meta-script11 Pop-Punk Artists To Watch: Taylor Acorn, American Teeth & More | GRAMMY.com
11 Pop-Punk Artists To Watch: Taylor Acorn, American Teeth & More
(Clockwise)Travis Mills and Nick Gross of Girlfriends, Taylor Acorn, Hannah Mee of Hot Milk , Dylan Tirapelli-Jamail and Julian Comeau of Loveless, Royal & the Serpent, Charlotte Sands

Photos: Katja Ogrin/Redferns; Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images; Daniel Vogl/picture alliance via Getty Images; Lorne Thomson/Redferns; Courtesy of Atlantic Press; Jason Kempin/Getty Images

list

11 Pop-Punk Artists To Watch: Taylor Acorn, American Teeth & More

Pop-punk has seen a noticeable return to popularity in recent years. These 11 pop-punk bands are following in the footsteps of their early aughts predecessors (who continue attracting new fans) and may be coming to a stage near you.

GRAMMYs/Oct 19, 2023 - 09:25 pm

Pop-punk is almost irresistible. Whether you're an ardent fan or revisiting the genre as a guilty pleasure from your teen years, its fast-paced infectious hooks and relatable choruses are undeniable. 

More than 20 years in, demand for pop-punk remains and its influence heard in a variety of genres. Established pop-punk bands such as Green Day and blink-182 continue to sell out large venues, attract new fans, and put out new music. Meanwhile, Machine Gun Kelly, YUNGBLUD, and All Time Low are making waves while earning acclaim for their contemporary take on pop-punk. Elsewhere, festivals such as When We Were Young and Sad Summer draw legions of fans with a taste for both nostalgia and new hits.

Today’s pop-punk bands aren’t mired by the trappings of what others say it is to be "punk" or bound by conventions of genre. Rather, they find inspiration in a multitude of styles, bending and redefining the beloved genre. Today, pop-punk is a little bit punk, a little bit rap, a little bit pop, a little bit electronic, and a lotta bit whatever the hell it wants to be. 

Contemporary pop-punk acts are proving that the genre is anything but a nostalgia fest — read on for 11 up-and-coming pop-punk acts who are carrying the rebellious torch.

Neck Deep

When you think of pop-punk, Wales isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But Neck Deep's  classic pop-punk sound and high energy shows fall right in line with any SoCal group from the '90s or aughts — so it's no surprise that they supported blink-182 during their 2019 tour.

Neck Deep have steadily built a strong reputation since forming in 2012, earning a Best British Newcomer award from Kerrang! in 2014 and a Best Single award in 2018 for "In Bloom" (from their third studio album, The Peace and the Panic). The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 4 and peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Independent and Top Rock Albums categories. The band recently announced a self-titled album, due in January 2024.

Sueco

What do you get when an artist starts making beats at 17 years old and cites Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Green Day as his biggest influences? That would be Sueco, an artist who leans into his expansive tastes and incorporates them to make something entirely his own.

Sueco made a name for himself by making beats for eccentric viral videos (with over 370 million views on TikTok). His songs feel both uncannily familiar and unique, pivoting effortlessly from synth and screamo, to rap and straight-ahead pop-punk to piano ballads. In an increasingly genre-less landscape, Sueco is refreshingly at home with being an outsider who acknowledges a bit of many styles. 

Girlfriends

Travis Mills and Nick Gross make up this dynamic, high-octane duo who’ve only been playing together in earnest for a few years.

Girlfriends eschews the heavy weight of emo without shying away from serious issues. On "Where Were You," the duo explores all the masks we wear and hardships we endure but are afraid to share, managing to be sincere and playful without being slapstick. 

There’s a fullness and maturity to Girlfriends' energetic songs that make you feel seen. And while the duo definitely employ nostalgic undertones, they offer a fresh and optimistic take on pop-punk.

Hot Milk

This powerful English pop group follows the lineage of My Chemical Romance and the weighty ethereal music of Evanescence, mingled with a touch of the vaudevillian presentation of Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy. They heavily incorporate synths and other elements of electronic music, creating a big sound that's only buoyed by fearless lyrics.

Co-lead vocalist Hannah "Han" Mee holds a masters in politics, and her studies are reflected in her songwriting. The group often sings about relevant social issues, from mental health to climate change. Check out their most recent album, A Call to the Void, released this last August.

Royal & the Serpent

In a genre made up of black sheep, Ryan Santiago aka Royal & The Serpent stands out, skirting the fringes of alternative and pop-punk. For their standout efforts, the group have already collaborated with Rivers Cuomo on a track for The Knocks, and opened for Demi Lovato and Fall Out Boy. 

Royal & the Serpent vigorously embrace messiness, melding genres and eschewing being put into any one box. This embrace is on full display in songs like "Better," which seamlessly blends drum and bass with strong pop-punk guitar riffs. On tracks like "Temperance," Ryan Santiago’s ethereal vocals recall Joanna Newsom.

Royal & the Serpent's "Overwhelmed," hit No. 6 in 2020 on Billboard’s Alternative charts and was also certified gold.Their latest album, How to Grow a Rat, is a compilation of two previous EPs.

American Teeth

American Teeth create pop-punk fit for a dance club, but that doesn’t keep frontman Elisha Noll and producer Colin Brittail from moving from acoustic guitars to string, instrumentals to ballads.

There’s a contemplative vulnerability to many of his songs, which reflect the early loss of his father and a heart surgery he went through as a child. But don’t think that means he doesn’t know how to have fun; songs like "Tongue" can also get you up and bouncing with its irresistible zeal for life.

Magnolia Park

Despite the many contributions from artists of color in the punk genre in general, and the undeniable influence of hip-hop on this new generation of artists, punk and pop punk has always struggled a bit with representation. Outside of icons like Bad Brains, it can be hard finding notable bands within the genre fronted by artists of color. Magnolia Park is here to change that.

Heavy and dark, with sounds and stylings reminiscent of Linkin Park, this stadium pop-punk band uses aggressive licks and an unrelenting pace to get your blood rushing. The energy coursing through their songs is undeniably big. 

Formed in 2019, Magnolia Park has already signed with industry heavyweights, Epitaph Records. Their latest track, "Animal," featuring Ethan Ross of TikTok fame, already has over a million and a half plays on Spotify, and may just become your Halloween song of choice this year. 

Loveless

Former pop-punk cover artist Julian Comeau got their start from TikTok before teaming up with guitarist Dylan Tirapelli-Jamail to form Loveless. The duo have quickly gained an international following, selling out shows in the UK and touring throughout Europe.

Their songs are genuine and vulnerable, while simultaneously feeling vast, wide open, and public — perhaps echoing Comeau’s TikTok stardom. Loveless’ anthemic songs feel built to fill a stadium, and their feverish fans accommodate them accordingly.

