February marks Black History Month, and while every day is the perfect day to celebrate artists of all genres, backgrounds and upbringings, we want to spotlight Black artists who you may not know well, but certainly will soon.
Here are some of our favorite Black artists in rock, indie-pop and punk who deserve more recognition on your alternative playlists today and every day.
binki is refreshing and lighthearted, combining indie guitar rhythms with hip-hop elements and moments of distorted vocals for a unique sound you’ll want to listen to again and again. His genre-bending feels so natural and effortless that you can’t help but nod along. You may already be familiar with binki’s work as his latest single “Heybb!” appeared in an Apple iPad Air commercial in 2020.
Pleasure Venom are keeping riot grrrl alive in 2021 with their brand-new single “Fascist” in honor of one getting taken out of office. Their political criticism, heavily distorted guitar tones and yells evoke old-school punk vibes for the 21st century. You can let loose and completely rock out to their nostalgic sounds on their 2018 self-titled EP, featuring incredible songs such as “Hive” and “Deth.”
Oxymorrons have been in the underground music scene working their alt and heavy rock magic since 2011. However, they’re about to get the attention they deserve as they’ve signed to 333 WRECKORDS via Jason Butler of FEVER 333. Their discography has everything an alternative music fan could want: grunge-y guitar riffs, aggressive vocals, incredible storytelling and much more. You will definitely want to keep your eyes on this quartet, who kicked off the year right by dropping a music video for “Green Vision.”
SATE will entice you to listen closely as soon as you hear the first note of her soulful rock voice. “Dirty Little Lie” is her most recent release, featuring a bloody music video performance ideal for metal fans who love a devilish aesthetic. You can check out more of her gritty, sludgy screams and belts on her 2017 album, RedBlack&Blue.
One cannot simply ignore a Jany Green song. His irresistible melodies and inclusion of jazzy horns in his tracks will make you dance and feel immediate joy. For being a musician from Alaska, his tunes are bright and sunny, perfect for when you’re feeling great or when you’re down and need a little lyrical pick-me-up. Green is just getting started, having already caught the attention of listeners around the world with his single “Little” and most recent release “Move.” As soon as concerts are safe to attend, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a full-on tour.
For pop-punk purists, Cleveland Avenue may be your next favorite band. This act have a true punk attitude and DIY feel, with angsty vocals and nostalgic guitar rhythms. With only a couple of singles and an EP available for streaming, we already know they have so much more in store for punk fans. Plus, they have a fantastic sense of humor that can be seen in both their music video above and in this song name that we love: “Stu Macher Is Shaggy Rogers.”
GARZI already proved his punk chops when he teamed up with blink-182‘s Travis Barker for his stunning single “SICK OF ME.” Combining angsty emo vocals, trap beats and pop-punk drums, he crafts raw tracks with relatable lyrics. Frankly, GARZI will offer you the ultimate 2 a.m. listening experience and make you contemplate your whole life. In the best way possible, of course.
The TxLips Band/Guitar Gabby
The TxLips Band and Guitar Gabby are a collective of amazing musicians who play enthralling rock. Their punk-rock attitude combined with their goth aesthetic is effortless in their performance above and onstage. If you need more tunes encompassing pure, unadulterated rock, you can check out their latest album release, Prison Of Life. It includes 10 original tracks, one of which was recorded live.
Magnolia Park are emo icons in the making. Calling their 2020 single “Sick Of It All” awe-inspiring feels like an understatement, as everything from the music video concept to the backing vocals is carried out with beautiful precision. Anyone who says emo music is a thing of the past is sorely mistaken, as this quintet are keeping it alive and well. Additionally, they released “Love Me” in late November featuring none other than Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens. If you haven’t added them to your playlist, what are you waiting for?
Kyle Dion is pure talent. If you’re ready to walk the line between experimental indie, funk and pop, you’ll be spinning this artist day and night. Undeniably catchy basslines and unique synth parts brighten up his soulful vocals in a refreshing and modern way. His 2019 sophomore album, SUGA, shows immense growth from his first release in 2013. If this year remains as stressful as it started in January, at least music like this will be around to calm us down.
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