AP&R: 347aidan, Scowl and other rising artists to check out this month
Every month, Alternative Press is sharing some of our favorite new releases. From tranquil surf-rock riffs to gritty hardcore, this month’s AP&R list spans a variety of genres, bringing you a unique list of up-and-coming artists. Check out these rising artists who will soon become your new favorite below.
Check out: “Shut Up”
Death Blooms have crashed onto the metalcore scene like a runaway freight train. “Shut Up,” from their album Life Is Pain, incorporates elements of nü metal with ferocious riffs. On the track, vocalist Paul Barrow insists, “Bite your tongue, your words are useless.” They also released a reimagined version of the track with WARGASM. Barrow explains, “Every single day I see and hear people doing stupid, pointless fucking shit. They look down on others less fortunate. They think they’re better than them. You’re not, you fucking dickhead. We’re all exactly the same. If you think otherwise, you’re wrong.”
Check out: “Nervous At Night”
“Nervous At Night” is the title track of Charlie Hickey’s debut album. It’s a song about “being nervous for no particular reason, which is a running theme on this album, and also one that I think a lot of people, particularly of my generation, can relate to,” according to Hickey. The musician grew up in the same Pasadena, California, neighborhood as Phoebe Bridgers, and the two became close friends when they were 13 years old. He says he imagines his songs taking place in a similar “dreamlike safe haven.” If you like the melancholy lyrics of Bridgers, you’ve found your next favorite artist in Hickey.
Check out: “Playground”
“Playground,” the lead single from Flipturn’s debut full-length, is steeped in nostalgia. It’s a song about simpler times, when there was “beauty and invincibility to everything you did,” as guitarist Tristan Duncan says.” Shimmering electronic sounds and Dillon Basse’s wistful vocals juxtapose each other delightfully, encapsulating the feeling of looking back at a lustrous youth. Listening to “Playground” may knock loose some memories you forgot existed, but it’s worth appreciating where you are now and where you’ve come from.
Check out: “BAD KIDS”
347aidan started his music career when he was 5, enticed by the offering of free popsicles from his piano teacher. He later began making music in his bedroom, uploading song after song to SoundCloud. “BAD KIDS’’ is quintessential 347aidan — full of boisterous youth and reckless abandon for the rules. The track details his weakness for a girl who taught him “how to fall in love with madness.” Sonically, “BAD KIDS” employs crisp production intertwined with grunge-y, DIY sounds to create a track that somehow sounds both mature and youthful.
Grubby Little Hands
Check out: “Medicine Drawer”
Grubby Little Hands’ “Medicine Drawer” comes off the band’s new album, World So Strange. “This song is about the lies we tell ourselves to justify our decisions, or to make us feel more comfortable with the situations we’re in,” the band say. The tranquil beats mixed with siren-like vocals is a sonic demonstration of the false sense of security the song speaks of through the lyrics (“We lie to ourselves/Till we believe that it’s true.”) On the surface, “Medicine Drawer” is a woozy track with leisurely vocals and surf-rock riffs. But a closer look reveals a mistaken sense of warmth.
Check out: “Hex”
Dead Cassettes have it all, incorporating elements of punk, soul, funk and dance in their music. Both Bradlea-Roi and Rodney started as solo acts in Atlanta, but together they produce a project where their individual specialties intertwine to create gritty alternative music. Their single “Hex” touches on social issues, with lyrics such as, “Now the good book said ‘don’t do’/While the bourgeoisie screw you/Take you over and under and through/A type of hell that only demons could allude to.” Electronic beats with dark undertones highlight a palpable disdain for failing modernity in “Hex.”
Check out: “If I Wanted To”
GUPPY offer up a heartbreaking ode to indifference with “If I Wanted To.” Straight to the point, the lyrics are short and sweet. Vocalist Julia Lebow makes the mantra abundantly clear through the track, joyfully singing, “If I wanted to, I’d care/But I don’t/Now that you’re gone.” Although straightforward, the track is anything but boring. Listeners can’t help but skip along to the liberating apathy exuded in “If I Wanted To,” off new album Big Man Says Slappydoo.
Check out: “Save Me, Save Us All”
Bexley’s “Save Me, Save Us All” is a rager from the second you hit play. The track starts with a buzzing guitar and Jack White-esque vocals slicing through the foreground. Out of the blur of distorted guitars and thumping drums, Bexley sing, “Marching through a world where people live on greed and hate/Demonize the youth for organizing in the streets/Don’t you think a government would tell it to you straight?” You can tell from this one song, full of fury and societal commentary, that Bexley pack heart and soul into their music.
Check out: “Bloodhound”
Scowl usher in the modern age of hardcore on their debut album, How Flowers Grow. “Bloodhound” sets the tone for the release, getting blood pumping from the jump. Kat Moss provides gnashing vocals that pair marvelously with the grinding guitar riffs to create a feverish sound that both old- and new-school punks can appreciate. In the track, Moss sings “Learn to shut your fucking mouth” in a way that’ll make listeners abide, even if they haven’t uttered a word. Coming in at a minute-and-a-half long, “Bloodhound” blisters the whole way through.
This feature appeared in issue 405, available here.