True to their TikTok roots, they have been steadily releasing songs and videos over the past year, three in the last few months alone. Their most recent offering, Picasso, meditates on navigating creativity in the midst of their newfound fame. Coupled with a catchy guitar riff and clever wordplay, it’ll have you head bobbing in no time.

Mod Sun

Mod Sun, born Derek Ryan Smith, has had a long career, starting from back in 2004 as a pop-punk drummer. Since then, he’s continued working, steadily growing his fan base and performing with some of the biggest names in pop punk, including forays into hip-hop and hardcore. 

While Mod Sun’s 2015 debut studio album, Look Up hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Album list, it employed more of an alternative hip-hop influence than a pop-punk one. However, highlighted by tracks like "Avril’s Song" — from his latest album, God Save the Teen — it’s clear he’s made a strong return to his pop-punk roots.

Pop-punk royalty such as Avril Lavigne and Machine Gun Kelly have featured on Mod Son's songs, further lending to this cred. Whether the song is about heartache or partying, there’s an underlying good-vibes energy flowing through Mod Son's music, and you can’t help but find yourself swept up in it.

Charlotte Sands

With over 200 million global streams across her catalog, a Best Breakthrough Album award from the Heavy Music Awards, and write ups in everything from Forbes to allure, Charlotte Sands is making the kind of international noise that seems destined for massive stardom. And all this before the debut of her first studio album (coming in January).

Sands' music is a force to be reckoned with: a powerful voice backed by brash, rebellious, and honest lyrics. "Love You A Little," a collaboration with The Main and Taking Back Sunday mixes synth beats with hard-hitting punk guitar riffs.

Taylor Acorn

Often described as "genre fluid," Taylor Acorn’s music is a little bit country, a little bit pop, a little bit punk, and fully rocks. With powerful vocals that invoke Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne, Acorn approaches pop-punk from a fresh yet uncannily familiar view.

Acorn’s 2022 single "Psycho" has amassed over11 million streams on Spotify. Her latest EP, Certified Depressant, was released this last September and navigates heartache, mental health struggles, and loss. The vulnerability in Acorn’s songwriting, coupled with her powerful voice, makes her songs deeply engaging and meaningful. 

10 Pop-Punk Albums Turning 20 In 2023: Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, The Ataris & More

The State Of Pop-Punk: A Roundtable Unpacks The Genre's Past, Present And Future
(Clockwise, from top left): John Feldmann, T.J. Petracca and Morgan Freed of Emo Nite, Edith Victoria of Meet Me @ the Altar, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, Josh Roberts of Magnolia Park, Ryan Key and Sean Mackin of Yellowcard.

Photos (Clockwise, from left): Joe Scarnici/Getty Images, Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Coachella, Scott Legato/Getty Images, Daniel Knighton/Getty Images, Rick Kern/Getty Images, Suzi Pratt/WireImage

interview

The State Of Pop-Punk: A Roundtable Unpacks The Genre's Past, Present And Future

With a slew of promising, diverse rising acts and major returns from big players, pop-punk is as alive as ever. Artists and industry players sound off on what a booming 2023 means for the future of the subgenre.

GRAMMYs/Dec 20, 2023 - 06:31 pm

Back in the early aughts, pop-punk was largely homogenous: a sea of predominantly white men who took over the stages of Warped Tour in their black Converse, lamenting their ex-girlfriend or small-town existence with few exceptions. But 20 years later, the genre has shape-shifted and redefined itself — and it may be more omnipresent than ever. 

While pop-punk isn't necessarily at the forefront of mainstream music the way it was in the mid-2000s, it's undoubtedly permeating culture. Two of the biggest artists in 2023 — Olivia Rodrigo and SZA — incorporated the pop-punk playbook into their songs; Travis Barker has become a go-to collaborator for a slew of rising acts blurring genre lines; pop-punk stalwarts like blink-182, Fall Out Boy and Sum 41 are returning to the genre with massive albums and tours; and When We Were Young Fest continued leaning into the nostalgia of it all, while celebrating both legendary acts and newcomers. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of the new wave of pop-punk popularity is that it's no longer defined by white cisgender males. The genre has become a more inclusive place than ever, with some of the most interesting and impressive music coming from women or people of color. Bands like Meet Me @ The Altar, Magnolia Park and Pinkshift have been pivotal to making the scene more inclusive.

As pop-punk continues to evolve, what will it look like? How will it continue to take steps toward diversity and inclusion? GRAMMY.com invited several leaders and luminaries of the industry to discuss its current state, how it infiltrated the mainstream, and the genre's ever-growing community. 

Quotes from these interviews have been edited for brevity and clarity.

What has 2023 meant for pop-punk?

Ada Juarez, Meet Me @ The Altar drummer: 2023 has been a great discovery year for pop-punk. Lots of pop-punk bands have been touring and playing festivals and getting their names put out there for new people to hear!

Sean Mackin, Yellowcard violinist: 2023 is maybe the biggest year for the genre. There are new bands that are inspiring and changing what music means to them – and it was strong enough to bring Yellowcard back from the afterlife, so for me personally it means a lot!

Joe Horsham, Magnolia Park drummer: 2023 is a pretty good year for pop-punk because it's officially getting mainstream recognition, and I keep seeing more and more pop-punk bands getting on rock festivals. So the demand is high.

Louis Posen, Hopeless Records founder: Pop-punk continues to be an important sub-genre in our community. In the 2000s, the community broke into the mainstream which expanded the community to a level where you can see now, in the most full circle way, the impact it had on fans then.

Morgan Freed, Emo Nite co-founder: Who would have thought that 2023 meant anything for pop-punk 10 years ago? The fact that it's alive and well, growing and thriving with younger artists who've turned what their version of pop-punk is into their own, as well as bands we've loved forever either making a comeback, reuniting or throwing together new tours with newer artists, is remarkable and meaningful. It says a lot about where we are as a country, as a community and as people that are going through their teens now or have been alive long enough to see its return.

Ben Barlow, Neck Deep singer: 2023 was a great year to revitalize the genre and give it a platform for even more in 2024. We saw the return of blink-182, Green Day and Sum 41 releasing new music, as well as a whole bunch of smaller, up-and-coming artists doing good things, too.

Jon Foreman, Switchfoot singer: [It] feels like every decade or so a younger generation discovers the beautifully dissonant energy that we all loved when we were young — and pop-punk returns from the grave like a phoenix reborn. 2023 has felt like the crest of that wave, with guitars and drums finally ringing out loud and proud once again. 

In 2023 pop-punk seemed to reach an even more ubiquitous level. How have you seen the genre regain relevance in recent years?

Juarez: Pop-punk has been a genre that tends to come and go in mainstream society. These past few years I've seen pop-punk get really popular once again — especially with blink-182 having their comeback and festivals like Adjacent Fest, Riot Fest, and When We Were Young having such pop-punk-filled lineups. Not only that, but trailblazers like Travis Barker collaborating with artists outside of the pop-punk realm and introducing their listeners to a whole new sound bring a whole new generation of pop-punkers.

