Now Hear This! This week’s selections include the dream-grunge of heavy wild, snarling pop-punk from Nate Doyle, the otherworldly post-rock of andtheworld, and the surf rock of Alberta’s Atomicos. These under-the-radar and hidden gems warrant attention. Stat!

We’ll bring you a new post each week, songs from which will regularly be added to our accompanying “Now Hear This” Spotify playlist.

heavy wild – “Death Dreams”

London newcomers heavy wild releases their new single, “Death Dreams,” merging elements of post-punk, chill-wave, and grungy lo-fi into a haunting dream-grunge sound, revealing restrained aggression and conjuring up suggestions of The Cure.

Speaking to “Death Dreams,” heavy wild says:

“This song marks a slight shift in style from the earlier singles with the energy of the track mirroring the spirit in which it was written, after partying in Montreal last summer, and the emotions and themes it deals with such as grief and the hedonism which can accompany it.”

Fronted by Wolfgang Harte, whose affecting vocals project a creamy, hazy milieu, along with tints of ghostly foreboding textures, “Death Dreams” delivers ethereal urgency.

The band will be performing a run of UK dates in September and October and releasing their debut EP.

Nate Doyle – Welcome to My Breakdown

On July 26, 2023, singer-songwriter Nate Doyle dropped his debut long player, Welcome to My Breakdown, a 10-track collection of bravura pop-punk.

Talking about how he started making music, Doyle explains:

“This brings us to 2020 and the world shutting down. I like everyone was locked inside and decided to start writing some songs. I’d write one every couple of weeks and eventually, I had enough for an album. Once I had enough songs that I thought were good I reached out to my friend Wyatt about recording the record. Soon I flew out to Nashville and recorded it with him producing. Now here I am.”

Highlighted by beaucoup tasty vocal harmonies, there’s nothing fancy about Nate Doyle’s music: straight-ahead pop-punk riding punchy percussion as growling, chugging guitars pump out pressurized, gleaming layers of sonic gusto.

Personal favorites include “One Memory,” “Young and Dumb,” and “Caroline.”

andtheworld – “Antarctica”

The solo project of bass player Phil Meakin, who is based in Adelaide, Australia, andtheworld recently dropped “Antarctica.” According to Meakin:

“For the majority of my life, I have played and written music. Yet between 2018 and 2022, I barely picked up a guitar, let alone hit a drum. Write a song? I’d basically forgotten how to. I felt a loss of identity through this period as music was something intrinsically linked to my identity. I felt like this was now null and void.”

Then he got Covid. Isolated from everyone, accompanied by only his guitar and laptop, he mitigated his boredom by writing music.

He describes “Antarctica,” saying, “Equally pretty as it is heavy, the track and the album are designed to take you on a journey, uninterrupted by lyrics and melody. The project title “…andtheworld”, is a collection of songs to get lost to.”

At once lonely and vulnerable, there’s a beautiful wintriness informing the song.

Atomicos – “The Gal From C.A.S.B.A.H.”

Lethbridge, Alberta-based surf-rock outfit Atomicos will drop their new album, Fins Up!, on September 15. The first track, entitled “The Gal From C.A.S.B.A.H.,” was recently released, and it’s a humdinger.

Alberta is the last place you would expect to find a surf band. Yet Atomicos, made up of Tyler Stewart (guitar), Tyson Wiebe (guitar), Mick Hayward (bass), and Chris Henderson (drums), somehow transport the summer beaches of SoCal to the prairie province.

Atomicos’ sound, a blend of classic surf, dollops of psychedelia, and twangy country slide-guitar glides forth on sensual surfaces dripping with flashy licks atop driving rhythms.