Midsummer new release radar: music recommendations from punk to indie and rock 

A virtual playlist tour of new music releases for a much-needed head-bang.


Emily Nyberg

Vocalist and guitar player of indie band, Snail Mail, Lindsey Jordan, performs at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City on the second day of the Mission Creek Festival on April 7, 2023.

Zhenya Loughney, Arts Reporter

There’s something funky in the air this summer. Usually, summer is a time for joy and relaxation to take suit. However, my summer 2023 is turning out to be full of angsty vocalists and overridden guitars– I’m not complaining. Bring on the soul-rattling bass. 

New releases from pop punk, alternative rock, and indie folk artists will continue to own my playlists. There have been so many exciting new releases from albums, EPs, and singles from so many new and old artists in June alone. Here is a playlist of new releases that should guarantee a 52-minute midsummer head-bang from my new-release radar.

hey, nothing, a band of two guitarists, Tyler Mabry and Harlow Phillips, from Atlanta, Georgia released their EP “Flora” on June 16; the best track is “Too Drunk to Drive.” With chill indie-folk vibes reminiscent of Backseat Lovers, hey, nothing starts this playlist with beachy guitars that make me want to dance. 

Moving onto more indie-rock vibes, the next three songs are taken from Geese’s new album “3D Country” released on June 23. “I See Myself” is a softer song that nicely transitions from hey, nothing. “Mysterious Love” is the next song; with a tease of the heavier music later in the playlist, this track is fantastic.

Last from Geese is a funkier tune titled “St.Elmo” that nicely transitions to Babe Rainbow’s “Loading Quicksilver with Pitchfork” on their June 23 release “Fresh As A Head Of Lettuce.” This track is a groovy one fit for a modern disco.

Honey Revenge, a pop-rock duo from Los Angeles, California, take the next two slots from their June 23 release “Retrovision.” “Airhead” is a catchy track that sounds like Paramore’s Haley Williams long lost sibling. Devin Papadol’s vocals on the next selection “Are You Impressed?” take me back to my eighth-grade emo phase.

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“Life I’m Living In,” the new single by the Bay Area San Francisco, California band Just Friends, continues the self-loathing from the last selection. Released on June 22, this track has classic guitars and angsty vocals fit for an angry college kid like me. 

Next up are four songs from “Peace Loving People,” Pardoner’s new album which was released on June 23. Also from San Francisco, California, Pardoner is a post-punk/modern-rock group with rippling guitars and pummeling drums that raise my endorphins. The four tracks are “Are You Free Tonight,” “When She’s Next To Me,” “Deadbeat,” and “Cruel Gun.”

“Life Under The Gun,” “Big Disappointment,” “Think Less,” and “Very High” are the next four selections, taken from Militarie Gun’s album, “Life Under The Gun,” released on June 23. This modern punk group is based out of Los Angeles, California, and is reminiscent of early Green Day and Turnstile. 

The final song is “Los Angeles: City of Death” from Swans’ new album, “The Beggar,” also released on June 23. Originating during New York’s new wave scene of 1983, Swans continues to create an eerie, moody folk sound that sends chills down my spine. Similar to the sound of Bauhaus, this track is a beautiful, overwhelming way to conclude June’s midsummer head-banging release radar.