Tristan Torres, Magnolia Park guitarist: Pop-punk has been bubbling since 2020, especially because of Travis Barker collaborating with new artists like KennyHoopla. But now pop-punk is pretty much synonymous with rock/alternative. It seems to be the go-to move for even pop artists when they do a rock song, such as Demi Lovato.

Mackin: 2023 is really a culmination of listeners showcasing their passion and love for music. I think it's a time of celebration and healing after a couple of sheltered and dark years.

Johnny Minardi, Head of Fueled By Ramen: Bands are having fun again and I think that's contagious. The tours are selling more tickets than ever even without gigantic mainstream hits.

Fefe Dobson, singer/songwriter: I saw that pop-punk was being championed and celebrated much more. It wasn't only musically through charting, but through fashion and culture.

John Feldmann, singer/songwriter and producer: Hearing Fall Out Boy on Sirius[XM] Hits 1, selling out the When We Were Young Festival, watching the Punk Rock Museum blow up, seeing both blink-182, and Green Day have bigger live numbers than ever. it's undeniable!

Dayna Ghiraldi-Travers, Big Picture Media founder: For me personally, it never went away. I have been working with New Found Glory since 2014's Resurrection and with Neck Deep since 2012's Rain in July EP, and haven't stopped since. I do think the return of Tom [DeLonge] in blink-182 did a lot for the genre, but overall the genre has held its ground quite nicely over the last decade.

Barlow: Nostalgia and youthful exuberance will always be a part of pop-punk. It's a broad spectrum in terms of the sound, the message and the subject matter, and so it appeals to people on a number of levels. [It] also maybe [has] something to do with rap, pop and electronic music taking inspiration from the genre allowing it to slowly filter into the mainstream. 

Why do you think this music — whether old or new — is resonating so strongly again?

Juarez: Old pop-punk never truly "died" or "got old." We hear the iconic pop-punk songs we all loved growing up constantly in today's day and age! Personally, I spend a lot of my time listening to older pop-punk, such as blink-182, Green Day, and Simple Plan; even newer than those, like The Story So Far, Knuckle Puck, and Neck Deep. It never fails to send me through a whirlwind of emotions, happiness, angst, nostalgia. It's a great genre to feel different emotions, and that's why it'll never truly get old.

Mackin: Music does go through cycles, and we are in a really refreshing time where the energy and the angsty sort of nature just collide, and it feels new again.

KennyHoopla, musician: History always repeats itself. On top of that, the world is going through a lot right now and pop-punk/emo music has resembled that. People are naturally in an emotional state right now.

Dobson: For myself, I crave songs that I can sing at the top of my lungs and let all my emotions hang out unapologetically. I think we just needed that release, and pop-punk has that rebellious and raw, honest quality to it.  

Vince Ernst, Magnolia Park keyboardist: I think this style of music is pretty relevant because it just has a youthful energy. The messages of those songs such as heartbreak, feeling like you don't fit in and wanting to be your own person will always resonate with the younger generations. Also, the classic songs of the past like "Misery Business," "Sugar, We're Going Down" and "All The Small Things" are just great songs. And great music will always stand the test of time.

Minardi: Lyrically, the genre has always been relatable for any mood. I don't think other genres do that as much, especially for younger fan bases.

Foreman: Sometimes it's helpful to step back and look at the broad strokes of adolescent development or even to associate a Jungian archetype to a specific age demographic. Post-pubescent humans are challengers, dreamers: questioning the established rules, pushing back on boundaries and societal norms. Punk music provides a perfect venue for these doubts and questions. Punk thrives when society is riddled with hypocrisy, greed and injustice. Punk rock is an organism that feeds on the dark, ugly, shameful parts of our culture, exposing these social ills to the light. Punk rock asks questions and challenges the status quo. Fortunately for punk-rock, (and unfortunately for humans) these dark times provide ample fodder for punk songs. 

Freed: I think we're going through a time where the world is so f—ed, and the information we receive is so quick and vile that we yearn for something like nostalgia (I wish there was a better term). There are also always going to be teenagers, and teenagers need something to listen to that speaks to them in a way they can understand and relate to. They're smart and see through manufactured, overly-produced s—. And that time is now. The teens have discovered emo and pop-punk, and that rocks. 

Ghiraldi-Travers: I think this music brings an energy that other genres do not. After a worldwide pandemic and the political climate, we need that high-energy and politically charged anti-establishment inspiration that we get out of pop-punk to keep pushing us along. 

Barlow: There's a realness and an honesty to pop-punk, as well as energy. Something undeniably fun and catchy, the soundtrack to your best times and the arm round the shoulder in your worst times. 

Feldmann: I think people want to have fun again at shows, and now that the pandemic is over people are actually going out and living their lives! I think the indie bedroom thing, (i.e. music to do homework to) is still super relevant, but people want to see live instruments being played and actually have an experience.

Posen: Pop-punk has a very close connection between artist and fan. They're almost one and the same and they are in it together. That makes for an incredibly connected community that wants to help and promote each other.

How can pop-punk make more space for marginalized artists?

Dobson: When my first album came out, I remember feeling like I didn't quite fit in, which I was already kind of used to growing up. I didn't really know where my space was at first but I did find a sense of community in the genre with a few other artists. I think it was because we celebrated each other's individuality. We shopped from similar stores, we enjoyed similar influences and we just wanted to be truly seen and heard — some of us for the first time ever.

Foreman: If punk rock is the definition of anti-establishment, then the genre has an obligation to be leading the way forward in making room for the marginalized and championing the causes of the ones who don't fit in.

Juarez: Pop-punk can always make more space for marginalized artists by just being open-minded with show lineups, festivals and even with communities! The more we talk about the bands around us, the more those bands get opportunities, too. Many people and artists from various walks of life listen to and/or play pop-punk — we all deserve these opportunities.

KennyHoopla: By doing it in the places that really matter. Helping local bands and giving your support to local scenes.  I've seen fundraisers for dying venues, free shows, collaboration within the scene [help].

Josh Roberts, Magnolia Park singer: Pop-punk, as we all know, has been dominated by mostly white guys, so it's been a little difficult for marginalized artists to have a space. For example, we get a lot of racist comments. But I think we can make the space safer by just taking the time to educate ourselves and being open to the messages that these artists bring to the table, even if it makes you uncomfortable. 

Barlow: With pop-punk being part of the alternative scene, it's very inclusive and welcoming. Everyone is bound by the shared love of something that often feels like more than music. However, it's historically been pretty white and we can always do better, so, no matter who you are, who you love, the color of your skin, welcome, you'll love it here. Start a band, get involved in your local scene in whatever way you can [and] know that this is a world where everyone can thrive and have a voice. 

