We definitely depended on music to get us through the last twelve months, and all our favourites were there for us. The real world was on fire in a bad way, but the rock world was on fire in the BEST way, providing all the goods in every possible way. We had ferocious political punk and futuristic escapist rock, not to mention the genre-bending magic that’s seen the scene pushed further than ever. Now, we turn to the artists who are going to make 2021 rock’s biggest, brightest year yet: behold, Bittersweet’s Flavours of the Year!
borts have such a ‘boy-next-door’ charm about them; you can just picture them stumbling over to your tent at Reading festival, cheekily asking you to catch their midday set on the BBC introducing stage. But don’t worry – they’re the kind of set you’ll be endlessly thankful for catching. With their relatable lyrics, to their bright, summer-y sound, borts are impossible not to love. Every track they churn out is an absolute slapper, with an infectious punk-rock drive and quirky lyrics that just beg to be sung along to. The trio’s debut, Preach This!, is set for release this spring, and it’s set to be top-tier – we loved Me & The Demons, and latest single Get Sold is a burst of quick-paced serotonin. Hopefully we’ll be able to live out our daydreams of caching borts at a festival this year – we can’t explain how much we NEED a bottle of piss to be flung in our direction whilst moshing to these guys.
The intersection between rock and other genres is blurring rapidly, and Kid Brunswick is settled firmly in every realm of the alt world. His powerhouse of a latest single Bipolar Rhapsody dips out to the world of electro, a bit of Soundcloud rap, pounding beats and dizzying builds. While his earlier mixes lean more into his rap side, 2020 was the year Kid Brunswick discovered the power of a riff – so 2021 might be the year he takes a sledgehammer to the boundaries of genre.
We’ve just lived through 2020, so it’s no surprise that nihilistic punk rock is going to be something we’re into. And Weatherstate provide the goods in a big way – grungey guitars provide the musical backdrop for melodies that are gloomy in the best way, while the ever-pounding beats make sure that no matter what mood you’re in you’ll still want to jump along. Though their previous record Born A Cynic came out in 2019, it feels more timely than ever, so there’s no doubt that whatever they choose to soundtrack 2021 with will be a perfect fit.
When it comes to alt-metal, London-based duo Jordan Red tick all the boxes. Although the duo only formed last year, these guys are the real deal, boasting meaty guitar solos and absolutely stadium-worthy bangers. We’ve been following their rise, and every release so far has been a total show-stopper, boasting killer riffs and HUGE choruses that simply demand you to sing-along. Their upcoming 2021 debut, Hands That Built The World, is sure to be absolutely magnificent – definitely not one to be missed!
After the wild success of artists like Ashnikko, left-field rap is edging into the rock scene – or more accurately, it’s knocking down the door and declaring it’s a fixture. Delilah Bon, frontwoman of punk band Hands Off Gretel, is taking the door off the hinges and setting it on fire: her brand of ‘brat-punk’ incorporates rapping, screaming, ferocious soundscapes and giddy beats, and is as undeniably punk as they come even if the lyrics are rapped. It’s angry music for women who have been fucked over by the patriarchy – but it’s for FUN more than anything. If you wanna spend 2021 feeling like a bad bitch, listen to Delilah Bon.
Check Out: Bad Attitude, Godzilla
For Fans Of: Ashnikko, Hands Off Gretel
Meet Me @ The Altar
If Meet Me @ The Altar aren’t already on your radar, they definitely should be. After signing to the legendary Fueled By Ramen last year, they’re already breaking the scene with their explosive pop-punk, but 2021 might just be the year they become pop-punk household names. They only released two tracks last year, the buzzing Garden and gorgeously noisy May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour, but that’s all they needed to showcase their grit-laden bass breaks, riff-heavy intensity, and anthemic power. When their debut album arrives, it’s a guaranteed pop-punk masterclass.
Ok, to be fair, lots of us already know Lande as the wonderful frontwoman of punk gang Muncie Girls. But with her debut solo record on the way, utterly packed to the brim with soul and sincerity, 2021 looks to be the year that she makes a name for herself on her own as well. She’s still got Muncie Girls’ heart, but she’s stripped back some of the riffs to reveal a vulnerable, indie-punk subtlety on the collection of songs we’ve heard so far. She’s clearly a master of weaving a gorgeous, confessional narrative, and we can’t wait to hear the whole story on Going To Hell, out January 22nd.
