Badflower is an alternative/Americana rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2013 by frontman Josh Katz, lead guitarist Joey Morrow, bassist Alex Espiritu, and drummer Anthony Sonetti, the alternative band has gained a large, cult-like following despite being new to the music scene. At the time of writing this, they have released two studio albums and two EPs. Their first EP, called “About a Girl,” came out in 2013, while their debut album, called “Ok, I’m SICK,” was released on February 22nd, 2019. Although their music is classified as indie rock, the band prefers to describe it as alternative/Americana. Their songs cover topics such as love, loss, drugs, depression, and suicide.
10. Ghost (from the “Ok, I’m Sick” album 2019)
I feel like this song is an excellent example of the band’s sound and style. It has a pretty cool guitar riff, and Josh Katz’s vocals fit well with his nasally singing style. It’s a simple song, but it gets me hooked. This song comes off a little heavier on the guitar side than their other tracks, which I like. Its lyrics touch on anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. You can tell the lyrics to the song were inspired by the band’s lead singer (Josh Katz), who once admitted to suffering from anxiety and depression.
9. Heroin (from the “Ok, I’m Sick” album 2019)
I think the intro of this song is my favorite part of the song. The song opens up with a soothing instrumental that leads into an outstanding vocal performance from Josh Katz, who has a rough yet gentle voice with a good tone and stylistic range. The lyrics of this song are powerful as they depict a raw and dark moment in the life of a drug addict. They describe the feelings experienced by an addict who has just injected themselves with heroin for the first time, feeling like everything is alright now that they’re finally high. This track shows Badflower at their best; raw, dark, and intense.
8. The Jester (from the “Ok, I’m Sick” album 2019)
This song is a little longer than most of their other tracks (the second-longest on the album), 4 minutes 41 seconds long. It starts with a guitar riff that flows well into the vocals. This song is excellent for people who prefer seeing the band going harder. It has strong drums, catchy guitar riffs, and it just gets stuck in your head. Josh Katz’s childhood experiences with bullying must have inspired the lyrics to this song. He has spoken out on the track, saying: “I wanted it to be something that had some realness behind it and not just some cliché anti-bullying anthem that people would instantly forget about.”
7. F*ck the World (Non-album Single)
Sometimes, a song reaches out and grabs you by the throat. You can’t believe how big it sounds—how much power is behind those tiny speakers. It’s awe-inspiring when the band hasn’t even released a full-length album yet. That’s what happened with “F*ck the World,” a non-album single from Los Angeles rockers Badflower, which came out at the beginning of 2021. Unlike many other hit songs that take months or even years to catch fire, “f*ck the World” exploded immediately. It’s a classic of gleefully self-destructive rock & roll, with an irresistible hook and plenty of bludgeoning riffs. It also feels like the beginning of something that hasn’t—and might never—come to fruition: namely, a new generation of heavy music that doesn’t take its cue from the past but stakes out bold territory for the future.
6. Family (from the “This Is How The World Ends” album – 2021)
The band released a 13-track album in 2021, of which this song happens to be part. “Family” is one of the best tracks on the album. It has a mainstream sound to it, but that doesn’t take away from its quality. The song’s lyrics are especially poignant and powerful. They might make you stop in your tracks when you fully understand them. It’s the first track on the album to ever get a music video. That should tell you something about how the band thinks about it. The video was shot on green screen, making for one of the most creative videos the band has ever done. The concept behind it is very original and works perfectly with the directness of the “Family” ‘s lyrics.
5. Tethered (from the “This Is How the World Ends” album – 2021)
There are several songs on Badflower’s latest album that deserve a top spot on a list like this. However, “Tethered” is perhaps the most epic of them all. The song is about how it feels to live in a society with rules and regulations that no longer care for its people. It’s a dark and despairing track that highlights the band’s potential as one of the best rock acts in years. There are many layers to it, thus creating something that feels intimidating yet welcoming at the same time.
4. x ANA x (from the “This Is How the World Ends” album – 2021)
When you listen to this song, it’s not hard to tell that they’re singing about the effects of anxiety and Xanax — the title also gives it away. However, the song’s lyrics are not about the causes of anxiety but rather what you go through daily. “x ANA x” is one of Badflower’s songs that thoughtfully tackles something serious. It also has one of their heaviest moments on the entire album, including a midsection that only strengthens the song’s intensity.
3. Promise Me (from the “Ok, I’m Sick” album – 2019)
Badflower is at it again with their storytelling. The band’s ability to tell a story is one of their greatest strengths, no matter what song it is. On “Promise Me,” they’re singing the story of two lovers and how they met as children. They’re now adults like the world sees them. But with them, nothing has changed; they’re still the same kids they were when they met. The song is one of the most educating tracks on their album, with a sound that perfectly balances classic-rock nostalgia and modern alt-rock. It’s also got one of the band’s catchiest choruses ever written.
2. 30 (from the “Ok, I’m Sick” album – 2019)
Badflower is here to prove that emo isn’t just a phase. It’s also here to show that their music isn’t just a passing fad but rather something that deserves more time in the spotlight. These elements are clearly heard in this single, “30.” It’s similar to “k the World” because it’s catchy and easy to get into right away while still being a heavy song. The lyrics here are the opposite of everything emo has been reduced to. The song is not about teenage angst or how much it sucks to be an adult. Instead, the song shows that there’s still hope and optimism for the future through all of life’s challenges (especially when you’re younger).
1. Animal (from the “Temper” EP – 2017)
You can’t write a list like this without including the band’s first big single. The song is a classic for a reason, as it gathered a massive following the same way The Fray’s “Over My Head (Cable Car)” did back in 2012. “Animal” was an alternative anthem written about sticking up for yourself and how sometimes you gotta fight to get the things that matter. The song is also a testament to Badflower’s growth as a band, both in terms of instrumentation and songwriting. If this list has taught us anything, it’s that no one can keep Badflower down for long. This band definitely deserves more. It has one of the catchiest melodies ever put to sound and lyrics that’ll make you want to shout along as loud as you can.