Posen: We can be more aware of artists and fans who share the same passions, interests and values but find themselves outside the community. If we raise awareness, both those in the community would reach out and those outside would feel more welcome. At Hopeless, we make it part of all our conversations about signings, hiring and other decisions to make sure we aren't unconsciously leaving anyone out. One of the results is a current artist roster where front people are more than 50% female or non-binary identifying artists.

Ghiraldi-Travers: If the most established artists take younger bands out on the road with them, it is the best way for the marginalized bands to gain new fans. It would also be great for the more popular artists to give a space for features on songs they are releasing that connect directly to that new band's Spotify account. 

Freed: I feel lucky that this scene is the most accepting community I've ever encountered. My wish is that as new generations of artists emerge into the scene and create new spaces within the pop-punk community, [so] inclusivity will be so ingrained into the scene that it won't even be a question.

How has When We Were Young helped give pop-punk a more mainstream boost?

Juarez: A festival as exclusive and influential as When We Were Young was a huge boost for pop-punk in the mainstream — it's a great opportunity for such a community of people to come together and listen to their favorite artists in the same place and create memories. Everyone talks about it, everyone posts about it, people who missed out wish they were able to be there.

Posen: The When We Were Young Festival has played a significant role in the rise in popularity and excitement around iconic artists from our community and the connection they have to the newer generation of artists.

Mackin: Yellowcard grew up dreaming to one day be on the Vans Warped Tour, and in our career we were included in their lineup nine separate times. So playing WWWYF really felt nostalgic, and getting to share the stage with so many of our friends in one place, I think it showed other people and listeners (who may not have already been familiar with the scene) how many people love this sub-culture of music. 

Minardi: Beyond the 85,000 [people] in attendance each day, the social media presence that goes viral with announcements covers a lot of ground that standard roll out plans for music don't always hit.

Feldmann: When my band Goldfinger played When We Were Young, we had close to 50,000 people watching us. I would say 80% of them had never seen our band. I think it was a great place for young people to see some of the legacy acts and also see some of the new current pop-punk bands. That festival was huge.

Foreman: I love to see a lot of my friends on the bill, bands that haven't really toured for years are getting back together to play the festival. And I love that the world is getting to hear their songs again. 

Ghiraldi-Travers I was lucky enough to attend When We Were Young in 2022 and was hired to run the press room at the 2023 festival and the energy of this festival is palpable. You walk the grounds and see ages of fans who are small enough to be on their parents shoulders and fans in their sixties. It has brought together all types of music lovers and is incredible to witness a sea of emo/pop-punk/rock fans flood the streets of Las Vegas. 

Freed: I think When We Were Young took all the best bands and brought them back into the spotlight. I hope that people who have been hooked back into the scene by WWWY's nostalgia focus are also able to check out the passionate and heartfelt work that other artists/creatives are doing to push the needle forward on emo.

Which artists do you believe are bringing pop-punk into the future and why?

Juarez: There are many artists out there bringing the genre into the future and some of them are us, Olivia Rodrigo, Anxious, Willow Smith, KennyHoopla, Daisy Grenade, Pool Kids, Pollyanna, and Citizen! The list goes on and on. All these artists are bringing something new to the table, whether it be a new sound or merging pop-punk with other genres. It's refreshing and new — as it should be.

KennyHoopla: Neck Deep, Hot Mulligan, Magnolia Park, Knuckle Puck are taking pop-punk into the future.

Freddie Criales, Magnolia Park guitarist: TX2 is someone who is bringing pop-punk to the future. Not only is his music good, but he also makes it a point to make his shows a safe space for marginalized groups. He speaks out against a lot of the injustices that are put on people in the LGBTQIA+ community, and I think that's pretty important. Stand Atlantic is another band that comes to mind. They are really good at infusing a lot of futuristic sounds into their music, and I think that's important because that keeps the music modern, fresh and inspiring to the next gen.

Minardi: Games We Play, jxdn, Meet Me @ The Altar, Hot Mulligan and Anxious are all doing it in their own authentic way and kicking ass.

Feldmann: Turnstile, Hot Mulligan, Heart Attack Man, KennyHoopla, Alexsucks, 408...there's too many to mention here!

Ghiraldi-Travers: I see incredible potential in House Parties, NOAHFINNCE, Greyson Zane, Hot Mulligan, Felicity, Action/Adventure, Magnolia Park, Spanish Love Songs, and of course, Meet Me @ The Altar. 

Dobson: I think Avril [Lavigne] continues to bring the genre into the future. I love that she's always been herself and stuck to her vision, which is something that isn't always easy to do in this industry.

Freed: Title Fight, Meet Me @ The Altar, Noelle Sucks, Pile of Love, Captain Jazz, Home is Where, charmer, Egbert the nerd, Petey, awake but still in bed, Heart Attack Man, Alien Boy, Carly Cosgrove, Dogleg, Hot Mulligan and tons of already popular artists switching their styles to pop-punk/emo.

Barlow: I think KennyHoopla, for sure. To see a Black-fronted pop-punk band — shout-out Magnolia Park — is hugely inspiring and nothing but a good thing for the scene. [Josh Roberts] has insane energy and a captivating stage presence. He writes from the heart and takes little drops from other genres which will absolutely push the genre forward. 

Posen: From the Hopeless roster, artists like Scene Queen, NOAHFINNCE, TX2, LOLO, Pinkshift, phem, and others are leading us into the new chapter of our scene. They are not stuck on sounding a certain way, looking a certain way or saying a specific thing. They represent how young people feel today.

Where do you think the genre is headed in 2024 and beyond?

Dobson: Pop-punk, though [it] wasn't in the spotlight or "mainstream" for a minute, never really went anywhere. It's always been there. 

KennyHoopla: It's either going to blow up, or show that it was truly just a just a moment that paired well with the world's events. Only time can tell, but there will always be a space for those who grew up listening to pop-punk and just never grew out of it.

Juarez: I think pop-punk will continue to mold itself into a genre that many different people want to be a part of. It's more than a genre — it's also a community. The pop-punk community is vast and should be accepting and open-minded.

Minardi: Hopefully it's headed to a place that can help launch the next batch of great artists versus only supporting the legacy.

Roberts: I think pop-punk will be something that people use to infuse into their sound — like a hyper-pop artist who uses a pop-punk vocal cadence. Or, a pop artist using a pop-punk guitar riff. At this point, artists aren't really making one type of genre. They infuse a bunch of different genres together to make something new. So I think pop-punk will be more of an integration than a standalone genre. But of course, there's still gonna be a few artists just doing the classic sound.

Posen: The newer pop-punk and other related genres in our community are becoming more diverse with less boundaries [in terms of] sounds, look, historical culture and other differences. It's so cool to see the melting pot of people, sounds and ideas create music and a scene with far less limitations creatively and otherwise.

Ghiraldi-Travers: The genre is more solidified than ever and is only going to continue to grow. The established talent is cranking out some of the best albums of their career which is only going to inspire up-and-coming musicians to keep playing and keep growing. They see longevity, and it is inspiring. 

