Every month, Alternative Press is sharing some of our favorite new releases. From shoegaze to fairy trap, this month’s AP&R list spans across different genres, bringing you a unique list of rising artists. Check out these budding artists who will soon become your new favorite below.

Read more: Avril Lavigne had to fight throughout her career to make the music she wanted to

SPELLLING

CHECK OUT: “Little Deer”

SPELLLING combines grandiose instrumentation with fairy-tale-like lyrics in “Little Deer,” off her latest album The Turning Wheel. She sings of karma, reincarnation and the cycle of life in this track (“How do I fear, little deer/To take the precious life from you away/Moonlight on the secret fate”), all set to orchestral sounds. In a statement about the album, she says she strove to figure out a way to “build the lyrics using a lot of abstract language that is still singable but odd in a way that I hope makes it memorable.” She undoubtedly accomplishes this in “Little Deer.”

Horsegirl

CHECK OUT: “Billy”

Horsegirl, aka Chicago trio Penelope Lowenstein, Nora Cheng and Gigi Reece, want you to “listen to ‘Billy’ in your kitchen with a group of good friends and dance along.” The track was born out of improvising in Lowenstein’s basement and follows the fictional character Billy, who’s preparing to be crucified and is convinced everyone’s “nearing dead.” With a detuned guitar and rhythmic vocals, the track is inspired by the scrappiness of underground New Zealand bands.

Heriot

CHECK OUT: “Coalescence”

Heriot’s “Coalescence” isn’t for the faint of heart, but that’s true of all of their music. The track blisters right out of the gate, with intense riffs that give way to vicious, almost animalistic vocals. Suddenly, the song slows down. It allows listeners to take a breath as they’re lured into a false sense of security with hypnotic vocals. But that only lasts a moment before Heriot’s monstrous sound takes control again. If you enjoy listening to Code Orange and Vein.fm, you’re bound to headbang along with Heriot.

Pile Of Love

CHECK OUT: “Those Things”

Pile Of Love are making “music for music’s sake.” “Those Things,” from their debut self-titled album, came as a welcome surprise for a couple of reasons. To start, the band are made up of members from prominent bands, including Nick Cogan and Chris Villeneuve (Drug Church), Ryan Graham (State Champs) and Kevin Geyer (The Story So Far), who all back vocalist Morgan Foster. But their music includes little punk or hardcore stylings. Instead, it’s more gentle, full of polished harmonies and hooks. Even better, the band released new music before announcing their formation.

Sycco

CHECK OUT: “Dribble”

Brisbane’s Sycco attempts to find meaning in someone’s sleep-talking in “Dribble.” Both Sycco’s name and musical stylings are inspired by psychedelia, with indie-pop vocals and dynamic synths also playing a part in her DIY yet polished sound. She combined gleaming harmonies with more gloomy sounds to create “Dribble” while tired and hungover one day. Sycco says the crucial guitar synth was added last minute, ultimately completing the song.

SEB

CHECK OUT: “god of the sunsets”

SEB strikes gold for the second time in “god of the sunsets.” The track comes after the huge success of “seaside_demo,” which has been used in over 458,000 videos on TikTok. SEB perfectly captures the feeling of sunsets in this track — the tragedy of light giving way to darkness. The song comes from a deeply personal place, as watching the day turn to night with his mother used to soothe his anxieties back home in Miami. The hook, “It’s been some time you’ve been on my mind, baby/Mix your lemon with my sweet-ass lime, baby,” set atop bedroom-pop beats will surely worm its way into your ears.

Wednesday

CHECK OUT: “Handsome Man”

If Wednesday’s “Handsome Man” was featured in a movie soundtrack, it would fit right into one of the iconic late ’90s/early 2000s romantic comedies like 10 Things I Hate About You. The musical influences are certainly there — gnarly riffs, a thick layer of fuzz — but the imagery in Karly Hartzman’s lyrics also set the stage for a certain playfulness mixed with heaviness. Hartzman sings of her hometown, “Where the wallpaper winces while you piss/And there’s a place where the kids go to kiss.” She likens it to living in a snowglobe, a place where she’ll only come home for her “second hand,” her handsome man.

GRAE

CHECK OUT: “Room In The Desert” 

GRAE’s “Room In The Desert” is an intoxicatingly hazy, pop-infused track inspired by Cocteau Twins’ “Cherry-coloured Funk.” Interestingly enough, the track was born out of a lack of inspiration. “I decided to write a song about nothing, from nothing, using some random and interesting words we could find,” GRAE says in a press release. Despite this, the artist creates magic with her smoky vocals set atop a sleek electric guitar by challenging herself to break free of her past sonic tendencies. Allow yourself to float away to GRAE’s “Room In The Desert.”

Dakota Chris (Kotà)

CHECK OUT: “LOVE Vs. MONEY”

Dakota Chris (Kotà), aka Kotà Pablo Joselitó, provides his own take on LGL Grand’s “Keep It Real” in “LOVE Vs. MONEY.” The track begins with samples from LGL Grand, woven in between Chris’ rapping. The more angelic vocals from the sample mixed with his delivery create a juxtaposition inherent in the song’s title. If there were a role for each, “love” is evident in the delicate sampling. “Money,” however, is represented by Chris’ confident rapping (“I got the dreams that money could buy, baby”).

Zheani

CHECK OUT: “Fuck The Hollywood Cult”

“Fuck The Hollywood Cult” is another feverish offering from Zheani following 2019’s Satanic Prostitute EP. Zheani, who describes her music as “fairy trap,” shrieks, “Just a dumb slut/I got a sharp sword” in the track, inspired by revelations of abuse in the entertainment industry. The song isn’t only an important, venomous piece of protest art that “channels that corrosive energy and turns it back on whence it came” — it’s also a testament to Zheani’s skill in blending genres. With aggressive industrial sounds mixed with plenty of rage, Zheani is at her best yet in “Fuck The Hollywood Cult.”

This interview appeared in issue #403 with cover star Dominic Fike, available here.