The further we get into our scene “phases,” the more we understand the concept of “love and loss” as it pertains to music. Over the years, we’ve lost a number of our favorite bands to breakups and significant genre changes. Fortunately, though, there are still a number who have stayed active and alternative.
While it’s easy to point to radio favorites such as All Time Low and blink-182, they’re not necessarily representative of the broader scene. More often, our favorite artists carry on with their passion and direction without topping charts—and still kill it.
Here are 10 alternative bands that you probably loved a decade ago and will definitely love now.
Anarbor hit the scene running in 2009 with their debut EP, Free Your Mind. Fortunately for everybody who vibed with “You And I,” they haven’t slowed down since. And now that they’re releasing their music independently, it’s as experimental and fun as ever. The band put out a series of great tunes, “Find A Way,” “Tangerine” and “Tasty,” just last year.
The Dangerous Summer
If your familiarity with the Dangerous Summer is confined to their 2000s discography, then you’re missing out on some valuable playlist additions. Though the band broke up for a period in 2014, they’ve been on fire since their reunion three years later. They dropped a handful of releases in 2020 ahead of their six-track EP, All That Is Left Of The Blue Sky. This is their first iteration fully independent of Hopeless Records since their signing in 2007.
The Get Up Kids
The Get Up Kids were a notable staple of the pop-punk scene throughout the ’90s and 2000s. Unfortunately, their more recent releases haven’t garnered nearly as much attention as they deserve. Their latest album, Problems, is markedly demonstrative of their sonic progression and maturation. Boasting a distinctly modern and polished sound, it’s one of those albums that feels nothing but smooth all the way through.
Never Shout Never
We all know Never Shout Never for bringing sunshine into the scene. Don’t think that Christofer Drew and the band peaked with “Trouble,” though. They’ve compiled a highly diverse and interesting discography since dropping their breakout series of EPs in 2009. Coming down from their notably pop-leaning album Black Cat, Drew dropped a new record, Unborn Spark, in 2020 that showcases seriously somber substance. The folk-laced, acoustic tracks are a must-listen for any emo adult.
The story of Adalia may be wrapped, but that doesn’t mean that Madina Lake have nothing more to give us. The band reunited in 2020 to drop new music for the first time since World War III. Listening to the six-track EP, The Beginning Of New Endings, though, you wouldn’t know that they’d ever skipped a beat.
The Spill Canvas
OK, we all love “All Over You” and “All Hail The Heartbreaker.” That said, don’t let two tracks overshadow everything the Spill Canvas have done post-2007. Despite a considerable hiatus in the 2010s, the band have come back swinging. Their new single “Firestorm” is an emo anthem that could easily hold its own against their entire 2000s catalog.
Marianas Trench have been putting the pop in pop punk ever since 2006’s Fix Me. And they’re only getting better at it. The band dropped their most recent full-length, Phantoms, in 2019, and it’s nothing if not a modern masterpiece. It’s no wonder Silverstein‘s Shane Told identified them as one of the bands keeping the scene alive.
Hot Chelle Rae
Can you think of a better time than when you could turn on the radio and hear “Tonight Tonight“? Fortunately, while we miss the mainstream alternative wave considerably, we’re not left missing Hot Chelle Rae. The band had a pretty active 2020, dropping a five-track EP as well as two singles. If you want a good taste of their modern pop sound, be sure to check out “Come My Way.”
The Fall Of Troy
Unlike a number of post-hardcore bands, the Fall Of Troy have maintained quite the grip on their roots. Their 2020 album, Mukiltearth, is a showcase of 2000s screamo nostalgia. And yet, it still feels right at home in the modern alternative scene. It’s an incredible feat, especially considering that it was the band’s first release since 2016. You can read their breakdown of the tracks here.
Meg & Dia
It’s pretty disappointing that Meg & Dia aren’t more widely regarded as icons of the scene. “Monster” alone is enough to sell us on their legacy. While the duo’s split in 2012 was a hard hit, they’ve more than made up for it since their 2019 reunion. Their return album, happysad, shows off their signature indie-leaning, pop-rock sound in a modern way that we didn’t know we needed.
Which bands have you maintained a love for over the years? Let us know in the comments!