Barlow: The current crop of bands are the best they've ever been, and the heavy hitters are still very active which makes for a healthy scene. The scene is strong enough right now to keep making waves and growing, old fans rediscovering and new fans being made. Plus, it's only a matter of time before the next blink-182 are found in the mountains of California, farting and laughing at dick jokes. 

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Steve Aoki Connects Music & The Card-Game Metaverse On 'Hiroquest': "It's About Telling The Story Of The Future Cryptid World"
Steve Aoki

Photo: Xavier Luggage

interview

Steve Aoki Connects Music & The Card-Game Metaverse On 'Hiroquest': "It's About Telling The Story Of The Future Cryptid World"

The trailblazing entrepreneur discusses his fascination with world-building and how the genre-bending 'HiROQUEST' album melds tradable card games and tunes in a "first of its kind" scenario.

GRAMMYs/Sep 13, 2022 - 06:33 pm

He’s a globetrotting DJ, a best-selling author, a renowned restaurateur, a label boss, a philanthropist, a film scorer, and a cake-launching showman. This vast list of titles could only belong to one man: Steve Aoki.

Aoki has unleashed energizing music since the 1990s, first lending his vocals and guitar skills to post-hardcore and punk bands like This Machine Kills, Esperanza and The Fire Next Time. He launched his own Dim Mak label in 1996 and swiftly locked into discovery mode, establishing a clear runway toward success for seminal indie-electronic acts like Bloc Party and The Bloody Beetroots while he was at it.

In the past decade, Aoki’s has focused mostly on EDM, where he’s racked up a number of accolades including repeat appearances on Forbes’ top-paid DJs list, as well as single digit placements in DJ Mag’s Top 100 poll. That’s all in addition to opening his own quick-service yakitori spot with his brother Kevin, Kura Kura Pa, and another club-based pizza concept, PIZZAOKI, as well as penning memoirs, funding brain science research, and clocking hundreds of shows per calendar year. His secret to staying on top is that he simply never slows down.

"Every single project that I've done has, on some level, been informed by my environment, and I think that’s what allowed me to become such a global artist instead of sticking to a very specific sound," Aoki tells GRAMMY.com ahead of the release of his newest LP and crossover venture, HiROQUEST: Genesis. "I think music is much more fluid than that, and that's why I’ll literally go through so many genres."

The forthcoming album, which arrives Sept. 16 via Dim Mak, is a testament to that fact. Its 20+ selections weave through waveforms shaped by rock riffs, country strums, Latin heat, hazy rhymes and the types of blissful, vocal-forward EDM hooks that make Aoki famous. For longtime followers of Aoki’s output, it’s a welcome return to his roots and a shining beacon of what’s still to come.

HiROQUEST: Genesis features collaborations with established stars like Timmy Trumpet and emo pioneers Taking Back Sunday, but it also serves as an introduction to the artists Aoki believes will be the "next big guys." The LP is intricately connected to MetaZoo, a hugely popular tradable card game (TCG) for which Aoki is also the co-founder.

"During COVID, I was into Pokemon big time — I mean, I spent $420,000 on one Illustrator card, so yeah, I’m a little obsessed," he shares with a laugh, explaining how he first became enamored with the collectibles community. It only made sense to share his enthusiasm for TCGs with his loyal fan base by bringing his MetaZoo IP and music together in a way that’s never been done before.

GRAMMY.com caught up with Aoki to learn more about how he hopes to transcend cultures with this novel crossover, and why he’s never one to shell out music — or a business plan — that’s played out or predictable.

SteveAoki

This article has been edited for clarity.

There are so many tracks on HiROQUEST: Genesis. How do they all fit together?

It's really 21 tracks, because there are five melodias which introduce the five different factions of HiROQUEST, who are essentially this world of characters who exist in the future. I wanted to really connect the world-building that I'm doing outside of [the studio] with the musical side of HiROQUEST as well, and the album was one way to do this.

Was this conceptual approach something you always wanted to take, or was it a product of the COVID slowdown?

This album was born in the pandemic, and it was completely different from any other project I’ve done. I made it in an effort to keep up with the global brand and sound of Steve Aoki — regardless of the criticism, the hate, whatever is out there, I’m always looking to explore and work in new genres, and this time the core of the album turned out to be very self-reflective.

I had so much time to experiment, and previous to COVID, I've kept a steady schedule of never breaking below 200 shows in a year. When your schedule is that structured, everything that you do has a purpose, and it has a deadline. There was no time to have free flow — and I wanted that, but I also wanted to stay on track and pump out music. During COVID, I realized there's no f—ing deadline! I'm gonna experiment. I want to grab my guitar. I'm gonna grab my bass. I wanted to have fun and also I wanted to make high frequency music because I was getting really into mindfulness and meditation, too. I was going all over the place and a lot of that music ended up in NFTs.

In that same period of time, I thought, wouldn't it be interesting to go back and focus on more of the alternative rock sounds that I loved growing up that I’d buried, almost, when I became a more prolific electronic artist? I thought I’m going to go back to my roots of being in a band and with that note, I'm gonna really put on my A&R hat and find the new artists that are really exciting right now.

SteveAokiGlobalDanModSun

*(L-R) Global Dan, Steve Aoki, Mod Sun. Photo: Philippe Rivain*

On first listen, its punk aesthetic really stood out, which makes sense considering Dim Mak’s beginnings. Was it cool to reconnect with that nostalgic energy?

I remember when I heard Bloc Party’s "She's Hearing Voices" in 2003, and I was like, this is f—ing incredible! And they said you're the only label we want to work with because we don't want to sign to a major label. So then I put out the Banquet EP in 2004. Then I heard the Kills’ demo and I released the Black Rooster EP. I just remember those times when it was just so exciting to hear something that you knew was going to blow the f— up.

And now I feel this way about the artists on this album. There’s Latin, hip-hop, EDM, and then we have people like Kane Brown who’s a rising massive country singer. I wanted to maintain that genreless feel, but obviously, a big part of the LP’s core is rock.

Who are some of the artists that gave you those big feels you just mentioned?

Taking Back Sunday is also a pretty exciting collaboration, because it was the first of its kind. They'd never worked with a DJ, so for me, I knew I had to do this. When I was in the studio with them, they told me "We haven’t even worked with another artist in 20 years." So, that's a big deal for both sides! There's a lot of firsts here.

I've run my label Dim Mak since 1996, and I love discovering and finding bands, and growing artists. As a producer, I also exist in a different layer of A&R that really supports artists. That’s why it’s really cool to work with No Love For The Middle Child, Grandson, Mod Sun, Global Dan and Goody Grace. These artists have their own followers and are popular in their own right, but they are also going to be the next huge names.

HiROQuest is deeply intertwined with the MetaZoo card game universe, for which you are a co-founder. Explain how this works because it sounds wild!

