25 Australian Pop Punk Bands to Watch in 2021

Sure, we’re always looking to the USA with their high calibre of pop punk acts, however, I don’t know about you, but within the last year and a half, we’ve managed to uncover a plethora of upcoming pop punk acts from all corners of our own backyard in Australia.

In 2020 alone, the genre seemingly exploded with the international mainstream success of Machine Gun Kelly’s Tickets to My Downfall, and Aussie favs Stand Atlantic unleashing their explosive sophomore album Pink Elephant.

While last year’s collection of Aussie talent showcased 15 upcoming acts to watch, and because so many of you enjoyed our Class of 2020, we thought we’d expand our horizons, up the ante and give you even more rising acts to watch this year!

So without further ado, let’s meet the 25 bands that made the cut in Wall Of Sound’s Pop Punk Class of 2021…

#25 – A Swift Farewell

From: Sydney, NSW

These kids are still so brand new on our radar, but they’re quickly simmering up and set to become your new favourites in 2021. A Swift Farewell’s high-energy brand of emo, power pop doesn’t stray too far from Aussie favs Tonight Alive, and with songs like ‘The Fire’ and ‘Save Yourself’ taking up space in your head almost instantly, you’ll be singing along to A Swift Farewell for days. We can’t wait to see what these guys get up to this year…

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#24 – Grizzlyshark

From: Brisbane, QLD

Remember easycore? It described those bands who played around with chuggier riffs and poppier melodies, and that’s exactly what Brissie boys Grizzlyshark are bringing to the table. The four piece also share a love for video games and 90s pop culture, which kinda makes their music even more fun. With songs like ‘Remember the Black Box’ and ‘Vicarious’ giving off huuuge Set Your Goals and Hit the Lights vibes, it won’t be long before you’ll be begging for more fun from these guys.

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#23 – Eat Your Heart Out

From: Newcastle, NSW

Eat Your Heart Out are probably no strangers to many of you out there, having signed with Fearless Records and racked up a loyal following through a bunch of tours in the USA with the likes of Boston Manor, Real Friends and Movements. The band unleashed their debut full-length, Florescence back in 2019 which was a huge step up from their EPs. While their style does sit a little towards the emo, grungier side of punk, I reckon the best is still yet to come from these five kids outta Newcastle. Definitely expect some new tunes and a show or two from Eat Your Heart Out this year.

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#22 – Stone Lions

From: Central Coast, NSW

Also hailing from the NSW coast, Stone Lions brought the high-energy fun in their 2019 debut, Necking On and Kicking Off. Emitting a style and personality reminiscent of 2000s favs Heroes For Hire and Skyway, these boys are the ones you call if you’re looking for a nonstop good time.

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#21 – Drastic Park

From: Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne three piece Drastic Park exploded into our lives midway through 2020’s lockdown, throwing us back to the early 2000s with their Imposter Syndrome EP. While these guys are no doubt talented as fuck in everything they do, it’d be great to see them put their heads together in 2021, expand beyond the Blink-182 back catalogue and come up with a catchy, angsty pop punk anthem this year that’ll blow all our minds. Don’t let us down boys…

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#20 – Homestate

From: Perth, WA

After dropping their self-titled EP in 2019, our eyes and ears have been firmly stuck on Perth’s Homestate who bring an infectiously heartwarming feeling with their tunes, especially ‘Sunny Day‘. With new music on the way, it’s only a matter of time before they launch in Australia and play with the big boys and girls…

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#19 – Headstrong

From: Sydney, NSW

Do you like your punk popped and your beards long? Go no further than Sydney’s Headstrong who are slowly but surely making a name for themselves in Australia’s scene. They’ve played a bunch of shows and released a few songs in the process but just wait until we get a full length from them. That’s when they’ll explode and we’re all for it.

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#18 – Cambridge

From: Sydney, NSW

Brad Smith is an interesting bloke with questionable morals (#SayNoToShoeys) but goddamn the man can belt out a tune and write a catchy as fuck banger that gets stuck in your head for days. The band signed to Teamwrk Records and have a plethora of new tunes for us – coming soon!

