The end of a decade: The Most Important Bands of the Next Decade

By Punktastic

Looking back is lovely. Fond (and sometimes not so fond) memories, the music that shaped who we are right now, those special gigs we’ll remember forever and constantly relive in our minds – but what’s just as important, especially in the ever changing world of music we love, is looking forward.

These are the bands who’ve made their start in this decade, but are set to take the 2020s for their own – the ones to watch, the ones to listen to, the ones to love. Mark our words, these are names set to become wonderfully familiar over the next ten years for a whole wealth of reasons across myriad genres, and come 2030 they’ll be making appearances on all our (and your) ‘Best Of’ lists. We present to you the most important bands of the next decade.

Don’t forget to check out our Bands Of The Decade and Albums Of The Decade articles.

Contributors: Liam Knowles [LK], Renette Van Der Merwe [RVDM], Dave Stewart [DS], Tom Walsh [TW], Gem Rogers [GR], Yasmin Brown [YB], Fiachra Johnston [FJ], Andy Joice [AJ], Greg Hyde [GH], Romy Gregory [RG]


UK sludge-metal outfit Conjurer may have only released their excellent debut album ‘Mire’ in 2018, but already they’re being compared to genre giants like Mastodon and Gojira, and are expected by many to rise to the same level as those bands in due course. The UK heavy music scene is very healthy at the minute, with bands like Ithaca, Employed To Serve, Palm Reader, and Black Peaks all producing stellar albums, but Conjurer feel like THE band to have taken the scene by the horns and ridden it into battle. In their relatively short career they’ve played pretty much all the major metal festivals, supported huge bands both in the UK and overseas including two successful American tours, and recently completed a seven-date UK headline tour, of which six shows were completely sold out. This is a band that grafts as hard as they can, and they’re also clearly a band who recognise that the modern audience is not one who sticks to one genre; young people in particular are more musically open minded, and more willing to give time to bands who experiment with their influences and unapologetically. They’re also a band who don’t take themselves too seriously, as is obvious from their social media presence and the Carly Rae Jepsen-themed merch they did last year, and this is very welcome in a genre that can at times feel quite stuffy and humourless. Calling Conjurer ‘the future of metal’ feels like hyperbole, but also doesn’t feel wrong – if they carry on this trajectory there’s no telling what heights they might reach. [LK]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Choke, Retch, Thankless

Fever 333

Ok, so Fever 333 are already huge, right? Made up of Jason Aalon Butler (letlive), Stephen Harrison (The Chariot) and Aric Improta (Night Verses), they already have an enormous following, hugely renowned for the ferocity and chaotic nature of their live shows. Their mark has been well and truly made. BUT. They only have an EP and an album under their belts so far. This is just the beginning. There’s a buzz that surrounds everything that they do, contagiously spreading through everyone it touches and continuously growing in potency. The upcoming decade is sure to see them take their already devastating formula and tweak it further into something even greater. If you aren’t already in possession of a ticket to the hype train, now’s the time to snag one. There’s a fever coming. [DS]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Burn It, Prey For Me, The Innocent


DIY to their core and fiercely independent, Lakes emerged with a stunningly assured debut with the gorgeous ‘The Constance LP’ in August this year. Lakes are perhaps one of the greener bands to grace this list, but with the sheer talent that oozes from ‘The Constance LP’ and their two EPs ‘The Tahoe EP’ and ‘The Geneva EP’, it’s hard to look past their potential as future frontrunners of the UK emo scene. With nods to midwestern emo giants in American Football and Braid, Lakes create a truly unique take on the genre with their trademark “glock rock”; interlacing shimmering glockenspiels, beautiful harmonies and pop sensibilities in everything they do. Lakes are only just introducing themselves to us, but no doubt we’ll be hearing plenty from them in the decade to come. [RG]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Geneva, Tahoe, Como


Not since My Chemical Romance has a punk band captured the imagination quite like Creeper. Emo for the Snapchat generation, they have created a masterful cult that has brought lost souls together under the banner of the Callous Heart. Their initial series of EPs demonstrated an affection for full throttle punk, melodic hooks, and the crooning vocals of Will Gould, and culminated in the knock-out debut record ‘Eternity, In Your Arms’. What sets Creeper apart from their contemporaries is innovative motifs and a willingness to constantly challenge the genre. The campaign around the disappearance of James Scythe, the 1967 Southampton World Fair, and their Theatre of Fear shows highlight a band thinking outside the box. Having recently returned with a new look – featuring Gould resembling a millennial Robert Smith – and a follow-up record in the works, their army of fans will carry them to yet more success. The beauty of Creeper is that they could go on to assume My Chem’s crown, or decide to disappear completely. Each step is one to be watched with intrigue. [TW]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Hiding With Boys, Misery, Black Mass, Black Rain