HiROQUEST has two parts: There's the music side, which we talked about, and there's the non-music side, and I wanted to connect these worlds together. It’s amazing to be part of different cultures where you experience a frenzy of energy and this collective chaos of love. The people that are part of the MetaZoo community, they are obsessed in the same way that crowds are obsessed at festivals. TCGs and music have never been connected in such a way before, so that’s the idea behind HiROQUEST

We created 70 characters, I think 22 of which are new and the other 48 are existing MetaZoo characters that we introduced to these five different factions. And it's about telling the story of the future cryptid world of HiROQUEST and building it out with this community that is just absolutely f—ing crazy about this stuff. And to give you an idea, we dropped a HiROQUEST CD to introduce the 70 cards in the set. Now, dropping a CD is something I haven’t done in a while! In the five hours we let it sit online, the CD sold 30,000 copies.

*Steve Aoki. Photo: Xavier Luggage*

Given the success you’ve seen already, do you think more TCG crossovers could emerge in dance music the same way NFTs exploded over the last few years?

This has never been done before. It’s a unique situation in that I’m half owner of MetaZoo, and in reality there aren’t a lot of TCGs out there — there’s MetaZoo, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering and Yu Gi Oh. But as with anything, if it works and people see that it works, a trend could take off.

There is some crossover happening already, like Magic The Gathering, for example, they introduced a Post Malone card and he’s been vocal about his love for the game, but he didn’t put out an entire album to go along with a set of cards. HiROQUEST is the first time something of this scale has ever happened, and I’m super excited about that. 

Are you working personally with the illustrators who make the cards that come with the album?

Yeah! We work alongside the illustrators to come up with the different characters. We've introduced most of the new characters through my single art.

Like with "Kult," for example. I told the illustrator, "Okay, I want this dude floating — you know, like a cult leader, with a hood. On his face, I want him to have these massive anime eyes. I want his mouth to be really tight — I go real into detail, not necessarily drawing it out, but sometimes I actually do just that. I'm absolutely very detail oriented on the art side.

You must have a very focused brain! Was meditating what led you to start The Aoki Foundation, which supports organizations in the brain science and research areas, or did the foundation lead you to mindfulness?

I was just in Ibiza. I sat on a cliffside over the ocean and let the sun hit my face for 10 minutes. Earlier today I had an ice bath. Meditation is so important and there’s always time for these things.

Honestly, I’m not sure which came first, but I’ve always been obsessed with sci-fi and the idea that within these worlds — even though certain aspects are depicted as fantasy — that with the right minds and research, someday some of those things could eventually become true. And I’m curious about the concepts of anti-aging; I want to live forever, I want to do all of these crazy things. I have the means to help make some of that happen, so why not put it into a foundation that can directly support emerging treatments and technology?

Are NFT Record Labels The Future Of Music?

15 Must-Hear Albums In March 2024: Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Shakira & More
(Clockwise) Sheryl Crow, Deryck Whibley, Tierra Whack, Justin Timberlake, Schoolboy Q, Kasey Musgraves, Kim Gordon, Tyla, Beyoncé, Dua Lipa

Photos: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; RICHARD THIGPEN; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for WIRED; Owen Schatz; Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images; KELLY CHRISTINE SUTTON; Jason Squires/FilmMagic; JASON ARMOND / LOS ANGELES TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES; KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY; Araya Doheny/FilmMagic

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15 Must-Hear Albums In March 2024: Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Shakira & More

From the debuts of Tyla and rapper Tierra Whack, to a new salvo from Kim Gordon, women dominate the list of releases for March. While it may be Women's History Month, there are a few major releases from male artists, including Justin Timberlake.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2024 - 04:02 pm

March is Women’s History Month, and women in music are more powerful than ever. 

The month begins with the comeback of several queens, starting with Kim Gordon’s The Collective and Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine. Later, country darling Kacey Musgraves will unveil Deeper Well, and Shakira will drop the empowering Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran. Long-awaited debuts by GRAMMY-winning singer Tyla and singer/bassist Blu DeTiger will also join the lineup, with their respective Tyla and All I Ever Want Is Everything. Wrapping up March on a high note, Beyoncé will drop her highly-anticipated Act II on the 29th.

Men will release music in March as well: Expect new releases by Justin Timberlake, Bleachers, the last record from pop-punk band Sum 41, and (allegedly) Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s Vultures 2.

To make the most of this prolific time, GRAMMY.com compiled all the must-hear albums dropping March 2024.

Schoolboy Q - Blue Lips

Release date: March 1

On Feb. 1, Schoolboy Q’s website was updated with a mysterious countdown and a 37-second video. In it, the rapper finally unveiled the setlist and title of his much-awaited sixth studio album, Blue Lips, as well as its release date — March 1.

Blue Lips is Q’s first full record since 2019’s Crash Talk, although he had been teasing the album since 2020. Hopefully, it was worth the wait: Blue Lips holds 18 tracks and participations by Rico Nasty, Freddie Gibbs, and more. Q has also started a new vlog series on social media called "wHy not?," where he takes the viewers behind the scenes of making the album and previews snippets of the songs.

So far, the rapper shared tracks "Blueslides," "Back n Love" with Devin Malik, "Cooties" and "Love Birds" with Devin Malik and Lance Skiiwalker, as well as lead single "Yeern 101."

Bleachers - Bleachers

Release date: March 8

Fronted by 10-time GRAMMY winner and 2024 Producer Of The Year Jack Antonoff, rock band Bleachers will release its eponymous fourth studio album on March 8.

In a press release, Bleachers is described as Antonoff’s "distinctly New Jersey take on the bizarre sensory contradictions of modern life." The self-titled record will blend sadness and joy into "music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings."

The band shared four singles so far: lead track "Modern Girl," "Alma Mater" featuring Lana del Rey, "Tiny Moves" and "Me Before You." Through serendipitous melodies and soulful writing, Bleachers commit to "exist in crazy times but remember what counts." 

Bleachers will tour the U.K. in March and the U.S. in May and June.

Kim Gordon - The Collective

Release date: March 8

Former Sonic Youth vocalist Kim Gordon will release her sophomore LP, The Collective, on March 8. The album is a follow-up to her 2019 debut No Home Record, and furthers her collaboration with producer Justin Raisen, as well as additional producing from Anthony Paul Lopez.

"On this record, I wanted to express the absolute craziness I feel around me right now," said Gordon in a press statement. "This is a moment when nobody really knows what truth is, when facts don’t necessarily sway people, when everyone has their own side, creating a general sense of paranoia. To soothe, to dream, escape with drugs, TV shows, shopping, the internet, everything is easy, smooth, convenient, branded. It made me want to disrupt, to follow something unknown, maybe even to fail."

Back in January, the singer unveiled the album’s moody first single, "Bye Bye," and a music video starring her daughter, Coco Gordon Moore. The second single, "I’m A Man," came out in February. Gordon will play six concerts in support of The Collective, starting March 21 in Burlington, Vermont.

