The 20 Australian Artists to Watch in 2023
From Tulmur to Margeret River, covering everything from punk to electronic to folk, we’ve rounded up twenty Aussie artists we think are set for a huge 2023
Our annual ones to watch article (here's last years) is back to uncover some emerging gems in Australian music, who we think are on the right track to have a triumphant year ahead. With an incredibly large and talented pool to choose from, the decision was not easy… however based on their great sounds, accomplishments so far, and for some their plans that have already been announced for 2023, the Pilerats team have narrowed it down to the 20 artists that we think you should listen to right now and keep your eye on over the next 12 months.
So without further ado, feast your eyes (and ears) on The 20 Australian Artists to Watch in 2023.
Bubbling up from Australia’s underground rap scene is the gritty experimental punk, jazz and alt R&B influenced sounds of rapper Agung Mango. Already appearing at Laneway Festival, Spilt Milk and Golden Plains in addition to supporting Wiki, Milan Ring, DJ Pee. Wee (Anderson .Paak), and Genesis Owusu on his national tour, 2022 saw Agung showcase at Bigsound, and release his EP Man On The Go (read more) - which was treated to a national tour. Kicking off 2023 strong already, supporting Freddie Gibbs on an AU wide tour, we're excited to see what’s next for this Naarm/Melbourne based rapper.
Hailing from the Northern Rivers and raised in Meanjin/Brisbane, Asha Jefferies combines the patience of folk with the urgency of youthful pop to create meaningful, catchy, and at times melancholic songs that tell a story. Previously supporting Julia Jacklin, Thelma Plum, Babe Rainbow, in addition to her own headline nationwide tours, 2022 saw Asha entering a new phase - not only by showcasing at Bigsound ‘22 and taking out the Best Folk Award at the Queensland Music Awards 2022, but by finding her queer identity and embracing the love and expression that has come along with it. The result is the single Tank Tops (read more), which has sparked suspicion of more great releases in 2023 - in addition to an upcoming tour with Hope D.
We met the sweet indie bedroom pop sounds of Walyalup/Fremantle based songstress Banjo Lucia just shy of a year ago (read more), making her debut in 2021 with the single That’s Not Loving, which led to a debut EP titled Peccadilloes last year (read more). Surrounding the EP she supported Sharon Von Etten, toured nationally alongside San Cisco, toured nationally and throughout the UK and Europe with Stella Donnely, in addition to her own West Australian headline shows, performing at Wave Rock Weekender, and showcasing at Bigsound 2022. Already accomplishing so much in such a short amount of time with her potent melodies, we can’t wait to see what lies in the year ahead for Banjo as she continues to grow her career.
From Yugambeh land on the Gold Coast comes the soulful pop sounds of Beckah Amani, an artist we had the honour of getting to know a little better last year with the release of her single Lebeka Lek (read more) which featured on her impressive 8-track debut EP April. Winning the triple J presented QMA award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2021, she’s performed headline shows all along the east coast, played the Great Escape (UK), showcased at Bigsound 2022, and took out the 2022 APRA Professional Development Award for Popular Contemporary. Still revelling in the success of April, Bekah is set to kick off the year strong appearing at WOMADelaide this March.
Naarm/Melbourne-based Noongar woman Bumpy sports her own style of soul-filled pop that is incredibly warm and smooth. Debuting in 2020 with Falling, she's performed across Strawberry Fields, Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Music Week (where she also curated a First Nations showcase Wominjeka), St Kilda Festival, and at Astral People’s Birthday Party last year at the Sydney Opera House. Awarded the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent at the Music Victoria Awards, and releasing a string of singles in 2022 - including the spine tingling Return Home (read more), 2023 is already off to a strong start for Bumpy, dropping her debut EP Morning Sun last week (read more) alongside this goose-bump evoking live clip for Leave It All Behind.
Eora/Sydney based, british-born singer-songwriter Chanel Loren is an artist whose style falls at an intersection of modern alt-r&b, indie and UK garage. Releasing her debut single Playlist in early 2022 (read more), she’s been featured across a stack of Spotify playlists, making the cover of R&B Connect in addition to a showcasing at Bigsound, and winning FBi Radio’s Song of the Year award. Already starting 2023 off strong supporting IDK for Sydney and Melbourne tour dates, we can’t wait to see what’s next for this rising star.
