The 2010s saw us go through a period of poptismism, putting shiny pop music on a pedestal and finally paying it its dues. It was a hard turn from the MySpace days of the 2000s which birthed the alternative, bedroom popstar. Now, however, we seem to be ready to change tact again. We've already seen TikTok turn Mitski into an unlikely megastar and it looks like it's going to be the start of an alt-pop revolution. There's a wave of excellent, fuzzy alt pop/rock out at the moment so it's time to tap back into your indie era and delve into the songs below.
Hatchie - Lights On
Hatchie is one of the best Australian pop writers right now. Her debut album Keepsake was excellent but she's raising the stakes with her sophomore Giving The World Away. The latest taste is a slice of shoegaze pop perfection, dipping back into the '90s and bringing back a haze of perfect melodies and crystal clear vocals.
Camp Cope - Jealous
Camp Cope are back after a long wait with their third album Running With The Hurricane. They're right back in their lane, serving piercing pop melodies alongside raw instrumentals. "I'm so jealous," singer Georgia Maq howls in the chorus, bringing an impressive vocal power that almost catches you off guard.
Beabadoobee - Talk
Beabadoobee has been looking to '90s bedroom pop for inspiration for a minute but there's something particularly special about her most recent single Talk. Taken from her forthcoming album Beatopia, it's a scuzzy anthem about going out on a Tuesday - housing all the chaos and glory that comes with it. It's the sort of song that you want to break your heart and make you dance at the same time and that's a glorious feeling.
Soccer Mommy - Shotgun
Soccer Mommy is the queen of bedroom pop but with each release, she peels back another layer. Shotgun presents as being pretty straightforward but with every listen you uncover another layer - an extra sweetness to the chorus or a rollicking drum. It's a masterstroke made in collaboration with producer Oneohtrix Point Never (The Weeknd, Charli XCX) who doesn't really have a name for bedroom pop but will now.
Wallows - Marvelous
Since the beginning, Wallows have managed to offer up pristine songwriting atop production that feels raw and intimate. Their new album Tell Me That It's Over ups the anti with their catchiest music yet and Marvelous is testament to that. It's a riot. A rollicking, vintage pop song that sounds like youth.
Rachel Chinouriri - All I Ever Asked
Rachel Chinouriri could master any genre but she sounds particularly good over a guitar and a stomping drum. All I Ever Asked shimmers with a chorus that's as luscious as they come. Chinouriri is the sort of songwriter that takes her time and it pays off as All I Ever Asked blossoms into something spectacular.
Ethel Cain - Gibson Girl
Ethel Cain is one of the darkest songwriters around right now, managing to create an intensity in her music that's unnerving. She captures the spirit of The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey, but there's a rock soul here. Her voice warbles in a cloud of auto-tune on Gibson Girl but the beat stays rocksteady. It's a potent combination.
Wet Leg - Angelica
Wet Leg may be one of the most hyped bands on earth now and for good reason. The indie-rock/pop duo have a way of story-telling that's both uncomfortable and joyous. Their melodies and forthright and confronting, powering through fuzzy instrumentals. Angelica is a ball from start to finish.
Mallrat - Teeth
You get the feeling that Mallrat could write the biggest song on earth but she's attracted instead to something wonkier. Teeth is that. It has a tantalising pop melody but it plods along over a haunting, dry guitar that distorts as it gets deeper into the song. It sounds both DIY and masterful at the same time, pulling us in and then twisting our insides.
Nilifur Yanya - Midnight Sun
Nilifür Yanya has made one of the best albums of the year in PAINLESS and Midnight Sun feels like the heart of it. It's both patient and restless with her voice a steady guide through a choppy, swelling instrumental. Amidst the chaos, it rises with beautiful elevation into a finale that's triumphant.
midwxst - car seats
midwxst technically sits in the hyperpop lane but it darts through so many genres it's hard to characterise him. car seats is hip-hop and then it's indie-rock and then it's pop. Whatever it is, it's exciting and unhinged with a chorus that leaps with life. It's only been out a week and somehow it already sounds like a classic.
Troye Sivan & Jay Som - Trouble
Troye Sivan used to be one of the cleanest pop stars around but recently he's found his stride in something for lo-fi. Trouble may be the most alternative song he's ever made teaming up with Jay Som for a reckless cut that sounds like teenage nostalgia.