If you grew up in the early ‘00s, then pop-punk was formative in one way or another. Whether you were head-banging to The Used, donning mascara for My Chemical Romance, or going skater style for Avril Lavigne, it was one of the defining genres of the early millennium. Now, it’s having a moment again manifesting in a new generation of artists who have a certain nostalgia for the genre.
Here is a selection of recent songs that are either recalling the genre in its purest form or blending it with others.
Olivia Rodrigo - Good 4 U
Avril Lavigne fans will be relishing the fact that there's a pop/punk song back at the top of the charts. Olivia Rodrigo's whole career has been surprising but few expected her to go this hard on a pop/punk banger. There are definite hints of Paramore's Misery Business in here but mostly it's just a cathartic middle finger towards anyone and anything that crosses her. One of the year's most defining moments so far.
The Veronicas - GODZILLA
The Veronicas were playing punk festivals a few years ago with fans doing death circles to Untouched. Well, now they have a song that's tailor made for that sort of behaviour. GODZILLA is the most brutal song they have ever made and a chance for them to show off their unexpected rock screams. We're here for the rock incarnation of The Veronicas.
Bebe Rexha - Break My Heart Myself (Feat. Travis Barker)
Travis Barker has led one punk revival with his band Blink-182 and now he's leading another, hopping onto tracks with popstars. Break My Heart Myself, the opener of Rexha's new album Better Mistakes, is absolute chaos. It has Rexha unleashing over a thick, furious instrumental and she's in her absolute element. There's plenty more of where this came from on the album too.
girl in red - Seratonin
She's been called Norway's Avril Lavigne so girl in red's position as a pop/punk-revivalist is pretty sorted. Seratonin captures the angst and chaos of pop/punk the best. It's a messy, raucous display that has her singing, "I'm running low on seratonin," over rollicking drums and dirty guitars. Let it all out.
Julia Michaels - All Your Exes
When you sing a lyric like, "I wanna live in a world where all of your exes are dead," you've really got no choice but to go down the pop/punk route. Michaels' single starts over sweet guitar plucks but it decends into chaos during the chorus. In the video, she wields a chainsaw ready to wreak havoc on her partners' exes. It's truly terrifying.
Slayyyter - Over This
Slayyyter's songs are heavy on the '00s nostalgia and for Over This she studies '00s pop/punk for references. It's a little Lavigne, a little 100 gecs and a little Evanescence. The result is a chorus that goes so hard, thrashing and distorting under killer pop melodies.
MARINA - Purge The Poison
MARINA has gone through plenty of different modes - disco, pop, dance. And yet the pop/punk mode is the one that suits her political lyrics the best. Purge The Poison is the modern day We Didn't Start The Fire. She lists off just about everything that's wrong with this planet and its political structures in 3 furious moments. You'll need a glass of water after its done but it's thrilling for its duration.
Beach Bunny - Cloud 9
Beach Bunny have been going off on TikTok, an audience that seems to be increasingly invested in pop/punk. There's a little indie-rock infused in here too, tipping its hat to Best Coast, but that soaring chorus is straight out of the pop/punk playbook. At 80 million streams, it seems there's no denying the influence of the punk revival.
Nessa Barrett - la di die (feat. jxdn)
Nessa Barrett has only been releasing music for a year but she's already amassed a huge following with her dark, pop songs. We know we keep mentioning Avril but la di die sounds like it would be right at home on Under My Skin. It has those dry drums joined by an earworm of a chorus that's somehow both catchy and terrifying.
Carlie Hanson - Gucci Knife (Feat. MASN)
Carlie Hanson has been leading the pop/punk revival since the beginning. She's inspired by dark trap songs and dark, '00s pop songs. Her latest Gucci Knife effortlessly bridges the two with Hanson pouring out her heart over trap beats infused with guitars. It's also one of Hanson's best vocal performances to date.
Maggie Lindemann - Crash & Burn
Maggie Lindemann made a name for herself with the radio-ready Pretty Girl but her latest project is a big departure. She’s gone into full pop-punk mode on her recent EP PARANOIA. Crash & Burn is a furious, rollicking tune that isn’t so much inspired by pop-punk as it is pop-punk. It sounds like it could’ve sat happily on one of Paramore’s early records and it’s a relentless banger, co-written by our very own Alex Lahey.
