreline on a calm summer evening.
idle threat – “Cement”
For fans of: Free Throw, Counterparts, the Ghost Inside
Melding the heartbeat of pop punk with the rawness of post-hardcore, idle threat share their take on dealing with loss in “Cement.” Emotional screams are propelled by steady riffs, passionate clean vocals and a dream-like break. “[The song is] about keeping faith through the loss of loved ones with the promise that death, too, is only but a moment," the band say. The track will be featured on the trio’s Nothing Is Broken For Good EP, out Aug. 21 via Tooth & Nail Records.