The Murder Capital

It’s such an exciting time to be a musician in Dublin. Despite the myriad venue issues and slow gentrification of the city, it’s a blossoming location for aspiring and small time bands to explode onto the scene. The modern age of Punk thrives here, both celebrating and rebelling against the Fair City it grows up in, and The Murder Capital are the poster boys for this movement. Making a name touring with other celebrated punk groups of the last few years such as Slaves and Fontaines D.C, The Murder Capital are still relatively new, but have already made waves with their debut LP ‘When I Have Fears’, a cynic’s nostalgia trip that hammered home generational plights in shades of brown and grey. They’ve only just begun, yet with the recent success of multiple Irish bands on a global scale in recent years, it’s easy not just to claim they are one to watch in the next few years, but also to wish the best for them. [FJ]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: More Is Less, Green and Blue, Don’t Cling To Life

Gender Roles
Gender Roles

It’s difficult to understate the rise of Gender Roles in their practically infantile lifespan. Formed in 2017, they’ve released just two EPs and dropped debut album ‘Prang’ in 2019. In that short time, they’ve cultivated a frenzied following, thanks in part to their frantic live shows, stupidly good songs, and being understatedly wholesome, all while creating grunge pop that feels unique yet nostalgic. Having supported the likes of PUP, Boston Manor, and Touche Amore, they’re destined for bigger things. And despite this cataclysmic rise, they still remain humble and grateful, throwing thanks to both Brighton’s DIY scene as well as all those who’ve championed them – from their individual fans, to notable DJs like Annie Mac, Steve Lamacq, and Daniel P Carter. If 2019 is anything to go on, Gender Roles will be making huge steps forward in the next decade, creating new fans through their effervescent personalities and hypnotic music. [AJ]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: You Look Like Death, Teeth, Bubble, About Her

Dream State

Wales has a pretty solid track record of providing some of our favourite bands – The Blackout, Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Skindred… It’s a pretty major reputation to live up to, but the last two years have seen the exceptionally well deserved and astronomical rise of a young band from Swansea who could easily surpass all those who’ve come before. Each release from these four so far has shown a leap in maturity and sound, and none more so than their recently released debut ‘Primrose Path’; this is a band with breathtaking passion and strength, and watching their crowds grow with them over the last few years has been a true pleasure (not least because it means we’re at a Dream State live show, and that is always a good place to be). The 2020s are Dream State’s for the taking, and boy are we looking forward to seeing them do it. [GR]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Twenty Letters, Hand In Hand, White Lies


2019 felt like a significant step towards smashing the stigma surrounding mental illness, and although we’ve still got a way to go in creating a society where everyone feels safe talking about it, it’s still a victory. The role music has played in this is undeniable, and a band like Movements is especially vital in the coming decade. What started as a post-hardcore outfit on their debut album morphed and really clicked into place as an emo-revival band on their notable 2017 release, ‘Feel Something’, depicting vocalist Patrick Miranda’s experience with anxiety, depression and OCD in a relatable, understandable and beautiful way. The lyricism is incredible and honest, the instrumentation clear and swelling, and Miranda’s range is impressive, but their trump card lies in how it all comes together effectively. [RVDM]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Protection (Demo), Worst Wishes, Colourblind, Suffer Through

Chapter and Verse
Chapter And Verse

A band need to be pretty damn special to earn the accolade of being one of Punktastic’s most important bands of the next decade before even releasing an album – but if anyone has shown themselves to be more than deserving of such a title, it’s Chapter And Verse. Forming a community around the band – known as ‘The New Breed’, after their early track of the same name – Chapter And Verse have a unique and captivating energy that, once seen and heard, cannot easily be forgotten. 2019’s immaculate ‘Glow’ EP has been followed up with two singles that comfortably prove this five piece have plenty more to offer; coupled with some of the best live performances you’re likely to see in any decade, this is a band ready to surpass any and all expectations over the next ten years. The best time for newcomers to start listening? Yesterday. The second best time? Right. Now. [GR]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: The Casket, Bad Blood, The New Breed

Selfish Things

Selfish Things are a band with their heart on their sleeve. Originally started by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Alex Biro in 2015, it went from a solo project to a four-piece band a year later and they’ve since toured with the likes of Simple Plan, Boston Manor, and numerous others, whilst also putting in an acoustic performance at last year’s Slam Dunk festival. But all of those achievements are easily overshadowed by their phenomenal debut album. Released back in September, ‘Logos’ touches on everything from relationships to self love, humanity’s frailty, but also its arrogance, and it’s all presented with such sincerity that it’s like reading a page out of Biro’s journal. Alt-rock at its core, it dips into pop punk and piano-led love songs, but all delivered in Biro’s beautiful voice. There’s a million-and-one reasons why this band is and will be exciting in the upcoming decade, but we think you should discover them for yourself. [RVDM]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Spooky Action at a Distance, Hangman, Rowen, Synaptic

Boston Manor
Boston Manor

Two albums in and Boston Manor are already making waves. They’re not holding back on saying exactly what they think and, as a result of this fearlessness, have become one of the most relatable and authentic bands on the scene right now. Selling out shows both across Europe and the US, it’s easy to see that Boston Manor are building an almost cult-like following – a result of their incomparable live shows and hard hitting music – setting them up perfectly to take their influence even further over the next decade. [YB]

NOTABLE TRACKS: Laika, Halo, The Day I Ruined Your Life, Lead Feet, England’s Dreaming

Can’t Swim

New Jersey natives Can’t Swim have truly made the UK a home away from home this past year, amassing a dedicated, ever-growing fanbase anticipating their every move (even if they’re in the dark – extra points if you get the reference). When they released their five-track EP ‘Foreign Language’ back in October, one thing was abundantly clear – they’d changed direction. Angier and more urgent, they were tackling injustice instead of lamenting over lost love – not that we don’t love the latter, but the new material felt bigger than anything that came before, like it could become a movement. Now, at the dawn of a new decade, it’s anyone’s guess what’s next, but we’re sure excited to find out. [RVDM]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Your Clothes, Stranger, What Have We Done?, Filthy Rich

Holding Absence
Holding Absence

One incredible Welsh band releasing their debut album in 2019 is a blessing enough – with two, we’ve been thoroughly spoiled. After a selection of incredibly well received tracks and 2018 split EP ‘This Is As One’, hopes and expectations for Holding Absence’s debut full length were high, but we never could’ve dreamed just how good it would turn out to be when it reached our ears in March this year. With immersive and expansive soundscapes melding into their intricate, heartfelt lyrics, even the most painful of emotive moments are draped in beauty (‘Wilt’, ‘You Are Everything’) before delving into irresistibly uplifting earworms (‘Like A Shadow’, ‘Monochrome’). On top of all this, we’ve already lost count of the times we’ve been floored by their staggering live show – there are few who can maintain such a deep connection with their fans and audiences whilst delivering such utterly note-perfect, moving performances. If you haven’t fallen in love with Holding Absence yet, it’s only a matter of time. [GR]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Your Love (Has Ruined My Life), Monochrome, Wilt, Saint Cecilia

Spanish Love Songs

If you’re into achingly self reflective pop punk and you haven’t listened to Spanish Love Songs, stop what you’re doing and check them out immediately. They’re they sort of band that make you feel anxious, neurotic, and somehow, totally embraced. Relatable to the point of mimicry, vocalist Dylan Slocum holds a cracked mirror to us, showing our wounds, our scars, our faults, and a path to acceptance. If it’s not songs about being brokenhearted, the state of society or how shit you feel, it’s stories from Slocum’s life. After the release of sophomore album ‘Schmaltz’, they’ve been touring heavily throughout the US and Europe and, almost without exception, every venue they’ve played to has erupted into singsong choruses harmonising Slocum’s strong voice. It’s feel good sad songs and we utterly dig it. [AJ]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Buffalo Buffalo, Sequels Remakes & Adaptions, Joana In Five Acts, The Boy Considers His Haircut


There’s a cult following that surrounds Loathe that, if it continues to grow at it’s current rate, will soon be too big to call a cult following. Their unique, raw, melodic and cataclysmic sound has taken metalcore by the throat, and their grip on it is tightening with every single release. Their live show is just as furious, enhanced by a flurry of unnerving projected imagery and drenching themselves in moody red lighting as they skulk across the stage. With songs like the Deftones-influenced ‘White Hot’, the pounding ‘It’s Yours’, the intense ‘Dance On My Skin’ and the face-scrunching riff-fest ‘Servant And Master’, they’re continually adding powerful weaponry to their ever growing arsenal. In the short time that they’ve been a band they’ve managed to carve themselves an identity, and have already begun to develop that sound into something even bigger with a brand new record due in early 2020. The next decade is going to be incredible for metal, and Loathe are sure to play an enormous part in that. [DS]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: It’s Yours, Servant And Master, Loathe, New Faces In The Dark


Amid all the impressive new punk bands that have emerged over the last few years, one hit the scene this year that really stood out among the crowd: Winnipeg’s Tunic. In February they released their debut album ‘Complexion’, which now stands as the year’s best noise punk album. Sounding like a cross between Future of the Left and KEN mode, the album comprises 11 tracks stuffed full of noise and anger. The trio play so well that you feel like you’re listening to a band who’ve been in the game for years, not one making their debut. Tunic are only just starting to build up a following so there doesn’t seem to be much sign of them heading over to Europe for a tour yet, but if the high standard set by ‘Complexion’ is anything to go by, this is sure to change over the next decade. Watch this space. GREG HYDE [GH]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Nothing Nothing, Dry Heave, Pores, Frontal Lobe


Any band that gets picked up by Fueled by Ramen is bound to gain followers at an unprecedented rate, but few have deserved it more than grandson (aka Jordan Benjamin). His fierce approach to music has seen him pick up traction faster than most, major label or not – pulling influence from a number of genres including rock and hip-hop, with lyrical content almost exclusively addressing the increasingly dire state of the world over the latter half of the decade. The result? Some of the most painful yet important tracks released by any artist in recent years, encouraging fans to think about how they can take the messaging in these songs to make a difference. grandson isn’t only going to make a difference in the music industry over the next 10 years, but in society, too. [YB]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Blood // Water, Is This What You Wanted, 6:00


Currently out on tour supporting Boston Manor, Microwave have gone rather quickly from just another band on the bill to not only being one of the few support bands to receive an encore, but also securing their own UK headline run next spring. It’s unsurprising when you look at their incredibly solid live performances, and even less so after they put out one of the most impressive albums of the year. ‘Death Is A Warm Blanket’ traded off the uplifting melodies of ‘Stovall’ and ‘Much Love’ for something gloomier that may sound like the soundtrack to the apocalypse, but really signals the next chapter of a band who have so much left to give. [RVDM]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Lighterless, The Fever, Leather Daddy, Part of It


Blending extreme dissonant metal with brutalising hardcore, Ithaca’s ‘The Language of Injury’ is a truly stunning debut from South London’s finest. The impact of ‘The Language of Injury’ should not be diminished; they are the first Holy Roar band to be reviewed in Pitchfork, and the only British metal band to be reviewed on the site this year. While not the traditional barometer for success for more heavily inclined bands, it signals that innovation within the genre can cause ripples with unexpected audiences. Their caustic live shows are a force to be reckoned with, and with spots at ArcTanGent and Boomtown under their belts, it’s surely only a matter of time before the bigger stages at major UK festivals beckon. With a debut record as bold, innovative, and diverse as ‘The Language of Injury’ is, it seems the sky is the limit for Ithaca. The UK metal scene has never looked more promising with them here to blaze the path forward. [RG]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Impulse Crush, The Language of Injury, Clsr., Better Abuse


When it comes to our most important bands of the next decade, there’s a common theme – outstanding live performances. And there’s few who can excel in that category as much as Sweden’s Normandie, who have built themselves one hell of a reputation for explosively energetic shows and mind-melting vocals since their first trip to our shores three years ago; it’s safe to say you haven’t truly lived until you’ve heard front man Philip Strand belt out the finale of 2017 single ‘Ghost’ (seriously, trust us on this). These performances are backed by releases that continue to go from strength to strength, with 2018’s ‘White Flag’ cementing their identity in songs that range from fiery, breakdown-packed behemoths to soaring, life-affirming anthems, never settling for safe sounds. With a third album in the works for 2020, you can bet you’ll be hearing plenty more from our Scandinavian friends over the next ten years. Christ, we’re excited. [GR]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: White Flag, Dead, Collide, Moth

Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake are one of those bands that have that “something special” about them. You can hear it in their music, oozing from every thunderous riff, meteoric drum hit, and impassioned, tortured vocal. You can see it in their intense and devastatingly tight live performances, rife with boundless energy and a gigantic pulsing heart. But, more importantly than all that, you can feel it in everything that they do. You can feel the ritualistic fury bubbling in ‘Hail To The Fire’, the poignant helping hand reaching through ‘Devilcry’, the swathes of positivity surging through ‘Apollo’. Every emotion is driven home by pristine, polished, accomplished and often baffling musicianship – something that becomes even more baffling when you witness it happening live, faultlessly unfolding in front of you. When you listen to their songs and attend their shows you really feel like you’re a part of something, regardless of whether it’s your first time or your hundredth. With this kind of power in their grasp, it’s only going to grow. The only way is up, and their ascension has already begun. [DS]

MOST NOTABLE TRACKS: Apollo, Lost In Forever, Aeon, Six Feet Under