AP&R Playlist: Lo-fi indie beats, energetic alt-pop and international pop punk
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. Kitten – “My House”
For fans of: Nasty Cherry, Pale Waves and the Aces
Buzzy synth-pop outfit Kitten are sharing their latest energetic single, “My House,” perfect for listeners under lockdown. Vocalist Chloe Chaidez (Nasty Cherry) fronts the band, and her breezy vocals suit the frustrated narrative of the song. This is the band’s first brand-new track since their 2019 Goodbye Honeymoon Phase EP featuring five original, experimental pop tracks, such as “ME” and “Memphis.” The band are currently working on their sophomore album.
2. Ariel View – “Fake Friends”
For fans of: Chris Farren, Mannequin Pussy and the Beths
SoCal surf rockers Ariel View released their lo-fi indie track “Fake Friends” this week via Epitaph Records. This melodic track features easygoing guitar chords with raw vocals sharing points of view from past messy relationships. The band say the song reminds them that “the most important person in your life is yourself. Loving yourself is first before anyone else. If you can’t love yourself, then how can you love someone else?” “Fake Friends” is the first release since their well-received debut record, Until My Lungs Are Cleared, dropped in 2019.
3. Actor Observer – “Cargo Cult”
For fans of: Every Time I Die, Enter Shikari and the Chariot
Hailing from Boston, post-hardcore quintet Actor Observer recently offered up a new track, “Cargo Cult.” Reminiscent of old-school Enter Shikari, the group combine mosh-inducing screams with emotive vocals to create a dynamic song, which calls out humanity for its hypocrisy. “Cargo Cult” serves as the first release since the band’s 2018 record, Pareidolia.
4. sophie meiers – “as good as it gets”
For fans of: Billie Eilish, Cavetown and mxmtoon
Rocking the E-girl aesthetic flawlessly, 20-year-old vocalist sophie meiers shared her airy, brand-new single, “as good as it gets.” Now residing in L.A., she fuses haunting vocals with an incredible range that only needs a simple instrumental accompaniment, similar to Billie Eilish. In other tracks, she experiments with lo-fi hip-hop beats and electronic sounds, such as “Don’t Be Scared” and “Wish You Still Felt This Way.” The track marks the first off an upcoming EP due out later this year.
5. Neon Dreams – “Sick Of Feeling Useless”
For fans of: Walk The Moon, lovelytheband and 3OH!3
Alt-pop duo Neon Dreams offer a fun, energetic take on raw storytelling in their new song “Sick Of Feeling Useless,” with catchy gang vocals sure to delight alternative fans across the board. The band couldn’t make a typical music video during this time, so they created one using images, spending two weeks taking more than 2,400 pictures for a three-and-a-half-minute video. Friend and collaborator Nathaniel Motte (3OH!3) helped shape the song by once sharing, “Ya know...I think everyone is just sick of feeling useless” during a writing session.
6. All To Get Her – “Disaster” (acoustic)
For fans of: Neck Deep, ROAM and Sum 41
Swiss pop-punk outfit All To Get Her released a stripped-down version of their 2019 single “Disaster,” which appeared on their debut album, Cheesecakes And Earthquakes. The quartet ditched the drums and focused on raw vocals and harmonies to give the song a new, deeper feeling. “Let’s get to know one another in a completely different way,” the band say. “It means a lot to us to disclose [to] you this side of our band, and we hope to touch you.”
7. Cold Hart - “Tammy And The T-Rex”
For fans of: iann dior, GARZI and Juice WRLD
Emo rapper Cold Hart shared his new track “Tammy And The T-Rex” as one of the newest signees to Epitaph. The musician’s roots run deep in the alt-rap community as he co-founded acclaimed rap collective GothBoiClique (Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Lil Peep, etc.). Produced by thislandis and YAWNS, the new track explores a relationship gone awry over upbeat synths, energetic beats and guitar chords. Plus, the single shares the title with a ’90s cult classic film.
8. Fast Friends – “We Broke The World”
For fans of: Weezer, Imagine Dragons and Pixies
Modern rockers Fast Friends released their timely track “We Broke The World,” featuring a music video with political undertones. Figures such as Donald Trump, Oprah and Jeff Bezos are pictured mouthing the lyrics to the song, including “We fucked it up/We broke the world/Now it’s out for blood.” The rock track includes a booming, catchy chorus and defiant lyrics critical of the times we live in now. “We’ve all been making a mess for so goddamn long that we don’t even see the actual mess we’re making anymore,” the band say of the song’s narrative. Following “Body,” the new song marks the second off their debut EP set to be released this summer.
9. Virginity – “Bad Call”
For fans of: Mom Jeans, the Front Bottoms and Sorority Noise
Coming from the Sunshine State, Virginity delivered their punk single “Bad Call” to listeners under lockdown after recently signing to Wiretap Records. Energy buzzes throughout this riff-laden track, which discusses not being able to go to a doctor’s office even when you’re sick due to health insurance problems. Frontman Casey Crawford says he has frequent issues with anxiety, sharing, “I feel like the whole world feels anxious right now and like they themselves might have a bad call coming.” Virginity are set to release their new EP, Death To The Party, June 5.
10. Easy Life – “peanut butter”
For fans of: Still Woozy, the Hunna and RAT BOY
U.K. indie-rock quintet Easy Life shared their see you later maybe never (demos) collection featuring “peanut butter” and “petty crime.” The band released a lockdown music video for “peanut butter” with shared screens to keep that social distance in effect. The mellow indie track combines dreamy vocals, easygoing synths and elements of hip-hop to transport listeners into a world far outside of their own. The band hope to venture on a North American tour in the fall. A full list of prospective dates is available here.