The team members of For The Punks took the time for a fourth year in the row to compile a list musicians and bands that you should be listening to this summer! There are 25 artists on our list this year! Read through to the end to find a Spotify playlist with all of our recommended songs. With pop-punk, rock, hardcore, rap, pop, and more filling our list, we hope you will take the chance to discover your next favorite artist!
1. Omar Apollo
Recommended songs: “Useless,” “Go Away,” and “Killing Me”
Omar Apollo is one of music’s most exciting shape-shifters. As unique as his sound is, Apollo has garnered as much attention for his lyrics—themes of romantic yearning and self-improvement swirled up with expressions of cultural heritage and identity. Now, he’s leaning even more into all of it, making music that feels closer to his heart than ever. The artist who once called himself “just a kid from Indiana” is breaking new ground, abandoning all comfort zones, and never looking back.
His album Ivory was released in April 2022 and his most recent release is a single called “3 Boys” which was released in February 2023. In early 2023, he toured with SZA
“I’ve been loving Omar recently! His songs and stylistic choices are perfect for summer trips and beach-sitting,” shares writer Joy Villanueva.
2. Mt. Joy
Recommended songs: “Bathroom Light,” “Orange Blood,” “Johnson’s Song”
The Philadelphia quintet—Matt Quinn [vocals, guitar], Sam Cooper [guitar], Sotiris Eliopoulos [drums], Jackie Miclau [keys, piano], and Michael Byrnes [bass]— take their name from the quiet rural town in southwest Pennsylvania, about four hours from their Philadelphia base.
They have immaculate energy and an amazing indie folk sound that can backtrack whatever activities you have planned for summer. Their 2022 release, Orange Blood, offers meaningful lyrics and an almost psychedelic sound, which we absolutely love.
“I was definitely drawn to the color orange,” explains lead singer Matt Quinn about the album. “When we were in the desert, everything revolved around the sun. I started playing with the idea that the light we see is this sort of orange blood that runs through all of us and gives life to everything it touches.”
3. The Aces
Recommended songs: “Last One,” “Thought of You,” “I’ve Loved You For So Long”
The Aces have a casual coolness about them, and their music is effortlessly fun! Their band is LGBTQ+ excellence with 3 of their 4 members identifying as queer. Their third album I’ve Loved You For So Long is out now!
“It’s our most sincere body of work today. We’re older, we went through a global pandemic. That really changes you as a person. Everyone just got really intentional about what they wanted out of life and more certain of what they wanted more certain of what they didn’t want,” they note.
Recommended songs: “Figure You Out,” “Chanel No. 5,” “If You Were Me”
Team member Arden Kurhayez shares, “VOILÀ has a great blend of songs for every emotion, and whether you like more acoustic pop or harder rock songs, you’ll find something to love in their discography. They also tend to reimagine their best songs through their own remixes, so it’s very cool to see the evolution in their artistry on the same track.”
5. Arrows in Action
Recommended songs: “Checking In” and “Head in The Clouds”
Nashville based pop-rock/alt-rock band, Arrows in Action, released their debut album on May 26. Produced and mixed by Dan Swank, Built to Last finds the fast-tracked trio at their most poignant and personal. The record chronicles a coming of age story, bringing listeners on a rollercoaster of emotions and conflicts that occur throughout the process of finding your place in the world. Ruminating on the distance and loss that’s only amplified by 20-something malaise: falling out – and out of touch – with loved ones.
Coming up, the band will be heading out on their Built to Last headlining tour, marking their first full North American run. Featuring special guests, Honey Revenge and Finish Ticket, the tour is set to kick off on July 5 in Dallas, TX. The band will visit multiple cities across North America including stops in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Toronto and New York before wrapping up in Nashville on August 11.
“It reminds me of the good pop-punk bands I used to listen to when I was younger. I adore their sound,” shares team member Jade Ivy.
6. Reneé Rapp
Recommended songs: “Bruises” and “Snow Angel”
Reneé Rapp kicked off her new era of music with the stunning song “Snow Angel” on June 9, 2023. This is the first single from forthcoming debut album of the same name. Snow Angel the album will be released this summer. “Snow Angel” the song captures Rapp’s poignant ability to spin painful memories into songs meant to soundtrack her journey toward inner strength — the thread that holds her impressive discography together.
Outside of music, Rapp stars as Leighton in the hit HBO Max series The Sex Lives of College Girls. It’s a role that calls for brilliant comedic timing and dramatic prowess, both of which she has in spades. Coming up, she’ll be reprising the role of Regina George, a part she made her own on Broadway, in the upcoming Paramount+ feature film adaptation of the musical Mean Girls (produced by Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels).
“She takes sad girl pop to a new level with her vulnerable explorations of growing up and queer identity,” shares Jasmine Robinson.
7. Honey Revenge
Recommended songs: “Worst Apology” and “Distracted”
Los Angeles, California pop-rockers Honey Revenge are a lot of fun and have created a lot of buzz in the past few months, not only because of their recent tours with Loveless and Broadside/The Home Team but because of their singles including “Worst Apology” and “Distracted.”
