10 Bands to watch in 2021

If you weren’t able to tell from our most anticipated albums of 2021 post, we’re looking forward to a new year filled with music from our favourite bands. But, we’re not just excited for the established artists, we’re also rooting for emerging bands. With plenty of talent out there, here are but 10 bands to watch this year.

Words: Renette van der Merwe

Static Dress

If you’re an Underoath fan, you’re going to want to keep an eye on Static Dress. Although there isn’t an album on the horizon yet (that we know of anyway), the post-hardcore outfit is constantly releasing new music, posting cryptic snippets and streaming trippy live performance. Clearly a creative force with a ton of talent, and those ace Only Chasing Safety vibes to back it up, Static Dress have to be on your radar this year. Already producing huge (and we mean HUGE) hooks and textured melodies, this band’s future is dazzling.


CAPTIVES are another band flying the flag for the UK and since their inception, they have come a long way. Having amassed millions of plays on Spotify in the past two years, the band’s much anticipated debut is likely to drop this year. Dayseeker fans will sink their teeth right into this band, but don’t expect a copy and paste, because CAPTIVES are putting their own unique spin on post-hardcore by creating atmospheric and emotional songs. We can almost guarantee that you’ll be repping this band hard once you give them a spin (their beautiful merch makes that really easy btw).

Rusted Hearts

There’s about 1567 reasons to love Rusted Hearts and we’re calling it now; they’re ones to watch this year. With the third and final EP completing their trilogy of EP’s early this year, this one will follow on from last year’s Waiting Room. Tethered together by a story of loss and how that morphs into comfort, this trilogy showcases so many different great elements about this band. At times, there’s a real indie emo vibe to it that could remind some of It Look Sad.’s ‘Nagoya’ or someone like Oso Oso,  other times vocal runs are not dissimilar from someone like Cove Reber. Oh damn, we just thought of another reason, guess that’s 1568.

Want to know more about Rusted Hearts? Great, here’s an Introducing feature. 

The Villa

Michael Bohn is no stranger to the spotlight, having fronted both Woe, Is Me and ISSUES in the past. This year, he returned to the microphone under a new guise and The Villa are channeling some intense post-hardcore vibes with just a touch of industrial to create a really brooding sound that’s exciting and intense in equal parts. So technically, there’s no album confirmed yet, but with two incredible tracks out in the sonosphere, we’ve got everything crossed for new music this year. If you’re a fan of his previous projects, you probably want to get into The Villa now.

 You need more? We hear ya! Here’s The Villa’s Introducing feature.


Ah Guardrail. This band is pure joy to listen to and we’re super stoked to see what 2021 has in store for them. Self-proclaimed diet punk, this Chicagoan four-piece combine a good mix of old school punk like The Offspring and New Found Glory with fresh blood and the result’s got us Kevin-Bacon-in-Footloose-ing; we just have to dance. Having released their most recent EP, YIKES, late last year, we’re not sure where they stand on new music this year, but we can only hope, because this band is giving. us. life. 

 Dying to know all there is about Guardrail? Okay, here you go, it’s Guardrail Introducing feature

Fangs Out

We’re back on home turf with Brummies, Fangs Out and if you’re into Every Time I Die, then this might be your new favourite hardcore band. There are Southern riffs for days, think early Memphis May Fire with a few less cowbells and a dose of Comeback Kid and you’d have a pretty great idea of what these guys are about. Having released Curse Words, their four track EP, at the back-end of 2020, we were wishing for more this year and that might be granted. With a couple of social posts pointing to a second EP this year, be sure to follow these guys so you can wrap your ears around it as soon as it drops.

 Oh, you want more? Here’s Fangs Out’s Introducing feature

As Everything Unfolds

Obsessed? We’re not obsessed, you’re obsessed! That’s just us admitting that we’ve been featuring this band quite heavily in the past little while, but we make no apologies because they’re worth it. With a debut album imminent, As Everything Unfolds have been giving us glimpses of what to expect with a volley of incredible singles and if you’re into bands like Dream State and Spiritbox, you might want to check those out. Unbelievable vocals, stupendous instrumentation and good ol’ fashioned angry music; tick, tick and tick. 

 You want to be obsessed too? Okay then, here’s their Introducting feature.

Foreign Bodies

If you’re not head over heels in love with this band yet, you will be soon. Circa Survive/Saosin and Black Foxxes fans will undoubtedly fawn over Brendan Sheargold’s vocals, as you should, but these guys are also masters of creating atmospheric tracks with rich instrumentation, beautiful structures and ample emotion. Socials have pointed to new music this year, so we’re like a dog by the door right now. Whilst we wait though, we’ll continue spreading the gospel, because Foreign Bodies are the complete package. Go check them out.

 Want to know more about Foreign Bodies? Great, here’s an Introducing feature.

If I Die First

Sooooo, something happened last year. Rappers Lil Lotus and Lil Zubin teamed up with a couple of Ghostmane’s band and From First To Last guitarist, Travis Richter to create this screamo throwback project and after hearing ‘Where Needles and Lovers Collide’, we were sold. Hard. Since then they’ve released their debut EP, My Poison Arms, which gave us From First To Last, A Skylit Drive, I Set My Friends On Fire vibes. There’s been no indication of new music this year, but they did come out of nowhere, so we’re hoping the next album will too. In the meantime, familiarise yourself with My Poison Arms.


Another familiar face can be seen in Welsh hardcore band Raiders where Sean Smith (formerly of The Blackout) is still exorcising demons. The band, who have actually been around since 2018 – sneaky buggers, had a pretty impressive year, supporting Funeral For A Friend at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire after releasing one song called ‘wasted away’. A couple more followed shortly after, but we. must. have. more. Reminiscent of Every Time I Die, Beartooth and, well, The Blackout, Raiders are flying the flag for melodic hardcore. Here’s to hoping for more from them in 2021.

You need more? We hear ya! Here’s Raiders’ Introducing feature.

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