Ariana Grande - Eternal Sunshine

Release date: March 8

It’s been almost four years since Ariana Grande’s last studio album, 2020’s Positions. The starlet spent the past few years filming Wicked, an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, and declared that she wouldn’t be releasing any new records until it was done.

The wait is finally over, as Grande announced her seventh studio album, Eternal Sunshine. The album’s first and only single, "Yes, And?," dropped in January, followed by an Instagram video of the soprano singer explaining the concept of the album to her Republic Records team. 

"It’s kind of a concept album ’cause it’s all different heightened pieces of the same story, of the same experience," she said. "Some of [the songs] are really vulnerable, some of them are like playing the part of what people kind of expect me to be sometimes and having fun with it."

"I think this one may be your favorite," Grande wrote of Eternal Sunshine on her Instagram Story. "It is mine." The 13-song collection will reportedly explore house and R&B, and will have only one feature: Grande’s grandmother, who appears on the last track, "Ordinary Things."

Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign -Vultures 2

Release date: March 8

After a series of delays, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s first collaborative album, Vultures 1, ultimately dropped on Feb. 10, 2024. Set to be the first installment of a trilogy, the album was released independently through West’s YZY label, and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with all of its 16 tracks also charting on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Billed as ¥$, the duo plans to release Vultures 2 on March 8, and follow up with Vultures 3 on April 5. Although any other info about the upcoming volumes is still unclear, Timbaland recently shared on X (formerly Twitter) that Vultures 2 is "OTW." (Timbaland produced Vultures 1’s "Keys to My Life" and "Fuk Sumn" with Playboi Carti and Travis Scott.)

In the past month, West and $ign held a few listening parties for the album in the U.S. and Europe, but additional schedules are yet to be revealed.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes

Release date: March 8

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, alt-rock band the Jesus and Mary Chain will release their eighth studio album, Glasgow Eyes, on March 8.

As it can be seen on lead single "Jamcod," the Scottish group still runs strong on the distorted synths and electrifying guitars that shaped their sound. "People should expect a Jesus and Mary Chain record, and that’s certainly what Glasgow Eyes is," vocalist Jim Reid said in a statement. "Our creative approach is remarkably the same as it was in 1984, just hit the studio and see what happens. We went in with a bunch of songs and let it take its course. There are no rules, you just do whatever it takes."

Glasgow Eyes also mends a six-year gap since the Jesus and Mary Chain’s latest album, 2017’s Damage and Joy. To further commemorate, the band will also release an autobiography and embark on a European tour throughout March and April.

Justin Timberlake - Everything I Thought It Was

Release date: March 15

Justin Timberlake is back with his first studio album since 2018’s Man of the Woods. The new record, Everything I Thought It Was,  is spearheaded by singles "Selfish" and "Drown."

"I worked for a long time on this album, and I ended up with 100 songs. So, narrowing them down to 18 was a thing," said Timberlake in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. "I’m really excited about this album. I think every artist probably says this, but it is my best work." The Memphis singer also shared that there are "incredibly honest" moments in the album, but also "a lot of f—ng fun."

To celebrate his return, Timberlake announced his Forget Tomorrow World Tour. Set to kick off on April 29 in Vancouver, the tour will cross through North America and Europe until its final date on Dec. 16 in Indianapolis.

Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well

Release date: March 15

Fresh off winning Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs for the Zach Bryan duet "I Remember Everything," Kacey Musgraves announced her fifth studio album, Deeper Well..

"My Saturn has returned/ When I turned 27/ Everything started to change," she sings in the contemplative title track, exploring how she changed over the last few years. The single sets the tone for the rest of the record, which was co-produced by longtime collaborators Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian

Featuring 14 tracks, Deeper Well was mostly recorded at the legendary Electric Lady studios in New York City. "I was seeking some different environmental energy, and Electric Lady has the best mojo. Great ghosts," the country star noted in a press release.

On social media, Musgraves wrote: "it’s a collection of songs I hold very dear to my heart. I hope it makes a home in all of your hearts, too." Deeper Well follows 2021’s star-crossed

Tierra Whack - World Wide Whack

Release date: March 15

When rapper Tierra Whack released her first album, 2018’s Whack World, she quickly garnered the admiration of both critics and fans. Comprising 15 one-minute tracks and music videos for each, the release was a refreshing introduction to a groundbreaking artist.

In 2024, the Philadelphia-born star is preparing to release World Wide Whack, labeled her official debut album in a press release. The cover artwork, created by Alex Da Corte, was inspired by theater character Pierrot, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Donna Summer, and represents "the first reveal of the World Wide Whack character, an alter ego both untouchable and vulnerable, superhuman and painfully human, whose surprising story will unfold in images and video over the course of the album’s visual rollout."

The album follows Whack’s 2021 EP trilogy — Rap?, Pop? and R&B? — and is foreshadowed by the poignant "27 Club" and the eccentric "Shower Song."

Tyla - Tyla

Release date: March 22

After a glowing 2023 with viral hit "Water," South African newcomer Tyla started 2024 with a blast. Last month, she became the first person to win a GRAMMY for Best African Music Performance, and the youngest-ever African singer to win a GRAMMY Award at 22 years old.

Next month is poised to be even better: Tyla’s eponymous debut LP drops on March 22, featuring "Water" and other hits like  "Truth or Dare," "Butterflies" and "On and On," as well as a guest appearance by labelmate Travis Scott.

"African music is going global and I’m so blessed to be one of the artists pushing the culture," Tyla shared on Instagram. Her unique blend of amapiano, pop and R&B is making waves around the world, and the star will rightfully celebrate by touring Europe and North America throughout this spring.

Shakira - Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran

Release date: March 22

The title of Shakira’s new album, Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran, is a nod to her 2023 hit "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" with Argentine DJ Bizarrap. In the lyrics, she states that "las mujeres ya no lloran, las mujeres facturan" — "women don’t cry anymore, they make money."

The single is a diss to Shakira’s ex-partner, footballer Gerard Piqué, and, like the rest of the record, served as a healing experience after their separation. "Making this body of work has been an alchemical process," the Colombian star said in a statement. "While writing each song I was rebuilding myself. While singing them, my tears transformed into diamonds, and my vulnerability into strength."

Las Mujeres will feature 16 songs, including her Bizarrap collaboration and singles "Te Felicito" with Rauw Alejandro, "Copa Vacía" with Manuel Turizo, "Acróstico," "Monotonía" with Ozuna, "El Jefe" with Mexican band Fuerza Regida, and "TQG" with fellow Colombian Karol G.

Back in 2018, Sheryl Crow said that the LP Threads would be her last — fortunately, she changed her mind. "I said I’d never make another record, though there was no point to it," the singer shared in a statement about her upcoming album, Evolution. "This music comes from my soul. And I hope whoever hears this record can feel that."

