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c*mgirl8, Kibi James, and Oxymorrons are rising artists you need to know

We’re rounding up rising artists you need to know right now. This month, c*mgirl8, Kibi James, Oxymorrons, and more are the AP&R new music picks to listen to.

The post c*mgirl8, Kibi James, and Oxymorrons are rising artists you need to know appeared first on Alternative Press Magazine.



Welcome to AP&R, where we highlight rising artists who are on their way to becoming your new favorite. Below, we’ve rounded up a handful of names from around the world who either just dropped music or have new music on the way very soon. These are the August up-and-comers, artists picked for their standout sound, from erotic punk and Spanish indie-pop to swaggering NYC rap-rock.

Read more: 25 best albums of 2023 so far


Fresh off a tour in support of Le Tigre, New York City four-piece-meets-art-collective c*mgirl8 is gearing up to release their debut EP for the 4AD label, phantasea pharm, which will be released Aug. 18. Not unlike Le Tigre’s legendary frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, the group has garnered attention since the start for their innovative, shocking, and colorful performances and outspoken lyrics, all of which toe the border between punk rock in its purest form and an adventure into performance art — with a post-internet twist. Both feminine and upsetting, highly fashionable and alluringly off-putting, their forthcoming album brings what they’ve done previously, and brilliantly, to new heights. Tongue-in-cheek without losing the plot, phantasea pharm pays tribute to Ella Fitzgerald’s “Old McDonald,” and features a tracklist that touches on all things fantastical, political, and erotic. As per usual. Anna Zanes

Kibi James

Kibi James are ending the summer on a sweet note with the release of their debut album, delusions, out Aug. 25 on Bayonet Records. The partnership between Mari (guitar, keys), MJ Corless (bass), and Pomi Abebe (drums) is a free-flowing one, submerging listeners into a world unto itself. “go outside” is a taste, as luminous vocals, lysergic guitar, and sensory thrills take hold. When the song morphs into Spanish verses, it adopts an even more surreal and hypnotic glow. RIYL picnics in the woods, mushroom hunting, and kickbacks that go until 2 a.m. —Neville Hardman


New York City’s hip-hop fusion rock band Oxymorrons have the city’s multilingual street chatter running through their veins. Brothers Demi “Deee” and Kami “KI” bottled the smells, sounds, and feelings of their multicultural Queens and Uptown Manhattan upbringing, and ignite their music with the kind of genre-bending flair only New Yorkers could pull off. Ahead of their tour supporting Corey Taylor, Oxymorrons have announced their debut album, Melanin Punk, arriving Oct. 20 via Mascot Records. To the rap-rock outfit, the term “melanin punk” symbolizes the melting pot of the band members’ diverse backgrounds and the concept of melanin as a unifying force that transcends skin tone. The first three singles off the record, “Graveyard Words,” “Last Call,” and “Enemy” boast the audacious marriage of swaggering hip-hop and nostalgic pop-punk — bringing metalheads, rap fans, and pop-punkers all into the same mosh pit. —Alessandra Schade

Crooks & Nannies

Until this West Philly duo entered the scene, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a band endearingly described as both “emo” and “twangy” — with a whiff of art punk to boot. With their highly anticipated debut LP, Real Life, due on Aug. 25, Crooks & Nannies has been serving us DIY-infused introspective and anthemic tracks, a taste of what’s to come that we can’t seem to get enough of. Yearning to reflect on romance, loss, and transformation, vocalist/guitarist Max Rafter and vocalist/drummer Sam Huntington returned to their upstate NY hometown for the first time since each transitioned, to write this honest and perfectly unpolished album. And the result is the simultaneously soft and adrenalizing Real Life, a sonic Venn diagram where seemingly contrasting genres find solace. —Anna Zanes


Wayside, the duo of Thomas Davenport and Josh Ehmer, recently returned with a double single, “Parallax Error” and “Asymmetry,” that sees them take a massive step forward. After growing up under the spell of records like Citizen’s Youth and Superheaven’s Jar, they crafted their own hazy, dizzyingly heavy sound that has strains of shoegaze, post-hardcore, and pop. Flying thousands of miles to work with Will Yip, who produced many of the albums they adore, the songs drift between delicacy, scope, and crushing heft that proves Wayside are on a formidable ascent. —Neville Hardman

Beauty School Dropout 

Beauty School Dropout met in 2020 when frontman Colie Hutzler slid into a girl’s DMs asking to hang out and instead fell for her boyfriend, bassist Brent “Beepus” Burdett. The pair and guitarist Bardo Novotny have been in the studio together ever since. Coining the term “Renegade-pop,” the SoCal group blends a cheeky mixture of alt-rock, punk, emo, and hip-hop. Now, with co-signs from blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, the LA rockers are pushing pop-punk in a fresh direction that is reflected in their subversive and off-kilter fashion. Their new track “beautiful waste” is the first single off their sophomore album READY TO EAT, arriving on Oct. 13, and will be supported by a fall North American headline tour with dates announcing soon. —Alessandra Schade

Malick Koly 

This month, NYC-based Jazz drummer Malick Koly is setting out on a new journey, releasing his first solo EP, Feel Bad Fest, an alt-rock triumph, which also serves as Koly’s debut as a singer-songwriter. By simply diving into the first three singles that have been released, “Dolòr,” “Heaven For Now” (featuring Ron Carter and Vernon Reid), and “Eaux Rouges,” it’s easy to slip into the intricate landscape of lo-fi grunge, speckled with ‘90s-inspired anthems, and become enveloped in the world Koly has so carefully built. And the apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree — Koly is the son of two undeniable stars, Awa Sangho, known as the “Golden Voice of Mali”, and renowned Franco-Guinean multi-disciplinary Souleymane Koly. With stripped-back instrumentals, Malick Koly’s impactful vocals, and heart-wrenching lyricism shine — the full EP offers a holistic experience that honestly couldn’t feel further from bad. —Anna Zanes

The Moss

The Moss aren’t only here for a good time. Though their buoyant blend of ’50s surf-pop and ’60s blues rock conjures the feeling of baking in the sun, there’s a deeper sentiment behind their songs. “Blink” is proof, serving as the most stunning cut from their Insomnia EP. The track depicts debilitating heartbreak, the type that keeps you tossing in bed at night. Frontman Tyke James calls it the most vulnerable song he’s ever written, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it holds up live as they trek across the U.S. this fall. —Neville Hardman

The Beaches

With the May release of “Blame Brett,” the Toronto-based rock band The Beaches have made their mark as the rising alt-rock band to watch this year. With surfy guitars and robust vocals, the Canadian four-piece teases the rambunctious energy of their forthcoming sophomore album, Blame My Ex, out Sept. 15. While they have a lot to prove after their last record was dubbed “the best rock album” of the year by Elton John, The Beaches signature flirtatious and humorous energy is expected to dominate the charts. —Alessandra Schade


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