It’s 2023 and we need more new music!
And. just in time, we’ve put together a list of seven essential new and rising artists to get your listening gear wrapped round.
From the throaty voice of Gretel Hänlyn to the spacey disco-rock of Aircooled via Yorkshire post-punk outfit Deadletter, there’s a whole playlist of new tunes from new talent to introduce here.
So, with a new year freshly minted, here we present our pick of who’s hot and set to be big in 2023… You read it here first!
Want vocal va-va-voom and stylistic variety? Gretel’s got ’em both. The most striking thing about this London singer/songwriter (real name Maddy Haenlein), is her voice. Muscular and throaty, it’s the result of teaching herself to sing again after a teenage illness had made it impossible. The second is her writing chops, which deliver hook-heavy songs like the dark, electro-rockin’ Drive and It’s The Future, Baby, which suggests Nico joining Kurt Vile for a twirl.
Curse Oklahoma siblings Christian and Jacob Theriot, plus mate Cale Chronister, for their generic, Google search-confounding band name, but hey, it’s only the tunes that matter. Sports make strangely moody synth-pop with airy vocals and a non-specific 1980s edge, which suggests NZ’s Connan Mockasin as a kindred spirit. They’ve been around for a while – last year’s Get A Good Look was their second (label-released) LP – but 2023 is surely their spotlight time.
Play: Languid, electro-funk groover Don’t Get Me Started
After its initial celebration as the coolest of genre revivals, ‘post-punk’ has lately become a cue for eye-rolling. But how can you have too much of a good thing? That makes no sense – especially when one of the good things is this Yorkshire sextet, whose tense and lyrically moody, yet danceable tunes nod to Talking Heads and early Happy Mondays as well as Gang Of Four, with saxophone and cowbell added. Nowt dead about them.
Play: The funky Binge, from November’s debut EP Heat!
An air cooler is precisely what’s needed when this East Sussex-based outfit play live: they whip up a hypnotic storm of spacey disco-rock and kosmische that’s positively infernal. Those with long memories might recognise bass player Katharine Wallinger from The Wedding Present and drummer Justin Welch (ex Elastica), who are joined by guitarist/keys man Oliver Cherer and vocalist Riz Maslen. Wild and wiggy is their way, as last summer’s debut LP, St Leopards, proves.
Play: The deeply groovy Supamotodisco
‘You should see me now,’ sings the London bass player and Royal Academy Of Music graduate, who’s toured with soul-jazz singer Poppy Ajudha and fusion guitarist Tom Ford, among others. It’s a valid challenge – in November she made her debut as a vocalist on her first solo EP. The title track features DG’s expressive, melody-heavy bass work in an exhilarating mix of jazz, rock and chip-tune pop and opens up a whole new career chapter.
Play: The soaring See Me Now
She grew up listening to her parents’ jazz and classical records, but as a teen, Cassandra Gurling was drawn to the dark(er) side. Time spent in metal bands and then at dubstep and bassmusic club nights has nourished the Birmingham singer/composer and producer’s leftfield electronic-pop style – introspective, with vocals of a hushed yet resonant, jazzy bent and a muscular capability.
Play: Blackbox Oracle, from her second EP, Wandering Worlds, out now
Last year’s sombre, skittering No More Parties was the New Jersey rapper’s breakout hit, but she achieved lift-off with a later remix featuring Lil Durk, which went viral on TikTok. It can’t have hurt that her father is the rapper Benzino, but we’re not joining the ‘nepo babies’ accusers – CL clearly has the skills. Last year’s debut album, Trendsetter, is an energetic set full of brash bars and bruised-soul singing that promises much for the future.
Play: The darkly stroppy Box & Papers (warning: NSFW)
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