For over 10 years, the 100 Bands You Need To Know issue marked one of the biggest issues of the year. Year after year, it highlighted the biggest and most promising bands in the scene. Showcasing artists such as the Summer Set, the Rocket Summer, Mikey Way’s Electric Century and more, a lot of time went into its creation. The 100 Bands issue, released just in time for Vans Warped Tour, was essentially the greatest playlist you could ask for.
What will be remembered as one of the most difficult years in recent history, 2020 saw the music industry and all of its artists unable to connect with their audiences through concerts. From canceled tours and festivals to postponed albums, the industry went digital, but it lost the personal connection we were all accustomed to.
After a year without concerts and the feeling of being stuffed into a small room with a bunch of sweaty strangers, going into 2021, we asked ourselves, “What do we all need right now?” The answer was undoubted—music. Rebranded as 100 Artists You Need To Know, issue 391 is dedicated to the best of the best in music. For each of the four cover artists, the Alternative Press staff pushed to represent all angles of what it means to be alternative.
With their third album, Beauty In Death, set for release in March, Chase Atlantic have been working to dominate the intersection between alternative, pop and R&B since their debut in 2017. Demonstrated on their 2019 release and promised on their upcoming album, the trio have found their corner of the alternative genre and have marked it with their names.
While many artists made the decision to postpone albums in 2020, Rina Sawayama boldly released her debut album, Sawayama. Twisting together dark pop, R&B and nü metal, Sawayama leads a genre market all her own and continues to push that through her imagery.
The key to putting together the 100 Artists issue this year was to not chain ourselves to the constraints of alternative. Ranging from metalcore and alt-indie to pop punk and pop, the 100 Artists issue highlights every corner of alternative. Regardless of what your favorite genre is, the 100 Artists issue has something for every listener and music lover.
Here’s to a year filled with the best of the best that music has to offer.