Now Hear This: Sophie K on the best new ska, pop-punk and djent

Kerrang! Radio host Sophie K brings you the new bands you need to check out now, including nightlife, We Are The Union and In The Mourning…

Now Hear This: Sophie K on the best new ska, pop-punk and djent
Sophie K

You can’t talk about the past month without talking about Joey Jordison. I’ll never forget the first time I interviewed him. I was trying to play it cool and hide what a big fan I was. I don’t know if he picked up on that and was trying to help me relax or if he was always super chatty, but he made me feel totally calm. He mainly wanted to talk about my [legendary tattooist] Paul Booth tattoos and various horror artists. Not all interviews go that way, some people are just really great at connecting, and he was one. An amazing drummer and a kind soul who will be very missed by so many.

Through all this, I've been finding new bands, and I have a real mix today…


This band seemed to materialise out of nowhere and made an impact already. You may assume it's because they have a powerful team behind them already. Nope, they are unsigned! They fuse a multitude of genres that you might not expect, from djent to pop to soul and funk. But in 2021 if you don’t play with genres how else can you create something new and inspiring? This is like a 2.0 for all the metal R&B bands from a while back, and if you liked Bad Rabbits' Doin It or We Can Roll, then this is for you. nightlife are ready, and I’m excited to see where this goes.

Cold Night For Alligators

Another djenty offering for you now. I really hope that sound is coming back hard. Cold Night For Alligators are able to make a heavy song while combining it with epic choruses, taking you on a journey that feels effortless and nearly poppy at times (in a good way). You can almost hear how suited their songs would be to an acoustic version. The songs are well written and emotive while retaining the level of musical intricacy I expect from that genre. I feel like they are one of those bands that have written beautiful songs that will absolutely destroy you when played live.


I've been meaning to write about this band for ages, and they seem to be going from strength to strength. From Redlands in California, this quartet definitely have a Cali sound, and their latest EP, Not Your Kind, has helped elevate the band to a new level. They are gaining real traction on Twitter and I love seeing how bands have managed to gain new fans and use social media to get even bigger without tours. Their most popular track, Y’know, is full of teenage angst and vintage pop-punk key changes, and I can imagine it being on the soundtrack to the next massive Netflix teen romance. It has catchy hooks and feels like the kind of song you would dance around in your room to. I love the fact it’s such early days for this band, and this is the kind of authenticity you can’t buy.

We Are The Union

I swear on my life I’m not drunk, but I have found a ska band I like?! (Don’t come for me – you won’t change my mind.) We Are The Union have done the impossible and made me actually enjoy a trombone. This band have been going a while, so I am kind of cheating here, but they haven’t had the recognition they deserve and with a return after a hiatus, I feel like now is their time to be seen and truly appreciated. Their album Ordinary Life feels really important – it tackles issues around mental health and gender in such an empowering way, while making you sing and tap along.

In The Mourning

In The Mourning (not to be confused with Swedish death metal band of a similar name) were a random find on Twitter. It's super early days for this trio from LA, so I’m literally going off one track here. However, the reason I felt they deserved a write up is that it's a really strong pop-punk banger. One listen and its stuck in your head, the video gives you all the LA vibes, and their singer Amanda has an amazing voice. Only time will tell if they can keep delivering tunes like this, but it's a great start. This band have come out of the gate fighting for a spot with a strong track, strong video and on-fire aesthetic. Give it a listen because I bet we see them supporting some big names soon.

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?