Welcome to AP&R, where we highlight rising artists who will soon become your new favorite. Below, we're rounding up a handful of up-and-coming names who either just dropped music or have new music on the way very soon, from indie-pop singers and alt-rappers to post-punk outfits.

Debby Friday

Imagine you walk into a club and there's industrial playing, then the next track is house, the next cybergoth, and the next alt-pop. Maybe that would sound like sonic whiplash — but in the world of Debby Friday, that's all possible, and the club is bumping. The Nigeria-born-Toronto-based DJ-turned-recording-artist just released her first album with Sub Pop, GOOD LUCK, and it's an expansive display of her influences, from heavy rock to alt-R&B. Fans of Azealia Banks, JPEGMAFIA, SZA, Yves Tumor, and even Nine Inch Nails could all find themselves at home in her world. And soon enough, with her innovation and confidence, it seems like the rest of the world will, too. Get ready for "SO HARD TO TELL" to become the sleeper hit of the year. —Sadie Bell

Gal Pal

LA trio Gal Pal are completely heartwarming. Take the music video for “Angel in the Flesh” as proof, where the band play a deteriorating family that neglects their dog on its birthday (yes, one of the members plays the dog) alongside guitar fuzz and delightful harmonies that sound indebted to 2000s pop-punk. It makes sense, given that drummer Nico Romero grew up listening to emo and pop-punk bands as a kid, using the Fueled By Ramen roster as a guiding light. Fans of Charly Bliss, Babehoven, and illuminati hotties are sure to fall in love with their new album, This and Other Gestures (out June 2). —Neville Hardman


Philly experimentalists Knifeplay sound like no one else. Mixing folk, dream-pop, and shoegaze, their alchemy often feels dark and psychedelic, then grand and celestial. From Sopranos references (“Promise”) to studio savvy from producer Jeff Zeigler (the War on Drugs), last year’s Animal Drowning was a bright spot. Across 10 tracks, their songs are delicate and supernatural in one moment. Just as you begin to feel at ease, the floor’s yanked out from under you as a torrent of crushing noise bursts forth. A spellbinding band that are sure to astound and delight for years to come. —NH

La Fonda

Seattle-based indie-rockers La Fonda are a little bit shoegaze and a little bit dream-pop, but their sound is much more expansive than that. The five-piece band, led by Filipino-American sisters Valerie and Veronica Topacio, has centered their songwriting on their deeply personal accounts as struggling artists with grief and addiction. Their experiences through homelessness, financial strain, and their road to sobriety helped shape their latest album We are Infinite, which they recorded with producer Mike Davis (Great Grandpa, Pool Kids). But the record isn’t entirely maudlin, in fact, it beams with sunnier melodies and anthemic choruses. At the heart of La Fonda is a group dedicated to uplifting voices of underrepresented communities, particularly LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and femme voices, so they even crafted their own festival Belltown Bloom that featured bands like Alvvays, Crumb, and Wet. Ilana Kaplan

May Rio

Maraschino cherries are saccharine, indulgent, and a little bit naughty, but any time one's in a cocktail, you'll drink it right back. You could call May Rio's music maraschino cherry pop — extremely sweet, but blunt and saucy, and nothing short of earworms. There's a snarky twinkle, yet heart-on-your-sleeve earnestness, to the New York-based singer born May Sembera's music, singing wryly of toxic relationships, "unemployed model types," behavioral patterns, and seeking out levity in a voice that calls back Lizzy Grant-era Lana Del Rey over indie-pop with slight trip-hop influence. In many ways, May Rio is at the literal center of the New York music scene. It's possible you've already heard her collaborations with rising scene staples like Blaketheman1000 and the Dare. And with her album French Bath coming June 16, it's safe to say you'll be hearing more of her very soon. —SB


The electro-clash revival is alive and well. Model/Actriz are one of the acts leading the movement — but giving it a delectable dose of snarling post-punk, as well. While the band have slowly been releasing EPs and playing gigs in various East Coast scenes for the past few years, the now-New-York-based band have been making waves with their debut album, Dogsbody, which came out earlier this year. Lead vocalist Cole Haden relays in delirious, matter-of-fact-like delivery statements about sex ("Like a body count higher than a mosquito" on the lead single "Mosquito"), but their industrial-influenced music isn't necessarily sexy. It's noisy and dark and constantly in motion. What would be sexy, though, would be to completely let go to it in some underground club somewhere, lost in their pulsating percussion. —SB


Doesn't life feel so exhausting and woozy sometimes that you just want to slack off? Like, what's even the point, man? Then, when you least expect it, life also has a funny way of making you feel like all is well and you're right on track. That undulating feeling — which ultimately lands on hope — is at the center of Canadian artist Madeline Link's folky, slacker-rock project as PACKS, especially on her sophomore album, Crispy Crunchy Nothing (which arrived this March). Link sings witticisms and soul-searching questions in a woozy tone over garage-rock and alt-country guitars. "Sometimes I feel like life is on my side," she sings on "Laughing Til I Cry," a perfect summation of her music — which sounds quite like teenagers kicking it at a lake on a summer's day, having a good time until the sun sets and inspires them to tell secrets around a campfire. —SB


sadie is exactly what you should listen to when you're heading home from the club and want to keep dancing, but with each mile tuckering out — those somber, late-night thoughts creeping in. Sleepless nights caused by infatuation or loneliness are a theme of sadie's music, and her electronic-pop can even sound at times dreamy and like your heart and mind are racing, keeping you awake. The project of Brooklyn-based producer/singer Anna Schwab, her take on hyperpop is a bit more muted, but it has its own sheen. Her second EP, Tides, just came out this month and begs to be your new midnight companion. —SB


Self-proclaimed friendship punk outfit Tayls is hard to define: The Nashville-based group is a little bit country, a little bit indie-rock with Brit-pop undertones. But they make total sense, especially because they’re such a close-knit group of friends who also happen to be some of the city’s most talented musicians. While their music has been the initial draw for fans, it’s their over-the-top, visceral live performances that have kept them coming back (think drag queens, confetti, swan dives).They’re a little bit punk, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, and very up-and-coming. —IK