AP&R: Bubblegum grunge, hardcore high jinks and retro game-esque metal
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 AP&R 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 what track you’ll be spinning for the rest of the week in the comments, or anything you want on the next AP&R!
1. Color Chemistry – “The Great Nothing”
Houston metal duo Color Chemistry tinker around with tonal patterns of retro video game-inspired melodies. They prove to be much more than a gimmick with symphonic metal elements in “The Great Nothing.” Taken from the duo’s latest album, A Light Above, this progressive composition is a breath of fresh air. Not to mention it blends anthemic hard rock with neon-bright synths and heavy guitar riffs.
2. UPSAHL – “Wish You’d Make Me Cry”
Joining forces with Ocean Park Standoff’s Pete Nappi, UPSAHL vents about a love that’s too good to be true in “Wish You’d Make Me Cry.” The latest track is highlighted by an abundance of entrancing hooks and bubbly instrumentation. The latest single is a continuation of her lustrous alt-pop triumphs from her debut EP. UPSAHL embarks on tour this August, and you can see full dates here.
3. Windrunner – “Lotus” (Reimagined)
Hailing from Vietnam, Windrunner reimagine “Lotus” with an ambient backdrop. Abandoning the whimsical guitar shreds and unclean vocals from the original, this rendition beautifully slows things down. The focus is instead set on incorporating more melody and urgent harmonics. Their upcoming EP, SEN, is a collection of reimagined songs taken from their 2018 debut album, MAI. SEN drops Aug. 23 via Famined Records.
4. LURK – “Electro-Shock”
Chicago-based punks LURK officially signed to Pure Noise Records and released a new EP, Electro-Shock. Their titular track of the same name is a short outburst of the band’s rousing energy. Starting out with a booming drum beat, the song builds into a shouty verse that veers into a punching chorus. LURK are hitting the road for a small run of tour dates, with more information here.
5. Smooth Moves – “Severed”
Coming on like Slayer speed, Smooth Moves’ new single violently thrashes with its metal-inspired guitar riffage and gritty hardcore beatdowns. It's all brought together with raw production that complements the band’s nonstop stamina. “Severed” is short and sweet with unrelenting vigor and sonic tension.
6. Girl Wilde – “I Don’t Wanna Die”
Girl Wilde continues to push her “bubblegum grunge” aesthetic in her new single, “I Don’t Wanna Die.” The track employs an approach that incorporates overdriven guitar clamors with electropop. The result is a buoyant alt-pop tune that’ll keep listeners excited for her next move.
7. The Chats – “Identity Theft”
Gaining viral buzz from the simple three-chord power play of “Smoko,” the Australian punk trio’s latest single is a promising follow-up. It expands far past their oddball qualities, though. “Identity Theft” is an interesting step up from their quirky garage-punk sound. The band jam their first-world problems away with catchy chants and a shreddy guitar solo.
8. Madtown – “Lucid Vision”
While Madtown’s first single proved the band’s capability of adrenaline-pumping hardcore, their follow-up “Lucid Vision” incorporates more hooks and melodies to their heaviness. The song inwardly pulls various musical influences to their core with memorable moments of hard-rock catchiness and nü-metal stylings.
9. DUMP HIM – “Dykes To Watch Out For”
The latest single from DUMP HIM makes it clear that they’re not messing around. They’ve had enough of politics, oppression and discrimination against nonbinary groups. The Massachusetts queercore outfit rebel and express their sentiment in a zestful punk tune that radiates with harmonic strains of vocal trade-offs and uptempo grooves.
10. King Of Heck – “Sup Doc”
With a trippy music video parodying The Shining, King Of Heck’s “Sup Doc” is an idiosyncratic crossover between emo and psychedelic rock. The shouty vocals kick-start the song with optimism but meet a tonal shift with effect-driven guitars taking over and whirring it into an airy, shoegaze texture.
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