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Part singer-songwriter, part folk, part experimental doom, part goth is the best way to describe Los Angeles native Chelsea Wolfe. Born to a country musician father, Wolfe has been bending genres since she was a child. Aside from having a musical household to pull reference from, Chelsea experienced sleep paralysis and ultimately sleep studies while young, serving up material for her later albums. Once her first widely released album, The Grime and the Glow, hit the streets in 2010, Wolfe had built a quick underground following as well as positive reviews via Pitchfork and CMJ. Stylistically, she has referenced black metal, Scandinavian folk music, doom, ambient, and experimental as all parts of her creative process. There is a sort of blues to some of her music too which often goes unmentioned, as the musician uses storytelling and layered visual thoughts to create a mood within the music. Her textures and approach to creativity knows very few boundaries and has led to six full-length records all while staying out of the mainstream. Chelsea also collaborates with multiple artists like Converge, Cave In, Neurosis Russian Circles, and more.
Watch: Official album trailer for “Birth of Violence“
Sounds Like: Zola Jesus, Mrs. Piss, Nick Cave
Every Time I Die
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Buffalo-based hardcore mainstays, Every Time I Die, have been cranking away since 1998. Their energetic and intense live shows, mixed with their onslaught of loud guitars and vocals, put them at the forefront of the hardcore and post-hardcore scene since the release of their first full-length album in 2001. Mixing melodic singing and screaming, with dizzying guitar riffs that are both heavy but chordal, the band quickly made a name for themselves, earning a spot on tour with Killswitch Engage in 2001. The band really caught ears with their 2003 release, Hot Damn!, which put them right back on the road with bands like Unearth, Evergreen Terrace, Bleeding Through, and Dillinger Escape Play, as well as multiple stints on the Warped Tour and Ozzfest. Musically, the band has always danced the line between metalcore and hardcore punk, but it’s the slight Southern twang and vocalization that singer Keith Buckley includes that keeps the band standing out from others in the genre. Now with eight studio full-length records out and a ninth on the way, the guys have no intention of slowing down this machine.
Sounds Like: Norma Jean, Cancer Bats, Dillinger Escape Plan
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Hailing from Michigan and dominating the rock charts and playlist alike is Pop Evil. Consisting of vocalist Leigh Kakaty, lead guitarist Nick Fuelling, rhythm guitarist Dave Graphs, Bassist Matt DiRito, and Drummer Hayley Cramer, the group has created an ambitiously unpredictable album, which alludes to the name, Versatile, from moments of cinematic melodies, deep grooves, instead of throwing out the different the band leaned into it finding its own unique voice of power ballads and anthems that aren’t afraid to get heavy and groove. Pop Evil’s success goes beyond the charts and the 600+ Million streams of their songs on major platforms, as they captivate audiences and multiply their diverse group of fans with their storytelling and catchiness tour after tour. Be sure to preorder their new record Versatile out May 21st.
Watch: Official music video for “Breathe Again“
Sounds Like: Through Fire, Red Sun Rising, Nothing More