Here are 12 Australian artists releasing new music in 2023

From Robert Forster and RedHook to Bec Stevens and CIVIC – here are 12 Australian records to keep an ear out for in 2023

2022 was a positively enormous year for new Australian music, with hotly awaited follow-ups from acts like Gang Of Youths, Julia Jacklin, Midnight Oil, Sampa The Great, Camp Cope and Flume – not to mention the five (FIVE!) albums that King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard dropped – coupled with stellar debuts from King Stingray, Body Type, Mallrat, Jaguar Jonze, Romero and oh so many more.

2023 already looks set to give us a run for our money, though (or what little of it we’ll have left after all the upcoming summer festivals). In the first half of the year, we’ll hear new records from mainstays like Jen Cloher, DMA’S and Robert Forster, as well as the (long overdue) solo comeback of Ella Hooper, and debut efforts from the likes of WILSN, Baby Cool, Bec Stevens, Hallie and RedHook. Daine has a new mixtape on the way, too, and both CIVIC and Gena Rose Bruce will be returning with their second albums.

To say the very least, we’ve got a stacked year of listening ahead. While we (im)patiently wait for all our other favourite artists to announce their new records, here are 12 we’re looking forward to over the next few months.

Ella Hooper

‘Small Town Temple’

Nearly a decade removed from her debut solo album, 2014’s ‘In Tongues’, Ella Hooper has retained her penchant for soulful, smoke-soaked folk’n’roll. But wiser and more weathered in the present day, her follow-up leans on a cloudier, more tender and minimalistic palette.

‘Small Town Temple’ feels at once lived-in and raw, with dusty and droning acoustic runs coloured in by sizzling fiddles, sparse percussion and warm, yet punchy vocal harmonies. Killing Heidi fans will be divided, but Hooper’s done well by not pandering to them, instead delivering her most honest and authentic effort yet. Ellie Robinson

Ella Hooper’s ‘Small Town Temple’ is out January 20 via Reckless Records.

Gena Rose Bruce

‘Deep Is The Way’

The Melbourne singer-songwriter announced her second album in November with its stunning, Bill Callahan-assisted title track, a slow-burner that weaved lilting piano with the pair’s gorgeous harmonies. Lead single ