by Jesse Hudgins and Chloe Kallberg
Alternage is approaching its third birthday, which means we’ve been closely following release schedules of our favorite punk, pop punk, emo, and alternative genres since we began college. Meshed with our own personal wish lists, here are three predictions we have for what’s in store for our genres in 2024.
LS Dunes LP 2
In 2022, supergroup LS Dunes put out their first LP, Past Lives, that, to me, was a sleeper hit that grew on me more and more as I listened. It’s an amazing blend of sounds from each member and the bands that they’ve been a part of. It ended up being, front to back, one of the best releases from the year. The band toured extensively the past two years, having more shows pop up while each member paid attention to their original projects. 2023 wasn’t a down year for the group as they released the demos from Past Lives titled Lost Songs: Lines and Shapes (demo). They also dropped two new singles, “Benadryl Subreddit” and “Old Wounds,” which progressed the band’s sound while continuing what worked on Past Lives.
At Riot Fest 2023, they announced they were going to have a new record out within the next year and Instagram posts from the band’s account have shown that we should be expecting more from them soon. If they continue with the direction of “Old Wounds” and “Benadryl Subreddit,” I think this record is going to be the best record of 2024. If it’s anything like an upgraded Past Lives, then it’ll be a well-constructed, musically emotional masterpiece. It’s my most anticipated record of the year, and I believe it’ll be at the top of the year’s must-listen list.
New releases from SOFT PLAY
After a 4-year hiatus from music, UK group SOFT PLAY returned with their track “Punk’s Dead,” which targeted anti-woke culture, specifically regarding the band changing their name. It was a perfect comeback track, showing that even though the band’s name features the word “soft,” the music will be the opposite of that. Lately, the band has been drawing large crowds to their performances, regardless of venue size. They’ve also been posting updates about a new record to their Instagram with the latest indicating they’re nearly finished. It’s safe to say that we should expect more from the group within the year.
Neck Deep early contender for top album of 2024
UK pop-punk group Neck Deep had an extremely busy 2023, putting out 4 singles for their self-titled album release on January 19. Each single has been an impressive effort, building more anticipation for the release. I think this will be an early contender for album of the year because the singles released so far have been solid. They all build off one another while not out shining each other, keeping the momentum rising in the process. Also, the fanbase, which was slightly divided on the past two releases, have all seemed to agree that this is some of the best Neck Deep has sounded. Many fans praise that it has their old style mixed with their new sound, pleasing all eras of Neck Deep listeners.
New Release from Destroy Boys
Destroy Boys has seized the turbulent decade, with a mélange of releases and tours that excited their fans to exhaustion. October 2021 delivered their first album with Hopeless Records, Open Mouth, Open Heart, and 2022 was largely spent touring internationally with festivals like Slam Dunk and Mind the Gap. 2023 was partially bookended by single and an EP, “Beg for the Torture” and “The Shadow Self,” and an EP with three different takes on a song, “Shadow (I’m Breaking Down).”
In the early days of 2024, the band’s forecast briefs us with Peachy in San Diego on February 17, the third annual Destroyfest on March 16, and a summer US tour with Cavetown and Mother Mother. Their next scheduled appearance is at Harley-Davidson Homecoming in Milwaukee on July 27. Hopefully Alexia, Violet, Narsai, and David find some time for a protein bar and a glass of water within the year. Alternage is thrilled to see this band thriving – they appear in a constant upward momentum, and fans can only hope that part of the impetus includes a couple new tracks.
At least two wildcard releases from Billy Cobb
This musician is insatiable for new sounds and genres to employ for his self-reliant music empire. April of 2023 brought us In My Restless Dreams, a feverish four-track EP with eerie introspection and beautifully grim harmonies. Acedia, which dropped just shy of 2024, is a distant creative cousin, with whipping riffs and a sharp narrative on every track. Who knows what format and schemas Billy Cobb’s creativity will take on this year, but I’m hoping that a full-length album lands in our streaming feeds within the next forty-odd weeks.
We’ve already gotten a scathing disembowelment of The Eagles in 2024 with Billy Cobb’s single “The Eagles are the Reason I Drink,” so maybe one of my predictions has been granted before I could predict it in print. According to Billy on Instagram, a country record is also on the horizon. Do these count as predictions if they’re already in the works?
New Release from Sweetie– and H.O.O.F.
Unstoppable force Sweetie graced the Chicago punk scene in late 2020 with their first full-length release Bad Thing Sweet Thing. The concluding track is a kickass cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking,” and utilized the intense grief France faced after Edith Piaf’s early death in 1963 in the tribute track “La Môme.” Frontwoman Birdy Vee’s festival, Hands Off Our Fest, or H.O.O.F., debuted in September 2023, and the scene is waiting for confirmation that another one is on the way in 2024. Come for the brazen flair, stay for the upright bass parkour.