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Hardcore music lovers are having a hell of a year. Between Paramore’s new album, That is whyBlink-182 reuniting and announcing a world tour, and Arctic Monkeys releases its seventh anthology, The car, no one can deny the mainstream resurgence of rock. Bold and Brash is back.
Now that the twenty-year trend cycle is condensing, thanks in part to social media, fans can feast on the recognizable baritone voice of Alex Turner (the frontman and vocalist of the Arctic Monkeys) on new hits. The four-piece band from the UK are known for experimenting with their sound with every release cycle. Their first album, Whatever People Say I Am Is What I Am Not (2006), has a powdery yet fluid vibe of lo-fi garage rock revival. Jump past their fifth popular collection, AM (2013) – the rhythm reigns supreme and hints of hip-hop influence can be found in the instrumental farrago. The layered vocals add breadth and fullness to give the songs a sleeker finish than their previous work.
Streaming services like Spotify changed the game and allowed us to effortlessly discover bands and singers similar to who we were. just to listen to on loop. However, nothing beats the adrenaline rush of meeting a smaller-scale but prolific musical maverick firsthand. After all, what could be more satisfying than saying “this band?” Well…you’ve probably never heard of it” and claim artistic discovery first?
Below are some indie artists you’ll love if you’re a big fan of the Arctic Monkeys. Thank me later.
Kicking off the roster with one of Arctic Monkey’s own influences, Bloc Party are an English quartet formed in 1999 whose debut album, Silent Alarm (2005), was a mish-mash of post-punk, rock and electronic dance music. Frontman Kele Okereke’s intimately warm yet powerful voice cuts through the fun beats of songs like “Positive Tension.” They came out Alpha Games (2022) in April 2022 after a long music hiatus, with many tracks sounding like a nod to their early days of upbeat yet biting energy.
Another British group, The Vaccines have been active since 2010 with five records to their credit. Their inaugural compilation, What did you expect from the vaccines? (2011), has a mix of choppy West Coast high-fidelity with loaded guitars for a brighter take on alt-rock. The sunny sensations continue on Combat sports
(2018), with dynamic tracks like “Surfing in the Sky” and “Someone to Lose”. If you want catchy charismatic indie rock, this is it.
If you’re pissed at the world because of its paradoxical reality, well, Gardenia is too. It’s strange how much the New York-based vocals and sound echo those of even grittier Arctic Monkeys. This talented and promising duo, with Ryan Zakin on vocals/bass and Tamir Malik on drums, formed in 2018 with a few more EPs. Zakin’s layered and deliberately abrasive vocals lend a rich totality against sharp snare staccato and minor scale based riffs. Shameless, cheeky and brash – their recent release, Smile for the camera
(2022), features stunning orchestral instrumentals that transition beautifully into loud rock on “Mattress Actress” until the catchy, you won’t be able to get your head out of “Red Flag.”
Metric is a Canadian quartet that has existed since 1998 and harmoniously mixes rock, indie-pop, post-punk and new wave. Emily Haines on lead vocals manages to use her soft, buttery smooth vocals as a prominent feature against the fun synths/bass/drums. Their eight-disc repertoire begins with Old World Underground, where are you now? (2003), including dance hits like “Succexy”, to Synthetic (2012), which dives headfirst into the electronic indie rock sound. Their last attempt Formentera
(2022)is a critical look at their own nearly two-decade careers, delivered via anthems and loud ballads.
Hailing from Texas is the four-piece Ting Tang Tina. They started playing shows in 2017 with a dreamy version of indie rock. Singer Ruby Lewis has old-school flair on tracks like “Heart Eyes,” while instantly turning it into a dynamic sensation on “Kill Courtney.” With two albums under their belt and bloody, sassy sentiments all over their songs, Ting Tang Tina isn’t going to stay under the radar for long.
Have you ever heard of The Strokes? The Voidz is singer/songwriter Julian Casablancas’ side musical project, created with members from both coasts of New York and Los Angeles. The strength of the American rock band lies in the experimental mish-mash of what happens when Casablancas really does what he wants. Garage rock is prevalent in singles such as “Leave It In My Dreams” by Virtue (2019), while vintage lo-fi “Did My Best,” produced by fellow indie legend Mac DeMarco, shines in its near-dark harmonies and nostalgia.
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