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#17 – In Eyes

From: Gold Coast, QLD

This bright-eyed three piece from Queensland hold a radiant aura about them that tells us if they put their talent and music into the right ears, they’re set for a glowing career ahead. With soaring riffs and ever so alluring vocals by frontwoman Rosie Jacobson, all eyes are on In Eyes in 2021 to see what they come up with next.

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#16 – Down and Out

From: Adelaide, SA

Adelaide pop punkers Down and Out emit angsty yet ever so catchy anthems which kinda sees them quickly catching up to some of the biggest names in the genre like Neck Deep, The Story So Far and fellow Aussies Between You and Me. Explosive, infectious riffs are one of the best things we love about pop punk, and Down and Out have plenty of that. I don’t know about you, but I’m hella keen to see these guys go bigger this year.

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#15 – Carrington

From: Perth, WA

Perth’s Carrington came at us back in 2019 with their Alter-Ego EP and since then, have been consistent in unleashing angsty, melodic pop punk bangers reminiscent of The Story So Far. Jump on the band’s latest single ‘Reverse’ below and expect maybe a follow up song or two this year!

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#14 – PSTCRDS

From: Newcastle, NSW

Newcastle boys PSTCRDS dropped a monster four-track EP called This Place Or Our Pace last year to get us through COVID-19 and the lads did not disappoint. Their summer-soaked punk melodies saw them team up with Reside’s Liam Guinane, taking us down memory lane back to our younger days, which is another key element to the genre. Keen to see how these guys evolve and grow their music as the year plays out.

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#13 – Wishful Thinking

From: Melbourne, VIC

As far as comebacks go, Wishful Thinking have been top of mind with their resurgence over the past year. If you remember moshing to these guys back in the day, you may find yourself coming out of retirement for a crowd surf at an upcoming show (just make sure you’ve got that chiro session booked in the following morning)

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#12 – Introvert

From: Newcastle, NSW

If you find yourself leaning towards bands like Citizen, Trophy Eyes and The Story So Far then Introvert need to be added to your regular playlists. The band signed with UNFD and COVID took away their touring plans for their Mending Breaking EP last year (our review here) BUT, it’s only going to be a matter of time before they’re back in our lives and if you’ve missed out until now, DO NOT cook it a second time!

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#11 – Catnip Kaiser

From: Albury, VIC

Catnip Kaiser proved that teaming up with Ocean Sleeper‘s Ionei Heckenberg will not only result in an infectiously catchy banger called ‘Sunshine‘ but it’ll also get you some mad exposure in the process! After we premiered their new track, the band started gaining mad attention in their hometown of Albury (even popping up on the local news) and beyond! With a new lineup ready to take on a new year, we have our ears glued to what they do next!

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#10 – Nautical Mile

From: Perth, WA

After dropping their debut full-length in late 2019, west coast boys Nautical Mile turned a few heads here and there with their infectious blend of pop punk fused together with some heavier undertones kinda reminding us of the poppier side of A Day To Remember. The band kept things low during most of 2020, until recently when they announced a new signing to Manic Kat Records in the USA. The future looks extremely bright and busy for this five piece outta Perth, that’s for sure!

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#9 – AGAPANTHER

From: Adelaide, SA

This four piece are leading the pack out of little ol’ Radelaide, with their incredible blend of emo, punk and grunge radiating a similar essence to that of Slowly Slowly, Columbus and Violent Soho. AGAPANTHER dropped their debut EP, Overdue (our review here) during the bookend of 2020 and to be pretty frank with you, we are hooked on what they have to offer. Definitely expect these boys to be gaining even more momentum when touring returns later this year.

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#8 – Grenade Jumper

From: Sydney, NSW

This pocket rocket quartet caught our attention with their heated debut single ‘Heat Wave’ in early 2020, and we’re constantly anticipating what they come up with next. With songs like ‘Heat Wave’ and ‘The Power You Flaunted’, Grenade Jumper are bringing empowering pop punk anthems with an added bout of youthful positivity and hope — all while expanding their sound with each new release. Fingers crossed we finally see a topnotch EP release from them this year!