Club Angel is a producer and DJ out of Eora/Sydney, who despite only releasing his first track Control Dem last year - is far from debuting, previously working with the likes of Colin Haye, ASTA, Boy Soda, Hey Astro!, remixing Fred again.., and even having his music licensed to Netflix and Love Island Australia. Teasing an EP with the release of Pop Them Threat! 6 months ago (read more), 2022 saw countless live shows including a showcase at Bigsound, and supporting Willaris K in Eora/Sydney and Naarm/Melbourne, rounding out the year with 6AM EPs release in September. Already kicking off 2023 with a show alongside TSHA and Barry Can’t Swim, Club Angel is set to delight audiences at Pitch Culture & Arts and DIGI Culture & Music this March.
DJ, producer, radio host and Yuggera woman dameeeela has steadily amassed a devoted following, and reputation as an in-demand selector, warming up stages for the likes of Skepta, Tyler The Creator, Charlie XCX, Anderson .Paak, and Genesis Owusu - to name a few. Already appearing at festivals such as Splendour In The Grass, Listen out, Laneway, Groovin The Moo, and Bigsound, this Tulmur/Ipswich raised, now Meanjin/Brisbane based artist released her debut single in 2022 The Shake Up ft. Tjaka, and has already kicked off 2023 with a performance at Falls Festival.
From Boorloo/Perth comes the indie-rock-pop sounds of four-piece band DICE. Spending a lot of time in the studio with Sam Ford at Tone City Recording Studio (Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, POND & Abbe May) 2022 saw the release of their debut EP Adolescent Arcade in addition to a nationwide tour with Great Gable, in addition to their own headline one. Already releasing a single this year; Eyes Ahead - which has received spins on both triple j and unearthed, the group are set to tour WA next month, followed by a huge Australia wide tour this May.
Elsy Wameyo is a Tarntanya/Adelaide based artist who has been releasing music since 2018, drawing on influences from jazz, EDM and r&b, while also touching on modern trap stylings with a twist. Last year saw her take out the triple J Unearthed Artist of The Year award, support Hilltop Hoods on their Australian tour, play Lost Paradise and Falls festivals, in addition to releasing her debut self-produced EP Nilotic (read more) which was treated to its own nationwide tour. With all that under her belt, we can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store for this incredible singer, rapper, and producer.
When it comes to raw post-punk that combines electronic production with grunge and shoegaze flavours, Naarm/Melbourne’s ENOLA has you covered, detailing vulnerable, hard-hitting narratives into infectious tracks that leave a lasting effect. Releasing their debut single Strange Comfort, followed by Metal Body in 2022, they’ve spent the last six months supporting the likes of RVG, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Divide and Dissolve, in addition to showcasing at Bigsound. Already kicking off 2023 with a performance at Goom Fest in late January, ENOLA is primed on a trajectory for a lot more impressive milestones and releases ahead.
From a beautiful beachside town in WA’s south comes the delightful indie melodies of Kiera Jas, an artist who’s been drip feeding singles since their debut release Shadows in 2018. Receiving a lot of love for her collaboration with ASKYA for a Above Water across acoustic playlists on Spotify and YouTube, and with a nomination at the West Australian Music Song of The Year, last year saw this emerging solo-artist support Mama Kin on a state-wide tour, in addition to releasing her most recent single Bicycle (read more) being featured as a triple J unearthed highlight. Armed with her thoughtful songwriting and feel-good folk sounds, Kiera has already kicked off 2023 with some local shows in Margaret River, building up to her Nannup Music festival appearance next month.
Falling somewhere between funk, pop, and R&B is the groove-ladened sounds of Boorloo/Perth band LUCI. Releasing their debut single Hands in 2021 - a track which received a nomination at the West Australian Music (WAM) awards last year, the outfit have continued to go from strength to strength, 2022 seeing singles Sunrise, See You Tomorrow, and Alibi receive community radio and nation wide editorial support, whilst they performed support slots with Katy Steele, Death By Denim, and Butter along the way. With a refined sound and a fast growing crowd at local shows, we can’t wait to see what’s next for LUCI in 2023.
Self-taught DJ and beat maker Memphis LK brings her DIY approach alongside pop and underground dance influences to create distinct, forward-thinking tunes that have seen her garner a huge social media presence and perform Splendour In The Grass, Listen Out, Bigsound, and national support slots for Tove Lo and Hayden James in 2022, as well as sets in New Zealand, and at Wild Lands, and Beyond The Valley festivals over the summer. Starting out 2023 with the release of her latest EP Too Much Fun (read more) a couple weeks ago, she’s got more fun times, and big things ahead as she joins Carly Rae Jepson on her Australian tour next month.
