Hailing from Billings, Montana, Hey, ily! is the brainchild of Caleb Haynes, who combines influences from “Nintendocore, Emo, Powerpop, Shoegaze, and anything else the project can get its grubby mitts on.” Though Caleb has been active in local bands including Gray Joy, Rookie Card, and The Invertebrates, the way he blends disparate styles with Hey, ily! is both incredibly unique and strangely effective – it’s no surprise their two EPs, February’s (/ _ ; ) and latest release Internet Breath, blew up online, even without the push of his 92K following on TikTok.
A duo hailing from Colorado, Lobsterfight is spearheading the 5th wave of emo taking influence from genres like screamo, lo-fi, and noise. This “post-emo'' project is chock full of bitcrushed percussion, dissonant screaming, and 8bit synths. Yet, along with this experimentation are beautiful melodies and twinkly guitars that round out the sound nicely. With positive reviews from The Needle Drop (7/10) and wildly successful word of mouth on bandcamp/RYM, lobsterfight is on the verge of new success within the genre.
Your Arms Are My Cocoon
Before Tyler Odom moved to Chicago this year, he had the wild idea to take bedroom pop’s fragile instrumentation and whispered vocals and mash them together with screamo’s bleating hollers and grenades of frisson. On his recent self-titled solo debut as Your Arms Are My Cocoon, Odom fuses those incongruous styles with pluck, charm, and irrepressible energy—it feels like he succeeds simply because he’s so sure he can.