Honey Revenge is a band you need to check out this summer, as their story in the music industry is just starting. We can’t wait to see where they go next! Their debut album Retrovision releases June 23 via Thriller Records. Catch the band on tour this summer with Arrows In Action!
Team member Em Moore shares, “I personally work with Honey Revenge and they are some of the best people I’ve ever met and their music is phenomenal. It feels great to know the artists we are supporting are real and care about their fans.”
8. Ends Of Sanity
Recommended songs: “Eligible To Die” and “Taking Souls”
North Carolina’s Ends of Sanity is making absolutely blistering hardcore. On May 31, the band dropped their sophomore EP, Eligible To Die, on DAZE Records. Aggressive vocals lead through five mosh-ready tracks fueled by intense drum fills and clashing cymbals. Kicking things off with the title track, the band’s musical chops are on full-display before heading into the speedy, callback track “See Through You”. “A Life, A Lie” bleeds out lyrics decrying manifestation and Merauder-style guitars emphasize the realities of a wasted life on “Last Rites”. On the final track, simply titled “Outro”, Ends Of Sanity continue to bring the heat with time to get a few last spin-kicks in before you hit repeat.
Eligible To Die was recorded and produced by drummer Jeremy White and follows Ends Of Sanity’s 2021 self-titled EP.
9. Ryan Beatty
Recommended songs: “Ribbons,” “Casino,” “Haircut”
Ryan Beatty is a singer-songwriter, vocalist, producer and era-defining lyricist, who gained widespread recognition in 2018 with the critically acclaimed debut album. An album heralded for its exploration in sexuality and isolation, but also in prose and sound. Continuing on his sonic journey of self-reflection and emotional honesty, Ryan pursued in his ambition to push sound with vocal dominance, releasing a follow-up album in 2020.
Now, in 2023, comes the third installment of Ryan’s artistic proclamation Calico. The first single ‘Ribbons’ epitomizes what is another evolution in musical sculpture and lyrical intensity. A subtle, yet powerful examination of the human psyche.
Calico was released on April 28 and is a must listen this summer. “A nice take on a warm, emotional, calming summer. Ryan Beatty always radiates a good and familiar energy,” shares Christi Balderas.
10. Chappell Roan
Recommended songs: “Red Wine Supernova,” “Kaleidoscope,” “Naked In Manhattan”
Chappell Roan is an artist on the brink of pop stardom. Bold hooks, honest songwriting, and a heavy dose of glitter make up the unapologetically honest world of Chappell Roan, who’s built up a cult-like fanbase over the past year. Her most recent release is the single “Red Wine Supernova.” Reflecting on the song, Chappell says, “I needed a campy gay girl song that captured the magic of having feelings for another girl. I packed the song with fun raunchy lyrics that make it feel like a night out flirting with the girl across the bar!”
“Chappell Roan is an exemplary musician who consistently showcases the dynamic, nuanced artistry that defines the best pop music of every generation. Chappell is the rising artist to watch for any pop listener,” shares writer Challen Carter.
Chappell Roan recently announced a fall headlining tour— an expansive North American tour with dates across the US and Canada, kicking off in September. Her debut album will also be released this fall via Amusement/Island Records. It’s a release you won’t want to miss!
11. Peach Fuzz
Recommended songs: “Shaking the Can,” “Hey Dood,” “I Saw the Moon”
Peach Fuzz is made up of four solo artists who came together for their debut EP Can Mary Dood the Moon?, which was released in July 2022. You can tell they had fun with it, and it seems like there’s some inside jokes mixed in throughout it. Peach Fuzz was produced by Sachi DiSerafino (Joy Again), Jake Luppen (Hippo Campus, Lupin) and Caleb Hinz (Baby Boys).
“I hope they release more as a group,” shares Emma Jean VandenBrink.
Recommended songs: “What Once Was” and “Harvey”
Her’s were a Liverpool based pop duo consisting of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading. The duo passed away in a car accident in 2019. The pair bonded over a love of peculiar, sardonic humour and wide-eyed observations. Their dream-pop was a natural extension of their solitary decoding of the cultures they grew up in. Her’s crafted the kind of perfect oddball pop that saw them draw effusive praise from the blogosphere for their colourful craftsmanship.
“I believe it is important to share their legacy,” said Lilith.
13. Catie Lausten
Recommended songs: “man, ur not my man,” “Corvette,” “What A Life”
Pop baby, Catie Lausten shares dreamy tunes and raw/soft lyrics in her singles. Based in Richmond, VA, Catie Lausten perfectly encapsulates what it means to be in your early-mid 20s. Her dreamy, but powerful voice draws you in and you feel like you would be friends with her just by listening to a couple of her songs.
Recommended songs: “4 Da Kidz,” “Code Switch,” “Runners High”
I [Angelea Hengle] am recommending KIDZ because I believe they are ushering in a new era of “the rap boyband.” While they could be compared to the likes of BROCKHAMPTON, A$AP Mob, and PNTHN, they lean into being home-made and are experimental with their sound, at the same time.
