The Sound Of 2024: The new artists redefining alternative music

Alternative music is as exciting as it’s ever been as we prepare to rock into 2024, so here are K!’s pick of the bright lights who’ll be leading the way as we continue to live life loud…

The Sound Of 2024: The new artists redefining alternative music
Sam Law
Derek Bremner, Fabrice Gagos, Liam Maxwell, Zak Pinchin, Leila Rummery, Jay Sanderson

Eating clean? Working out? Cutting back on all that booze? The old classic New Year’s resolutions might take a couple of inches off your waistband or add a few extra points to your PB in the gym, but we’ve got one that’ll actually brighten the dark days of January and properly put a little spring in your step: getting onboard early with the artists about to turbocharge alternative music in 2024.

From skull-crushing heaviness to mind-bending-weirdness and everything in between, every nook, cranny and cutting edge in our world is packed with character and colour right now. As emblematic as the kerraaannnggg of a cranked-up guitar remains, the sounds of spit bars, wobbling synths and jangling experimentalism are just as likely to raise goosebumps – and stoke the genre-busting inclusivity, horizon-chasing ambition and pulse-quickening excitement we’ve grown to treasure.

Within that, there are literally thousands of rising acts out there deserving of your time and attention. But, from ALT BLK ERA to Zeph, we’ve narrowed the list down to 24 of the hardest and hottest that you absolutely need on your radar over the hectic next 12 months...


When Nottingham sisters Nyrobi and Chaya Beckett-Messam set out on their musical journey, they couldn’t seem to find a space where they fit in. Rather than conforming to any existing template, however, the dynamic duo deftly carved out their own. Blending disparate influences – The Prodigy, Rico Nasty, Billie Eilish – into a blisteringly coherent whole, their aptly-titled debut EP Freak Show made waves when it dropped back in September. They’ve already been rewarded with a well-deserved MOBO nomination. But, as anyone who’s been pulled into their punky, politicised orbit will tell you, life in the ALT BLK ERA is still just getting started.

As December Falls

As December Falls make sounds for the height of summer, but it seems there are bright days ahead all year round for our second set of outspoken Nottingham natives. They’ve been around since 2014, but only in the last 12 months have Bethany Curtis and co. really come of age, and they’ve done it all on their terms. They’ve never had a record label and all advances by industry reps have been rebuffed if requiring any kind of compromise. And, with resounding praise for both their irresistible third album Join The Club and their show-stealing set at Download 2023, the persistence is paying off. With a sound like classic Paramore or We Are The In Crowd, but perhaps even more effervescent attitude, it feels like there really is no limits on how far these homegrown heroes could go.

Coffin Mulch

All kinds of horrible sounds are brewing north of the wall right now. From BrainBath and Rancid Cadaver to Hellripper and Tyrannus, Scottish extremity is riding an all-time high. No band is better positioned in the skull-caving current wave than Glaswegian death metallers Coffin Mulch, mind. With June’s stomach-lurching debut LP Spectral Intercession, their reputation for gore-strewn, no-nonsense brutality reached another level, proving they’ve got what it takes to bludgeon it out with anyone from the UK’s own Celestial Sanctuary to U.S. titans like Gatecreeper and Blood Incantation.


The Scottish scene isn’t all about brawny brutality. Witchy Glasgow collective Cwfen (Welsh for ‘coven’) have emerged from the darkest depths of the Caledonian underground with a beguiling blend of doom metal and gothic post-punk for those who like to live deliciously. They’ve only released a handful of singles so far (fall into the pulsating Embers and the trippy sensuality of Bodies Keep Score) but the dark magic there is already undeniable. And with every passing live show, it seems, they’re proving to be even more eerily enchanting in the flesh.

Dead Pony

Glasgow isn’t just about cult heroes, of course. Possessed of the same songwriting savvy as forbears like VUKOVI and Twin Atlantic, and worshipping genre giants Queens Of The Stone Age and The Prodigy, earworm-wielding quartet Dead Pony represent the city’s mainstream-bothering future. Debut LP IGNORE THIS, due on April 5, is titled in defiance of the years of broken promises and industry apathy they’ve endured to this point. But recent singles MK Nothing and About Love have already proven that, from here on out, you’ll have a hard time looking the other way.

Delilah Bon

Lauren Tate has been making music in various forms since she was 12 years old. From posting inspired covers to YouTube to fronting perennially-underrated UK punks Hands Off Gretel, her talent has always been obvious to those willing to give her the time of day. Now under the solo moniker Delilah Bon, she’s commanding the attention she’s always deserved on her own terms. The self-styled ‘brat-punk’ fuses elements of everything from punk and rap to nu-metal and pop, but even more striking than her shapeshifting sound is the community of women, trans and non-binary people who’ve gravitated to her cause.