Having already supported the likes of Stella Donnelly, Sly Withers, Noah Dillon, Jack Davies, Supathick, plus a slot at 2021’s Hyperfest before releasing her debut single Fish In A Bowl (read more) last year - a track which took out the Schools 15-18 category at the 2022 WAM Song of the Year awards, indie-folk rocker Mia June sure is a force to be reckoned with. Spending the last 12-months moving audiences with a stack of headline shows, as well as support slots for Great Gable, Old Mervs, Dulcie, and Teenage Dads, she released her second single Try To Cry in the second half of the year, garnering support from the likes of local institution RTRFM to national coverage on triple J. With her latest single Hungry out next Friday (Feb 10), 2023 is already looking promising for Mia as departs on a nation-wide tour supporting Stella Donnely shortly after the tracks release, squeezing in a performance at Nannup Music Festival in between.
We first met the R&B-rap-soul sounds of PRICIE with the release of her debut single too dang good in 2021 (read more), which has since been followed with a handful of singles featuring collaborations with the likes of Genesis Owusu, Tsebu, Palms Trax, and Dear Silas. Unveiling her impressive EP titled; IT’S PRICIE last year, in addition to performing festivals such as Splendour In The Grass, and Here Comes The Sun, and supporting the likes of Winston Surfshirt and Crooked Colours, she continues to impress an ever-growing national audience with her incredible style and sound. With 2023 well under way, PRICIE has already been nominated for the Converse Allstars campaign, and will be appearing at the Naarm/Melbourne Laneway Festival next weekend.
From Eora/Sydney comes the indie-pop-rock sounds of Salarymen, a duo who since their inception in 2019 have been winning over crowds with well crafted songwriting and compelling performances from sold-out headliner shows, to support slots with the likes of The Lazy Eyes, The Vanns, Hayley Mary (The Jezabels), The Delta Riggs and Sloan Peterson. Releasing their self-produced EP Head In The Sand last year (read more), a collection of songs dripping with relatable stories and irresistible sonic textures celebrated with shows in Japan and in Eora, the pair gear up for a busy year ahead with more local gigs in addition to heading over to Texas to play SXSW 2023.
Alt-country sweetheart Siobhan Cotchin made her debut in 2020 with Tear Myself Apart, and has since blossomed into an award winning, national touring artists who’s shared stages with the likes of Leon Bridges, Bob Evans, Spacey Jane, Stella Donelly, The Whitlams, Thelma Plum, The Teskey Brothers. Last year saw her showcase at Bigsound, and absolutely clean up at the West Australian Music awards, taking out best Country Act, Vocalist, and Best EP for her Highways and Heartbreaks release (read more). Fresh off a nationwide tour, 2023 is already off to an exciting start for Siobhan - being nominated for Female Artist of the Year, Single of the year ( for Tucson), Album/EP of the year, Video Clip of the Year ( for Tucson), and Emerging Artist of the Year at the Boyup Brook Country Music Awards, in addition to a performance next weekend at the Boorloo/Perth leg of Laneway, and an upcoming support set for Boy & Bear in March.
Emerging from Naarm/Melbourne is the jazz influenced neo-soul come alt-pop sounds of Sunny Reyne, an artist who officially debuted with her single Used To This in 2020, but made a huge splash in 2022 with what came to follow. Treating us to releases Carefully, and Insanity last year in the lead up to her warm and vibrant debut EP Right Now (read more), Sunny has been receiving love locally from triple J and performing at the Melbourne Int’l Jazz Festival, to receiving airplay and interview slots at JazzFM in London. Launching her EP in December, and kicking off 2023 supporting Audrey Powne, we can’t see what’s next for this talented singer-songwriter.
Family group of Arnhem Land rockers Wildfire Manwurrk burst onto the scene last year with their traditional songlines from ancient times, told through the stories they face as men in a world of culture, chaos, and change. Spreading like wildfire through catchy, hard hitting tunes, making it as a triple J featured artist in November, and appearing at Meadow festival following the release of their debut EP The Next Future (read more), the group gear up for a busy year ahead including a slot at Nannup Music Festival 2023 this March.