According to the same statement, "Evolution is Sheryl Crow at her most authentically human self," and its music and lyrics "came from sitting in the quiet and writing from a deep soul place." 

The entire album was written in a month, starting with the title track, which expresses Crow’s anxieties about artificial intelligence and the future of humans. From then on, Crow and producer Mike Elizondo found bliss. "The songs just kept flowing out of me, four songs turned into nine and it was pretty obvious this was an album," she said.

In addition to the album's title track, Crow also shared singles "Do It Again" and "Alarm Clock."

Sum 41 - Heaven :x: Hell

Release date: March 29

After nearly three decades together, punk-metal mavericks Sum 41 are parting ways. Their final release will be a double album. Heaven :x: Hell, set to drop on March 29.

Heaven is composed of 10 pop-punk tracks reminiscent of the band’s early years, while Hell is 10 tracks of pure heavy metal, reflecting the direction they took more recently. "Once I heard the music, I was confident enough to say, ‘This is the record I’d like to go out on,'" frontman Deryck Whibley said in a statement. "We’ve made a double album of pop punk and metal, and it makes sense. It took a long time for us to pave this lane for ourselves, but we did, and it’s unique to us."

The band shared singles "Landmines," "Rise Up" and "Waiting on a Twist of Fate," and proved that they’re leaving on top of their game. "I love Sum 41, what we’ve achieved, endured, and stuck together through, which is why I want to call it quits," Whibley added. "It’s the right time to walk away from it. I’m putting all of my energy into what’s ahead."

But before embarking on new ventures, Sum 41 will spend the rest of the year touring throughout Asia, North America, and Europe.

Blu DeTiger - All I Ever Want Is Everything

Release date: March 29

At only 26 years old, Blu DeTiger has already toured with Caroline Polachek, played bass for Jack Antonoff’s band Bleachers, collaborated with Fender to launch a new line of bass guitars, and appeared on the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30’s music list.

Now, she prepares to release her debut studio album, All I Ever Want Is Everything. "This album is about growing and becoming, settling into yourself and learning to love where you’re at through it all. It’s about learning how to be your own best friend," the bassist and singer wrote on Instagram.

"Dangerous Game," the lead single off the album, showcases DeTiger’s effervescent energy and potential for pop stardom. Starting April, she will also headline a U.S. tour across Boston, Washington D.C., New York, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Beyoncé - Act II

Release date: March 29

What better event to announce a new album than the most-watched TV program ever? That’s what Beyoncé did during Super Bowl LVIII, on Feb. 11. At the end of a Verizon commercial, the singer declared "Okay, they ready. Drop the new music," while simultaneously releasing Act II’s lead singles, "16 Carriages" and "Texas Hold 'Em," on social media and streaming platforms.

Coming out March 29, Act II is the second part of Beyoncé’s ongoing trilogy, which was written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The album is preceded by 2022’s acclaimed Act I: Renaissance, but instead of house and disco, the singer will reportedly take a deep dive into country music.

This isn’t Queen Bey’s first foray into the genre — in 2016, she released Lemonade’s "Daddy Lessons," and her 2021 IVY PARK Rodeo collection was inspired by "the overlooked history of the American Black cowboy," as she told Harper’s Bazaar. It was just a question of time for Beyoncé to enter her country era, and it is finally upon us.

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Everything We Know About Twenty One Pilots' New Album 'Clancy'
Twenty One Pilots

Photo: Ashley Osborn

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Everything We Know About Twenty One Pilots' New Album 'Clancy'

Three years in the making, Twenty One Pilots are returning with their seventh album, 'Clancy.' Take a look at all of the details they've revealed so far, including the release date and track list.

GRAMMYs/Feb 29, 2024 - 10:57 pm

In a year that's seeing the return of alt-rock gods Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend and the Black Keys, Twenty One Pilots are ready to join the party, too.

The GRAMMY-winning rock duo announced on Feb. 29 that their seventh studio album, titled Clancy, will arrive in May via Fueled By Ramen. Along with unveiling the project's cover art and lead single, "Overcompensate," Twenty One Pilots declared in the first teaser that "a new chapter begins" with Clancy which will also bring a close to the ever-evolving narrative they started in 2015 with Blurryface.

Below, get all of the details Twenty One Pilots have revealed about Clancy.

It's Arriving On The 9th Anniversary Of Blurryface

Clancy will be released on May 17, which is a special day in Twenty One Pilots land. On that day in 2015, the duo released their now multi-platinum breakthrough album, Blurryface. (May is also seemingly a favorite month for the pair, as Clancy marks their third May album release; their last LP, Scaled and Icy, arrived on May 21, 2021.)

The First Single Is Here

A few hours after announcing Clancy, Twenty One Pilots unveiled the album's lead single, "Overcompensating." After a nearly two-minute synth intro that builds over a racing beat, the song sees singer Tyler Joseph return to his signature rap-inspired delivery. Its swirling production and echoing vocals feel reminiscent of Trench — but more on that later.

It Has 13 Tracks

Though the duo didn't post the Clancy track list, the song titles can be found on Apple Music. Kicking off with "Overcompensate," the track list is as follows:

1. Overcompensate 
2. Next Semester 
3. Midwest Indigo
4. Routines In The Night
5. Backslide 
6. Vignette
7. The Craving (Jenna's Version)
8. Lavish
9. Navigating 
10. Snap Back 
11. Oldies Station
12. At the Risk Of Feeling Dumb
13. Paladin Strait

It Takes Fans Back To 'Trench'

Despite the fact that TOP's first album teaser noted that "a new chapter begins" with Clancy, the cryptic clip proclaimed, "I am returning to Trench. I am Clancy." As the duo's fans know, Trench is the name of their 2018 LP; the project was the most conceptual and ambitious album to date, which could mean the same for Clancy. (In fact, the bridge of "Overcompensate" even features two references to two Trench tracks; "Welcome back to Trench" mirrors the outro of Trench track "Levitate," followed by lyrics taken from the bridge of "Bandito.")

Perhaps uncoincidentally, the red, yellow and black cover art vaguely calls back to the Trench cover art, which featured a smoky yellow color and a vulture.

It's The Finale To An Album Series

A press release revealed that Clancy "marks the final chapter in an ambitious multi-album narrative" which kicked off with Blurryface in 2015. What that means for the Twenty One Pilots' future is unclear, but neither their posts nor the release noted that it's their final album altogether.

It'll Be Available In Many Formats

For those who still love to buy physical albums, Twenty One Pilots have quite the array of options. Clancy will be available in a variety of physical formats, including two limited-edition deluxe box sets, four vinyl variants with additional retailer exclusives, an exclusive CD and Journal Book, and a Cassette and Photocard Wallet. 

You Can Pre-Order It Now

If any of those pique your interest, you can head to Twenty One Pilots' official store, as everything is already available for pre-order. You can also pre-save/pre-add the album on streaming services to stay up to date as the pair continues to take fans deeper into the world of Clancy.

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