Frozemode might’ve been formed over a drunken late-night phone call in the depths of lockdown, but their high-octane sound bears none of the stasis of those lost few years. Rather, the rap-punk trio – I.V.GATLIN, Cho-Hollo, and Lisong – pride themselves on attitude drenched alt.hip-hop and switchblade-sharp storytelling rooted in the beauty and brutality of real life. Combining jagged guitars and venomously spit bars could feel old-hat at this point, but it was the incorporation of the socially-conscious urgency of London’s grime scene that made debut LP DEMODE so essential.

Gen And The Degenerates

There’s something special about Gen And The Degenerates. Part snotty punk provocation, part art-rock outrageousness, part twisted sensuality, it’s hard to pin down exactly what makes the collective click quite so convincingly, but once you’ve been exposed to their singular chaos you won’t forget it in a hurry. The magnetic swagger of crew-cut vocalist Gen is key. ‘I am an apex predator,’ she insists on trademark single Girl God Gun. ‘I am a crying child / I'm an uncomfortable temperature / In a supermarket aisle / I am the colour red / I am bruised knees / I am the smеll of sweat / And never wanting to lеave…’ Long story short, she’s absolutely fucking brilliant.

Grove Street

Grove Street burst onto the scene as videogame-loving youngsters way back in 2017 (their band name is taken from a hazardous locale in 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas), but last year’s The Path To Righteousness LP proved the UK crossover crew absolutely aren’t playing around. Not that they’ve gone all macho or anything. “We don’t work out, we don’t go to the gym, and we’re not into UFC,” guitarist Chris ‘Sandy’ Sanderson told K! back in September. “The hardcore scene is saturated with bands trying to look tough. But that’s not us.” Rather, they’re exponents of wiry, dynamic chaos that’s got more in common with outsider icons like Suicidal Tendencies or Biohazard.


Halflives were about to blow up this time four years ago. But then, well, 2020 happened. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, however, Italian-born bandleader Linda Battilani – currently the only permanent member – has carried on the indomitable attitude and earworm pop-punk of their ‘Resilience era’, building the project into one of the finest in European alternative. Last June’s Inferno EP was proof the fire’s burning brighter than ever right now, and she's undoubtedly going to more than make up for lost time on the UK dates scheduled for late-February/early-March.

Holy Wars

Thrash fanatics hold your horses. Holy Wars have nothing to do with Megadeth’s genre-defining 1990 classic. Everyone else should get onboard, though. Connecticut-born Kat Leon and Las Vegas native Nick Perez met at The City Of Angels’ Musicians Institute and have been developing a cutting-edge sound that blurs punk, pop and hip-hop ever since. Don’t be deceived by the high-sheen presentation, though. These songs of death and rebirth originated from a painful grieving process, and there’s deep darkness to fall into beneath the polished surface.


We could probably fill this list with artists who originated on TikTok, but few have crossed over into the ‘real’ music industry quite as convincingly as Canadian singer-songwriter LØLØ. Song titles like debbie downer, u turn me on (but u give me depression) and hot girls in hell probably tell you what you need to know of her wry, wistful songwriting style, with each new release building into a sassy, beguiling bigger picture. Latest single snow in berlin hints at greater maturity and loftier ambitions – only a fool would bet against LØLØ becoming a high-achiever.


Fancy some joyously queer chaos? Well, look no further. The first time most of us heard of Lynks, the electro-punk rulebreaker was smashing through on Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ rowdy 2021 single Go Get A Tattoo. Over the last couple of years, though, he’s really into his own with singles USE IT OR LOSE IT and (WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM) SEX WITH A STRANGER showcasing an invigorating mix of euphoric overstimulation and bleak reality. Don’t hesitate to hook up!

Mouth Culture

Mouth Culture aren’t half as chewy as their oddball name would suggest. Instead, the Leicester collective – charismatic frontman Jack Voss leading the charge – hammer elements of alt.rock, grunge and indie into a surging brand of pop-rock that could take them to superstardom. 2023’s Mishaps Of My Mid Twenties EP delivered a reckoning on the ups and downs of early adulthood, but as anyone who caught their recent dates with Teenage Wrist or While She Sleeps will be able to tell you, Mouth Culture’s best years are still well ahead.