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#7 – Skyway

From: Gold Coast, QLD

The former kings of Aussie Pop Punk made their triumphant return last year with their EP Hope Floats, Love Sinks (our review here) and it’s like they never left us. With shows in the pipeline, we can’t wait to crowd surf to ‘Birthdays‘ again in the not too distant future!

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#6 – Paperweight

From: Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne’s Paperweight launched themselves during the midst of 2020’s lockdown, and to be honest with you, they’ve knocked it out of the park with each new song. Bringing with them infectious pop punk melodies of the early 2000’s combined with the new-age punk energy of Neck Deep, the band are all about keeping the fun of pop punk alive in 2021 and we’re all about that too. Keen to see Paperweight tackle 2021 head on with the resurgence of live shows, touring and of course even more bangin’ tunes.

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#5 – Stuck Out

From: Melbourne, VIC

If you dig your pop punk a little more angsty and emo, you can’t go past Stuck Out. The band dropped their latest EP, Lie Through Your Teeth a week out from Christmas last month, which saw them unleash a whole lotta fist-pumping energy and intricate melodies. Frontman Josh Walker exudes a similar essence to Trophy Eyes’ John Floreani, so we can only hope that Stuck Out are just getting started here. Flying the pop punk flag for Greyscale Records, 2021’s looking brighter than usual for these guys.

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#4 – Terra

From: Melbourne, VIC

Terra caught our attention in their collaboration with Belle Haven/Wither’s David De La Hoz in 2019, but only increased our confidence in them even more with their latest single ‘Frenemies’. The five piece exude catchy pop melodies, similar to the style that helped pushed Tonight Alive into the spotlight all those years ago. We’re about as excited as the band themselves for what the future holds for them — it’s looking good!

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#3 – Waxflower

From: Brisbane, QLD

Brisbane’s Waxflower have had a rocket-powered start in their early music career. Born back in 2019 and taking a strong influence from Aussie icons Kisschasy, the trio have garnered attention everywhere from opening for Canadian pop punk heavyweights Simple Plan to locking down an international signing to Rude Records. Their latest single ‘Again’ saw them team up with Caitlin Henry (Eat Your Heart Out), also bringing the band out into their own identity even more. With shimmering pop hooks under their belt, Waxflower have their hearts set on making 2021 their year.

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#2 – Yours Truly

From: Sydney, NSW

Their international touring plans might have been ripped out from under them due to COVID, but that won’t stop Yours Truly from dominating the scene. The Sydney four piece unleashed their full-length debut, Self Care through UNFD last year, cementing themselves as a frontrunner in Australian pop punk. Frontwoman Mikaila Delgado has one of the strongest voices and personalities in the landscape, so with that and incredibly catchy, relatable songs under their belt, expect this UNFD pop punk act to scale up and dominate when live touring returns in due course.

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#1 – Between You and Me

From: Melbourne, VIC

I can’t think of a band that’s been more affected by COVID-19 than Melbourne’s Between You and Me. The band kicked off 2020 with an international tour in the US opening for Sleep On It and Canada’s Bearings, ideally perfecting the trifecta in upcoming pop punk back then. COVID came in March, effectively halting their touring schedule and future plans to record the band’s hotly anticipated follow-up album to 2018’s Everything is Temporary.

Between You and Me are more than deserving of the top spot this year. The band hold some of the catchiest pop punk anthems we’ve heard in the last three years, from ‘Overthinking’ to everyone’s favourite mosh-heavy anthem ‘Dakota’, so that second full-length is well overdue.

The boys have laid low since their plans were disrupted, however word is they still managed to record that follow up album towards the end of 2020. With a loyal and ever-growing fanbase both here in Australia and overseas and a signing to Hopeless Records, it won’t be long before Between You and Me are a household name like their internationally renowned counterparts Stand Atlantic, State Champs and Neck Deep.

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Words by Tamara May (@citylightstam) and Paul ‘Browny’ Brown (@brownypaul)

Stream our official Pop Punk Class of 2021 playlist right now on Spotify:

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. PREMIERE: Down and Out Try A Change Of Pace in New Single ‘Feigning Joy’ – Wall Of Sound
  2. Wall of Sound Presents: “2020 YEAR IN REVIEW” – by Terra’s Cassie Sutton – Wall Of Sound

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