Other / Salim Garcia

The beginning of 2019 feels like it was from another lifetime now that we’ve reached mid-June and summer is suddenly fleeting from our view. Even though we kicked off the year with a roundup of the top 10 artists to watch, there are obviously so many more musicians on our radar six months later. We already shared our picks for the best albums of 2019 so far and the best rap songs of 2019 so far, but there are always going to be new projects to consider every week.

Rock music is having a sort of renaissance moment as the landscape shifts from being overcrowded with cis white men to a more diverse and inclusive space where crossing genre lines is the norm.

Here are the 17 best bands that you should be paying all of your attention to in 2019.

Crumb

This Brooklyn-based quartet will have you hypnotized with their jazzy psych-rock tunes. I’m not a licensed doctor, but I would highly recommend streaming at least one of their songs a few times a day to improve your overall state of well-being. The indie band recently released their debut album, Jinx, and it is an eargasmic experience from start to finish.

Angel Du$t

We previously introduced you to this hardcore supergroup when we premiered their music video for “Want It All.” The five-piece combines members of Turnstile and Trapped Under Ice, a recipe for 100% pure punk excellence. After five years of shredding together, the band dropped their latest record, Pretty Buff, in March.

Sleater-Kinney

Long before Portlandia put hipsters on blast, Carrie Brownstein was a feminist force to be reckoned with in the indie rock world alongside Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss circa the mid ’90s. From 2007 to 2013, the band went on hiatus to pursue other music projects and eventually got back together to record No Cities to Love. After going on another hiatus for three years, the trio has reunited to drop their tenth album, The Center Won’t Hold, on August 16. Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent also produced the entire project… Need I say more?

Pom Pom Squad

This self-described “quiet grrrl” band has been breaking out in Brooklyn’s DIY scene. As of right now, they have 2017’s Hate It Here EP to their name, but recently dropped a new single called “Heavy Heavy” that really hits you deep in the gut. Screaming in the face of chaos never felt better.

Whitney

It’s hard to believe that there was once a time where we weren’t celebrating the “yee-haw agenda.” However, this Chicago-based band was preparing us for the takeover all 2016 with their country soul tunes. Forever Turned Around, their long-awaited follow-up to Light Upon The Lake, arrives on August 30 via Secretly Canadian. Saddle up, we’re all about to be hit with some raw feels.

Hatchie

Last year, this Aussie band came out of nowhere and set the tone high with the Sugar & Spice EP. All it took was one listen of “Sure” to have us all falling head over heels and tripping full speed ahead into the next cuffing season to the sweet sounds of pop rock. Hatchie’s debut album, Keepsake, is finally out on June 21 via Double Double Whammy and no doubt that it will brighten your summer.

Men I Trust

Canada has suddenly become a beacon of musical excellence, but Montréal might be the region’s best kept secret with all of its underrated gems. This dreamy trio is no exception and last year, Tyler, the Creator tapped them to perform at Camp Flog Gnaw. (In case you forgot, we told you to keep an eye on them here too.) We’re still patiently waiting on an update regarding the release of their third album, Oncle Jazz, but there’s no rush on our end.

Metronomy

There’s no escaping the dumpster fire that we’re currently living in, but while we’re here we should at least be appreciative of all the time and nature that’s at our disposal. Metronomy’s Joseph Mount is making a case for that on the band’s sixth studio album, Metronomy Forever. The 17-track project is out on September 13 and includes a song called “Sex Emoji” if that’s of interest to anyone!

Cherry Glazerr

If history has taught us anything, it’s that listening to women could have probably prevented a lot of really terrible things from happening. Cherry Glazerr’s Stuffed & Ready album is a reaction to the recent sociopolitical chaos that has plagued many of our individual lives. Learn more about the band from our Q&A with badass frontwoman Clementine Creevy.

Show Me the Body

There’s no better display of community than opening up the pit and throwing some elbows with the people you love the most. That’s how this New York trio makes me feel every time that I listen to their music, which is honestly hard to define because they’ve very against labels and I wholeheartedly respect that. A little less conversation, a little more moshing. Dog Whistle is out now.

Control Top

(Almost) everything is better in Philadelphia including this post-punk band. A few months ago, I randomly came across the trio’s debut album, Covert Contracts, and it is so refreshingly loud and confrontational that it felt like a giant explosion in my ears. Ready or not, you will get hooked.

Charly Bliss

Young Enough is one of those records that starts off having you feel nostalgic for the past, but about halfway through you realize how grateful you are to not be so naive anymore. This cathartic project leans more on the power pop side as frontwoman Eva Hendricks overcomes a toxic relationship from her past. Get more information about the band in our exclusive interview.

Wallows

This is one of those bands that you think you’re way too cool to be into, but they immediately win you over because they’re that good. Start with the Clairo-assisted single “Are You Bored Yet?” and then proceed to the other sun-drenched songs on Nothing Happens. For more proof that these guys are even better than you imagined, check out their 2018 EP Spring.

Girlpool

In the five years that Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad have been navigating the indie rock scene, they have evolved tremendously as artists. The most noticeable change that can be heard on their latest album, What Chaos Is Imaginary, is the deepness of Tucker’s voice. (Back in 2017, he came out as transgender and went through hormone replacement therapy.) However, that contrast doesn’t take away from the duo’s consistency as one of the most solid bands of their generation.

Softcore untd.

This Norwegian four-piece had us salivating from their single “Gi Meg Tid” when we premiered it back in February. The group contains members of Verdensrommet (Andreas Høvset, Vetle Junker), FAKETHIAS (Mathias Humlen), and Sushi x Kobe (Emir Hindic). Based on what we’ve heard so far, their music is an exquisite smorgasbord of house, hip-hop, and electro-R&B. Softcore untd.’s debut EP is expected to arrive on Cascine this year so stay tuned for more goodies.

Mannequin Pussy

If that name doesn’t already grab you, honestly what will? Controlled rage only works for so long until an outburst slips between the cracks, and that’s essentially what a Mannequin Pussy song sounds like to me. Whether you’re recovering from a breakup or clapping back at insincere comments, this Philly band has something special to offer that will make you feel more alive in your body. Their third album, Patience, comes out on June 21.

The Drums

Don’t worry about being late to the party, at least you made it here. Brutalism will give you a rush as Jonny Pierce unloads about what’s really happening on the inside while tapping into full-on self-care mode. This project marks a huge moment of growth for the bicoastal band which has been going through the motions for a decade now.

Words by Sydney Gore
Associate Music Editor

Softcore tastemaker at your service.

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