Pest Control

Pest Control were absolutely everywhere in 2023. From Bloodstock to Outbreak to pretty much every one of the UK’s finest underground metal venues alongside heroes like Obituary and Municipal Waste, the Leeds crossover collective seemed hellbent on winning over new fans one crowdsurf or stagedive at a time. With February’s first-ever UK headline run and feverishly anticipated Download Festival slot already booked, we can expect 2024 to see them Buggin’ Out even harder than before. And remember: DON’T TEST THE PEST!


There’s a lot going on in the music of safesp8ce. Born and raised in Walthamstow, the East London singer-songwriter grew up marinating not just in the sound and attitude of emo, but also those of jungle and reggae, garage and gospel. Even more impressive than the dreamy, shapeshifting sound borne from those myriad influences is her evocative brand of storytelling, with songs like THEY ALL DIE IN THE END and quiet, i can’t think digging deep into ideas as complex and confronting as the cruel inevitability of human mortality and the daily struggles of living with neurodivergence.


Dublin-born alternative sensation SPIDER can pretty much do it all. Writing, producing and playing every instrument, her synth-streaked, attitude-loaded punk feels like the distillation of of a strident personality. Promising an exploration of “questions I was asking myself about objectification, desire and intimacy as an ex-Catholic school student who grew up in a very religious household”, upcoming EP an object of desire should find her plumbing a deeper, richer vein than ever before.

Spiritual Cramp

There’s an irresistible tide of exciting new punk bands spilling out of California right now. Scowl. Drain. ZULU. Militarie Gun. Spiritual Cramp have less hardcore bite than many of those contemporaries, but with creative director and driving force Michael Bingham at the helm, they more than match up in terms of energy and a sense of purpose. With their self-titled debut making waves late last year and some exciting gigs in the diary for 2024, this cramp won’t be going away.

Shooting Daggers

The striking 2022 debut EP from Shooting Daggers was titled Athames, after a type of blade used by witches in occult rituals. It’s as good a metaphor as any for the brand of visceral sound churned out by the London feminist/queercore trio. All riot grrrl attitude and outraged energy, songs like Manic Pixie Dream Girl and You Can’t Kill Us could strip flesh from bone. With new album Love & Rage due on February 16, expect them to somehow burn hotter and cut even deeper in 2024.


SNAYX already had a pretty brilliant 2023: full-time drummer Lainey Loops was recruited, a handful of banging singles were released, and a first-ever UK headline run and summer full of festivals copper-fastened their fiery live rep. The Brighton punks aren’t even thinking about slowing down, of course. With next single Sink Or Swim scheduled for January 4, and the full Better Days EP due on February 9, expect them to slither and smash their way to cacophonous new heights.

Tiger Really?

Tiger Really? aren’t much like other bands. With a name that started as a dumbass pun on the name of a tiger lily, and lyrics that play out like the life journal of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lian Shao, the Vancouver collective’s jazzy emo feels like an unpretentious breath of fresh air. 2023 singles Sadako, Dead Ringer and Dry Heave proved that, despite a fabulously IDGAF online persona, they’re steadily tightening things up. Here’s to, eh, really big things.


When Kerrang! curated the Music Venue Trust’s United By Music tour last September, there was no better choice to support the mighty Conjurer than rising noisemongers unpeople. Formed from the remnants of criminally underrated Brit-rockers Press To MECO – guitarist/vocalists Jake Crawford and Luke Caley joining bassist Meg Mash and drummer Richard Rayner – they seethe with the urgency of artists fighting for the purpose to keep going, and sound far more akin to the alt.metal of modern Code Orange than you’d think. Our kind of (un)people.

Urban Heat

With genre boundaries continuing to topple, it’s ever more difficult to stand out from the crowd. Kudos, then, to Austin post-punks Urban Heat, whose blend of body-thumping beats, shadowy synths and gritty social realism feel different to almost anything else out there right now. Sure, the TikTok explosion of swaggering single Have You Ever? accelerated their spread from the uber-trendy clubs of Texas’ tech capital through the American goth underground, but it’s mainman Jonathan Horstmann’s pursuit of purpose and positivity through the darkness – they’ve openly discussed struggles with drugs and alcohol – that sees Urban Heat connect on a truly human level.


From childhood indoctrination in the work of Mozart and a love of movie soundtracks by the likes of Hans Zimmer and John Powell, to a fascination with self-production via GarageBand, Zephani Jong’s journey to making music of her own has been long and winding. With last June’s debut LP Character Development, though, the Maryland-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter proved she’s far more than just the sum of her influences. A swirl of contemporary alt.pop and ’90s alt.rock worship delivered with sharp wit, bratty attitude and the vibrancy of vintage anime, recent singles you don’t like me like that and like everyone else should come with a warning that once they’re in your head they’ll take weeks to get out. Zublime.

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