Machine Gun Kelly - body bag (Feat. Yungblud & Bert McCracken)
Machine Gun Kelly began in the hip-hop world but the pop-punk influences have been creeping in more and more over the years. He sounds at home on his most recent record Tickets To My Downfall which goes firmly into the pop-punk world. On body bag he pulls in a hero of the genre Bert McCracken of The Used alongside newcomer Yungblud for a triumphant, dark moment.
JXDN - Angels & Demons
JXDN is a relatively new name. He only started officially releasing music last year, becoming the first artist signed to Travis Barker’s DTA Records. Unsurprisingly, he’s followed in the footsteps of his mentor, making dark-tinged pop-punk. There’s nothing playful about Angels & Demons. It’s a damning, heavy-hitting cut that has become his first true streaming hit.
The Kid Laroi - Without You
Our very own The Kid Laroi is making huge waves on streaming right now. Without You is arguably his biggest hit to date and it borrows from the pop-punk blueprint. Inspired heavily by late friend Juice WRLD who was inspired by emo, Without You is an emotional, raspy ballad. Who knew Laroi had a vocal performance like this in him?
Bad Bunny - YO VISTO ASI
Bad Bunny’s latest album El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo was his darkest to date, blending reggaeton with a world of rock influences. Yo Visto Asi is the one that displays it most clearly, tripping through a range of genres. Somehow he makes dark trap beats sound coherent alongside rollicking, crashing drums.
Iann dior - Holding On
24k Goldn and iann dior’s Mood has become a huge hit for the pair, placing pop-punk right back at the top of the charts. It’s Dior’s latest Holding On that really leans into the genre though. He’s a genre-bender, bringing together hip-hop, punk and pop effortlessly, giving us rap music that sits somewhere between Juice WRLD and The Kid Laroi. “I would say I’m picking up where Juice WRLD left off,” he told NME.
Pale Waves - Easy
Pale Waves are signed to The 1975’s label Dirty Hit. The band’s first record was dark and distorting but they have leaned even further into pop-punk on their forthcoming effort Who Am I? Easy is lifted from it and it’s a real throwback hit, borrowing from the playbook of artists like Avril Lavigne. They are soundtracking our high school dreams, throwing it back to the early 2000s.
Ashnikko - Deal With It (feat. Kelis)
Ashnikko really can do it all. The genre-slashie is a product of a generation that has access to all the music they could want. That’s how she’s able to sit a Kelis sample on a hip-hop-leaning song that pulls its chorus from the pop-punk chorus. It’s her magnetic charisma that pulls it all together.
MOD SUN - Flames (Feat. Avril Lavigne)
Avril Lavigne was one of the first major popstars to bring pop-punk to the charts so it’s heartening to see her jumping on tracks with more cult artists. MOD SUN runs in the same crowd as Machine Gun Kelly, going all the way back to the Warped Tour/MySpace days and traversing the worlds between hip-hop and pop-punk. With Lavigne by his side though, he concentrates completely on the latter. Flames is a guitar-heavy thriller with howling vocals.
LIL HUDDY - 21st Century Vampire
Lil Huddy made a name for himself as a TikTok-er and the boyfriend of Dixie D’Amelio. His first release 21st Century Vampire comes complete with the sort of pulsating drums and thick guitar that adorns all great pop-punk releases. His voice naturally suits the genre, giving us those slurred, guttural vocals.
Rico Nasty - STFU
Another genre-tripper on the list, Rico Nasty has made a name for herself as one of the hardest rappers out there. Her new album Nightmare Vacation melds post-pop-punk of the 100 gecs fashion with glossy trap beats. STFU is the cut that goes the hardest, getting right in your face and stomping on your toe. “With this new album, I definitely resonate with being a pop-punk princess,” she told NME.
Poppy - I Disagree
If you were to go off this list alone, pop-punk seems to be a product of reinvention. Poppy once made glossy pop tunes with Diplo but on last year’s I Disagree she went into a genre that traverses a line between pop and hardcore. I Disagree comes in with hardcore guitars but settles in a melodic, pop-punk chorus. It’s all pretty thrilling and cinematic.