13 Albums That Cleared the Way for the Post-Punk Explosion of the 2020s

13 Albums That Cleared the Way for the Post-Punk Explosion of the 2020s

Cory Cogley
February 25 2022 - 03:26am

Remember 2018? Though it was still years before the global pandemic of the 2020s, the world was not exactly holding itself together in perfect harmony. In times of heightened emotions, artists from around the globe tend to produce a wealth of inspired, sharply-written music highlighting the fears and insecurities about ourselves and the world.

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Slowly over the past two decades, post-punk artists have built up a full-fledged revival in the peak times of crisis, coming to a head in the late 2010s and continuing through to this day. Sample all the best in post-punk below, released in 2018 at the onset of the explosive pinnacle of post-punk revival.

Shame - ‘Songs of Praise’

British band Shame set the nonconformist attitude early in 2018 with an ambitious debut.

Shopping - ‘The Official Body’

Led by the queer artist of color Rachel Aggs, Shopping thrillingly tackles societal and political topics with their jagged, angular guitar/bass/drums attack yet remain peppy and fun throughout.

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Ought - ‘Room Inside the World’

Canadian band Ought show a more reflective side to their music on their third album, Room Inside the World, dynamically drawing from influences outside of the typical post-punk oeuvre but never losing their driving edge.

Moaning - ‘Moaning’

Moaning’s self-titled album, the second debut on this list, demonstrates the limitless potential of their personal, inward-looking songwriting, though they usually focus their angst in excitingly aggressive ways.

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Preoccupations - ‘New Material’

Though this band’s debut under the name Viet Cong smashed through the murky tunelessness of their predecessors, their last album New Material changes directions into something more nuanced, brooding, and often melodic.

Goat Girl - ‘Goat Girl’

Another self-titled debut, Goat Girl is undeniably eclectic but promising in its fusion of many genres with distinctly British overtones.

A Place to Bury Strangers - ‘Pinned’

As of 2021, Brooklyn-based band A Place to Bury Strangers has six albums of consistent quality and constant innovation, with 2018’s Pinned demonstrating yet another exhilarating link in the chain.

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Iceage - ‘Beyondless’

Iceage is one of the most challenging bands on the list for those looking for harsh or pleasant sounds, as Beyondless is rife with both; still, that also means it’s one of the most rewarding.

Protomartyr - 'Consolation' EP

Though this is just an EP, Protomartyr deserves recognition whenever possible. Listen to their whole discography right now!

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Interpol - 'Marauder'

The original post-punk revivalists Interpol facilitated the expansion of the genre with their 2002 debut, Turn on the Bright Lights, and they continue to release muted but vital music like on 2018’s Marauder.

Idles - 'Joy as an Act of Resistance'

After blowing away the critics with their debut album Brutalism the year before, Joy as an Act of Resistance marked the commercial emergence from this endlessly creative punk band.

Mothers - 'Render Another Ugly Method'

Indie producer John Congleton proved on records with St. Vincent and Angel Olsen that he cannot make a bad album, even if this release from Mothers is an acquired taste.

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Exploded View - 'Obey'

Political journalist Annika Henderson debuted musically in 2010 with the help of Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, and Exploded View continued her interesting musical development with another unique collision of sonic inspirations.

Each of these artists continues to release music today, so be on the lookout for their other new and old records. Though every band here is available on industry-standard streaming services, you can better support them by buying an album or seeing them on tour.

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