Recommended songs: “Bleed” and “I’m Still Here”
On March 14, California hardcore band Torena released their EP, Evil Eyez via DAZE. Formed in 2020, Evil Eyez, serves as Torena’s second release following their 2021 debut album, Cerebellum Prison.
Produced and mixed by Taylor Young (Mindforce, Age of Apocalypse) and mastered by Nick Townsend (Drain, Militarie Gun), the five songs on the EP sound as explosive as its artwork looks. Throughout the record, throaty leads make way to gang vocals, metallic guitars cross paths with pulverizing drums. The band set out to make heavy-hitting music fueled by breakdowns and succeed in crafting one of the most volatile releases out this year.
Torena is Julien Urias (Guitar/Vocals), Mika Ryan (Bass), Dante Denoms (Guitar), and David Stalsworth (Drums).
16. Daisy Jones & The Six
Recommended songs: “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” and “Let Me Down Easy”
Emma Agosta shares, “Ever since the show came out, this show/band has been my latest obsession! When I read the book a few years back, I couldn’t wait to see this band be brought to life and to listen to the music that I felt so attached to.”
Recommended songs: “Salad” and “Sepsis”
“I saw her open for Suki Waterhouse a few months ago and she was such a great live performer. Her debut self-titled album just came out in April and you would never know that it is her debut. She is touring with Liz Phair later this year (November 7 to December 3) and it’s funny because that is exactly who she reminds me of when I listen to her,” photographer Jenny Shackleton shares.
Recommended songs: “Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Devil In Disguise”
Jesse shares, “The new music that they have been putting out lately has been fun summer punk that gets the blood pumping.”
Rancid’s recent album Tomorrow Never Comes released on June 2.
Recommended songs: “talking to myself” and “drunk & venting”
dreamfone is a newer two-piece alternative pop band consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Richie Arthur and lead guitarist Reece Alan. Based in Los Angeles, the band’s music is very catchy and upbeat – perfect for driving with your windows down this summer!
20. Rachel Bochner
Recommended songs: “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” and “ghosted my therapist”
Since making her debut in 2020, New York-based artist Rachel Bochner has gone on to make some serious waves with her fiery, playful pop sound and whip-smart lyricism. She’s become a favorite here at For The Punks and we are loving her newest singles like “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” along with past songs like “ghosted my therapist.”
Her newest EP is set to release later this summer and we can’t wait to hear it.
This EP sees her rising from the ashes of heartbreak and delivering a concoction of songs that dance between vulnerable, melancholic, energetic, and playful. “When people hear these songs, I want them to know it’s okay to feel their feelings, to find humor even in the darkness, and to remember that we have the power to define our own self worth,” Rachel shared.
21. De Soto
Recommended songs: “Ako Na Muna” and “Wala Kana”
Photographer Meryl shares, ““Ako Na Muna” is the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling down and need something to lift you up and give you hope. It’s a song about giving yourself strength and love! Always a perfect vibe during summer!”
22. Arm’s Length
Recommended songs: “Object Permanence,” “No Sleep,” “In Loving Memory”
If your summers tend to be infused with a little melancholy, Ontario based emo band Arm’s Length is the band for you. Their premiere LP Never Before Seen, Never Again Found is an incredibly powerful debut album that is a must-listen for any fan of the ever expanding emo genre.
If listening to the record isn’t enough, you can catch them on tour this summer all across the USA with Heart Attack Man!
23. Summerfling Memoirs
Recommended songs: “Reunite” and “Schizophrenia”
Photographer Meryl shares, “their song “Reunite” is amazing! It’s that perfect song early in the morning to seize the day, it’s that perfect song when you’re having a bad day and just need some positive vibes!”
Recommended songs: “Finite Days” and “Old Elba”
Couplet is Adam Beck, Tanner Jones & Evan Weiss. They’re a supergroup in its best evolution – not at all what you’d expect them to be. Combining members of You Blew It! and Into It. Over It., Couplet paints dreamy and atmospheric soundscapes that are truly magical.
The architecture of LP1 is considered and meticulous, a product of time and space and perspective rather than of spontaneity or impulse. Couplet and their debut record remind us that it is important to do things slowly and purposefully and correctly; that rejecting the pace of modern life is difficult, but rewarding and necessary.
Recommended song: “Crash Course (Nosedive to Nowhere)”
Stateside is poised to take California by storm. The band radiates a unique blend of emo-inspired melody and explosive energy. The band started when Lemus, lead singer, and Erik, guitar, were working in a warehouse and discovered their shared love for the band The Starting Line.
In February of 2023, the band headed to the studio to record their newest EP, “It’s What We Do”, with the help of Zach Tuch. The result is 5 explosive tracks of hardcore punk filled with memorable riffs and catchy choruses.
Summer 2023 sees the band at a new peak as they drop what is sure to be an anthemic EP of the summer followed by several runs in the next year.
Check out the official ‘Must Listens Of Summer 2023’ playlist on our Spotify below!