10 nu gen songs you need to hear right now

Dana Dentata, Cassyette and Mothica
(Image credit: Michael Mendoza, Jamie Waters, Lissyelle Lariccha)

In our special introducing feature last month, we analysed the rise of one of rock music's most exciting scenes: nu gen, a movement defined not by one particular sound, but by a shared set of principles and an entirely new approach to creating alternative music. It's a scene that has swept across alternative culture over the last year, with many of the artists involved landing huge tours and collaborations (Cassyette recently supported My Chemical Romance in MK Stadium, while Siiickbrain released a critically acclaimed team-up with alt pop star, Willow), and dominating the alt spaces on platforms like TikTok.

If the whole thing seems a little overwhelming or confusing, fear not: we've put together the definitive list of the ten nu gen songs that have defined the movement so far, and that reflect the immense variety of styles represented in the nu gen scene to this point. That said, here are the ten nu gen songs you need to listen to right now!

Poppy - I Disagree

While Poppy is something of a precursor to nu gen, her dizzying mixture of metal, pop and EDM is a major influence on the scene. From performing on WWE show NXT to becoming the first female-fronted alternative act to be nominated for the Best Metal Grammy, she's had an amazing rise, and her influence is already wrought large across nu gen. This track, taken from her 2020 album of the same name, is a stomping, groovy metal banger with a quirky sheen.

Cassyette - Mayhem

One of the single catchiest choruses 2022 has churned out so far, it's perhaps no surprise that Mayhem was anointed the Hottest Track In The World by BBC Radio 1 upon its release. A shiny pop-rock bop with a sprinkle of swagger, it showcases why London-based Cassyette has become nu gen's breakout star so far. 

Mimi Barks - Suicide

The self-professed ‘doom-trap’ artist is fast becoming a leading light in nu gen, and she's at her very best on this grinding slice of dark, brooding, screamy rap. Hell, Suicide is so effective it even manages to make a bit of auto-tune sound sinister. The video is pure early-00s vibes too, looking like a nu metal video shot by Ville Valo. We are very much on board with it. 

Mothica - Buzzkill

“Holy motherfucker, do you have something to say?” Mothica confronts an abuser from her past on this emotional and empowering anthem, laying bare her anger and defiance over two and a half minutes of throbbing bass and low-ebb guitars. One of the defining traits of nu gen is its platforming of emotional honesty, and few communicate that better than this number. 

Dana Dentata - Pantychrist

Dana has so many strings to her artistic bow it's impossible to predict what audio and visual delights she'll conjure up with each passing release. Last year's Pantychrist single merged stuttering nu metal riffs with snotty rap bars, all rounded up in a colourful video that climaxes in our Dana getting a rather painful-looking crucifixion. Ouch.

WILLOW ft Siiickbrain - Purge

While this is technically Willow's track, the genre-hopping pop starlet's decision to bring in nu gen frontrunner Siiickbrain for a glorious assist helped elevate an already great rock song into one of this year's most impactful singles. Purge is like someone took a cut from 2002's Queen Of The Damned soundtrack and gave it a 2022 makeover. Throw in an absolute banger of a video and you have pure gold on your hands.

Bambie Thug - P.M.P.

Bambie Thug recently supported Cassyette in London and her showing on the night left few in doubt that the next time they was back at the Underworld, they'd surely be headlining. Driving goth-trap brimming with sex and spit, P.M.P. (that’s Pussy. Money. Power) may not be subtle, but it’ll be stuck in your head for days.

Alienblaze - Broken Hearted Or What?

Also a part of that aforementioned London would-be showcase for nu gen was Alienblaze, another UK artist making waves in the scene. Broken Hearted Or What? melds rubbery beats with swathes of dreamy guitar noodling and ambient synths. Not quite as hard-hitting as other tracks in this list, but every bit as essential.

Nascar Aloe - Angry Car

The shortest track in this list (some achievement, given most of these songs barely break the three-minute barrier), North Carolina habitant Nascar Aloe arrives, drops noise and leaves in this 1:43 burst of gothed-up, jungly drum 'n' bass. Lovely, lovely stuff.

Zand - I Spit On Your Grave

Zand describes their sound as "gritty pop", but we think the "gritty" part of that descriptor is doing most of the heavy lifting. Big beats, spooky ambience and splashes of sultry electronica bathed in screams and screeches make this a delightfully unhinged treat. Zand's material has leaned further into their metal influences as of late, and we are very happy about that turn of events.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.