AP&R playlist: Eclectic synth-pop, haunting post-hardcore and melodic rock
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. Best Intentions – “Don’t Call Me”
For fans of: Hot Mulligan, Belmont and Charmer
Nashville-based pop-punk quintet Best Intentions shared a new music video for their latest single, “Don’t Call Me.” The track features angsty punk lyrics, headbanging guitar riffs and even a few surprising elements of metal. “‘Don't Call Me’ is about people who constantly ask everyone for advice about their own personal lives but never end up taking the advice,” frontman Tony Pietrafasa says. The music video features shots of the band as well as a feud between a maniacal alien and wacky bear. It was directed by Alex Zarek, who’s worked with the likes of Real Friends and Knuckle Puck.
2. We Set Signals – “Where Were You”
For fans of: Point North, Stand Atlantic and Trash Boat
Brisbane punk rockers We Set Signals shared their new song and music video for “Where Were You.” The track features dramatic crescendos, urgent guitar chords and powerful vocals that shape it into an extraordinary modern rock classic. Vocalist Nick Wilkinson entirely wrote, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered the track, sharing how he was inspired by a relationship that grew toxic. “After the breakup, I had no idea who I was or what I wanted,” he says. “It took everything in me to just survive and rebuild myself.”
3. Commonwealth Choir – “Light”
For fans of: Locket, Microwave and Mom Jeans
Philadelphia indie-punk quartet Commonwealth Choir released their new song “Light” from their forthcoming EP, No End. The band recently signed to indie label Know Hope Records. In atypical punk fashion, the single has a nostalgic feel with energetic guitar melodies and relaxed vocals. No End is due out June 19 featuring five original tracks. Preorders are available here.
4. Glades – “Vertigo”
For fans of: MUNA, joan and Nightly
Australian trio Glades shared their new single “Vertigo,” the first release of the band’s new era. The eclectic pop track features bouncy vocals and undeniably catchy synth parts sure to get stuck in your head. “‘Vertigo’ is a warning to a friend who’s trying to pursue someone who’s emotionally unavailable and has a history of breaking hearts,” vocalist Karina Savage noted. The band are preparing to release their sophomore record later this year, following up their successful 2018 debut LP, To Love You.
5. Larkins – “Are We Having Any Fun Yet?”
For fans of: half•alive, Vistas and BLOXX
Manchester’s Larkins are proving they’re indie-rock up-and-comers with their new single and music video, “Are We Having Any Fun Yet?” It serves as the first release since their acclaimed EP, Hit And Run, which dropped in February. The experimental synth track pairs a somber delivery with an upbeat gang vocal chorus, encapsulating where the future of indie music is headed. The video accompaniment features stunning, emotive visuals as frontman Josh Noble wanders through the streets tired and bloody, truly a spectacle to behold.
6. Gatherers – “Ad Nauseam, I Drown”
For fans of: Can’t Swim, Teenage Wrist and Valleyheart
New Jersey’s Gatherers are having a successful month. The post-rock quintet announced they have signed to No Sleep Records, shared their haunting new single “Ad Nauseam, I Drown” and plan on releasing their fourth album later this year. Their single bends the confines of rock, morphing punk vocals with metal basslines and screams reminiscent of Jason Butler (letlive., FEVER 333). “The song is about the facade of relevance and where it sits on the spectrum between purposeful art and undignified bullshit,” the band say. “These days it often feels like we're being smothered in the latter.” The band launched an exclusive seven-inch that has since sold out, but you can keep posted here for future preorders.
7. Shade – “Morningmaker”
For fans of: Rooney, OK Go and the Bravery
Hamilton, Ontario quintet Shade are combining classic-rock influences with modern twists in their new single, “Morningmaker.” The track comes from their brand-new album, Combat Rave, which arrived May 1 and features 10 original tracks. “Morningmaker” offers ’70s vibes with laid-back vocals, energetic chords and an undeniably catchy chorus, similar to modern rock bands such as Rooney. “The ‘Morningmaker’ is anything and all that’s just right, perhaps,” the band say. “The universe lining up.”
8. CONVERSATION – “Lessons”
For fans of: Underoath, the Burden and Hands Like Houses
Toronto post-hardcore quintet CONVERSATION are taking the genre by storm with both their new single “Lessons” and their Realization | Release EP, the second installment of their Honesty EPs. “Lessons” is drenched in powerful vocals, compelling guitar melodies and even features a breakdown sure to delight fans of Underoath and Deftones. Realization | Release comprises six brand-new tracks and serves as the follow-up to their 2019 EP, Romance | Reflection.
9. Dying Desolation – “Parasite” feat. Christian Grey
For fans of: Hundred Suns, Bring Me The Horizon and Slipknot
Cleveland’s Dying Desolation shared their new single “Parasite” featuring Villain Of The Story frontman Christian Grey. The metal quartet use multiple guitar breakdowns, raw lyrics and urgent screams to illustrate a track similar to alt-metal giants Bring Me The Horizon. “Parasite” can be found on their forthcoming EP, Paroxysm, due out July 10.
10. The Hunna – “Dark Times”
For fans of: Circa Waves, Sea Girls and Inhaler
The U.K.’s the Hunna tackle current events in their new track, “Dark Times.” The rock band remind us to stay connected to each other (at a safe distance) with a pressing chorus and equally compelling riffs. The band say the song is about “having to self-isolate without connection to family and loved ones, and although feeling alone or helpless, finding power and resilience together as the world unites [us] to survive and wait for the light that will come.” The single follows the successful, experimental “Cover You” featuring Travis Barker. Both tracks will appear on their forthcoming LP, I’d Rather Die Than Let You In, which was worked on by the likes of Pete Wentz, Josh Dun and John Feldmann. The album is due out Oct. 2, and preorders are available here.