Check out: Whiskey, December
For Fans Of: Muncie Girls, Laura Jane Grace
For You The Moon
Slam Dunk Records’ latest signees For You The Moon may only have one song out at the moment, but it’s pretty bloody impressive. Lost Without It showcased a confident pop-rock sound, with a brilliant sprinkling of 2000s pop-punk/rock spice. Not only do this Leeds-based quartet boast a great, nostalgic sound, but Isaac Cooter has one hell of a voice – it feels quite reminiscent of Don Broco’s Rob Damiani. With a debut EP out sometime this year, we can’t wait to hear what else these guys have got to offer!
Crown The King
Nothing like a good bit of moody pop-punk, and Crown The King provide it in spades. Well, they’ve only got three songs out, but they’ve packed so much energy into those tracks that we just know they’ve got more anthems in there. Even on their acoustic offering, Fence, they demonstrate that they’ve got the dreamy, melancholy emotional side that’s made for so many pop-punk favourites: your Decembers, your Crying Out Louds… Crown The King channel the greats whether they’re loud or quiet. Latest cut Honey proves they’re only getting bigger and brighter, so watch this space.
Wargasm, Wargasm, Wargasm… Oh boy. What a rush. This thunderous twosome are a riot, cranking out ferociously angry songs for sad people. Melding nu-metal, industrial chaos, and a fuck-you punk attitude, Wargasm are guaranteed to blow your mind. The duo have released a series of anarchic singles, but we’re yet to get a debut EP or album from the pair… Hopefully 2021 can bless us with some new Wargasm grit to dig our teeth into.
Looking for some Dutch metalcore? Of course you are! Well, look no further – Another Now are just that. The group truly contrast ice with fire; pairing guttural vocals with shifting, ethereal soundscapes, these guys are in a realm of their own. Their latest single, Outflow highlights this gorgeously, with delicate segments running straight into chaotic, tech-metal breakdowns. Another Now are masters at what they do, and they’re only going to get better.
Australian quartet Bad/Love hope to carve a new path for emo; boldly labelling themselves as ‘Future Emo’, these guys aim to deliver the punch of classic emo with an even fiercer blow. Sharper, faster and more gritty, Bad/Love are a perfect balance between emo and metalcore. With members harking from bands like Make Them Suffer and Storm The Sky, there’s a great collection of minds working together here. And Bad/Love have also got some solid outside connections – the group’s brutal new single, Social Suicide, saw them joining forces with the iconic Crossfaith. We’ve been told to keep our eyes peeled for more Bad/Love content this year, and we’d advise you to do the same!
Sadness & Complete Disappointment
Sadness & Complete Disappointment have only got one song out, but that’s all it takes. An addictively moody opening riff, and you think you know what you’re in for – but the hazy soprano vocals kick in and you’re caught like whiplash by this darkly angelic delivery. The instrumentals are a grunge-laden goldmine, but the vocals wouldn’t feel amiss on a Lana Del Rey track. It’s a magnetic combination, making for a hissing lament of a tune, saturated in melancholy and simmering energy that occasionally breaches the surface in the fierce instrumental passages. It’s sheer power, especially for a debut – this is promise in its rawest form and we can’t wait to hear more.
The Dead Deads
Hey girlfriend – ever heard of The Dead Deads? No? Well, that’s about to change – devilishly cool, this powerful female trio are impossible to resist. Blending elements of hard rock with grunge-heavy basslines and a classic punk-rock flare, these ladies refuse to constrict their sound. They sound deliciously classic and simultaneously refreshing, each track ram-packed with character. From the quick-paced Lemonade to the slower, indie-tinged Hey Girlfriend, these girls always deliver – and we’re certain they will again on their upcoming 2021 album, Tell Your Girls It’s Alright!
Skywalker aren’t quite newcomers, but 2021 looks set to be the year all their hard work pays off big time. After releasing their single Every Grief at the end of last year as well as signing to Pale Chord, Skywalker are ready to go from Prague (their hometown) to the world with their seamlessly brilliant rock-leaning metalcore. They strike the perfect balance between singalong hooks and utter headbangers of unclean sections – you can just feel the circle pit of the verse dissolve into a crush of bodies as everyone jumps into the chorus. They’ve got a new full-length out this year – prepare yourself for the energy.