Looking for new music? We got you. Here are four bands to check out, from the haunting ambiance of Arepo, to the riot grrrl infused post-punk of Dishpit, the raw metallic hardcore of Capra, and the lo-fi shoegaze of Dazy. There’s something for everyone, so take a look!
Location: Virginia/North Carolina
Album: Self-titled, out now via Pax Aeternum
RIYL: Freedom. Innovation. Friends.
What happens when friends just get the chance to do whatever they want? I know most of us over 25 can’t conceive of such freedom, but we certainly can remember those times in our lives when we had a ton of opportunity, and the companionship to make that time worth it. Graham Scala and Ryan Parrish have been longtime friends and co-collaborators, most notably in excellent hardcore band Bleach Everything. So, when they got the chance to do something entirely different, you wouldn’t expect the result to be paranoid ambient music, right? Well that’s exactly what Arepo is: haunting, daunting, effervescent ambient music. All of the energy you’d expect from noisy hardcore lifers was put into this latest project, but it’s a totally different experience. Arepo is glorious and terrifying, and according to Scala, the sound of the debut was wonderfully freeing:
“I think this album was undertaken out of a sense of wanting something open-ended and unconstrained. Anyone familiar with either of our projects, even the most interesting ones, will recognize that each has a general sound. Like, if you’ve heard Ryan in City of Caterpillar or Suppression, you have a general idea of what any other of those bands’ albums will sound like, even though they’re some of the most interesting bands in their respective subgenres. Arepo was us trying to do something with zero inclination towards pigeonholing ourselves.”
Follow Arepo on Instagram.
Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana
Album: In Transmission, out now via Metal Blade Records
RIYL: Horror Imagery. Sobriety. Roller Coasters
Capra are truly captivating in their approach to metallic hardcore. Taking major cues from personal favorites Comeback Kid, their sound marries a retro ethos with modern frustrations. In Transmission is a record imbued with a purpose and power, thanks in large part to how the formidable pipes of vocalist Crow Lotus work with the musical chaos. Few hardcore records truly sound like a live show, so Capra’s debut is especially impressive. So much of the record details personal and society trauma, but it’s never left in the complete dark–there’s always some light at the end of the tunnel, or at least something to strive towards. That ability to work in the dark and light really works to Capra’s favor. Guitarist Tyler Harper acknowledges this when talking about the band’s ethos:
“We’re all really big fans of both horror movies and sci-fi movies, so I think that plays into it in some way. We have also been down in the dirt and struggled with a lot of various issues over our lives. For me personally, it was addiction. I was down in a hole for years and felt like I couldn’t escape, but finally switched my mindset, climbed out, and am now six years sober. That part of my life played a huge role in how this band was conceived. Being able to overcome an obstacle that seemed impossible really set the focus for how our music is written and the way we interact with fans. Life is a wild ride. We try to channel our deepest frustrations and aggression into the music, while remaining positive and hopeful, letting our listeners know that we’re right there with them. Nothing is impossible.”
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Album: Revolving Door EP, out now via self-release
RIYL: Bruce Wayne/Batman. Haze. Melodies
I’ve always loved the idea of people that have two lives, in part because I have two lives. My professional life and my New Noise life are completely separated, in large part because I love music so much and can’t imagine it not being in my life, and you do not want to hear the music I wrote. Thankfully, many others are much more talented in that sphere than I, chief among them is publicist and all-around great guy James Goodson, who has a lo-fi, shoegaze-y punk outfit for his musical ideas. Imagine The Jesus and Mary Chain, Lemonheads, and early Green Day thrown in a blender, and you’re most of the way to what makes Revolving Door such a delightful listen. Goodson is bashful in talking about his project, but if these are but three of his ideas, here’s hoping he has many more coming soon. He elaborates on his influences and mindset:
“As you can probably tell from a lot of the artists I’ve mentioned, I’m pretty inspired by songwriters who have some bite in their music but aren’t afraid to go straight for the big, catchy hooks. That sweet and sour dynamic just never gets old to me. Pretty much all Dazy songs either start with a drum machine beat or just some guitar chords I happen to be messing with. I’m not really much of a shredder, so when I’m playing guitar, I’m almost always just toying with chords and humming a melody. I have a ridiculous amount of scratch recordings of me playing guitar and humming some nonsense, so a lot of times I’ll just pick one of those rough ideas that strikes me and expand on it from there.”
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Album: Dishpit, out now via self-release
RIYL: Curiosity. Brash People. Great Songs.
Our brains naturally want to neatly categorize things, as it helps us when we encounter something new to place it with the other things we’ve experienced. That’s part of the fun with Dishpit—what the hell exactly is this band? Most broadly, the Montreal group play a mix of riot grrrl, grunge, and post-punk. However, each song on their lovely, self-titled debut is distinct from the others. The fact that the record is wonderfully cohesive is by sheer force of will (and some clear sorcery on the band’s part). This is a seriously fun album by people who, despite telling some harrowing tales of frustration, clearly love what they are doing. Vocalist and guitarist Nora Kelly concurs with the idea that the band are playing in their own ballpark, so to speak:
“We all grew up on grunge and punk music, but I think Dishpit is doing something abnormal even within those genres. Neither Jed [Stein, bass] nor I have been classically trained in our instruments, and that’s led to some pretty strange song writing. We’re always writing in odd time signatures like 5/4 or 7/4. I think Dishpit is still fun for us after many years because every song is an experiment in songwriting and structuring. Both of us are huge personalities on stage and love to subvert people’s idea about women who play music by being loud, confident, and all-around unapologetic.”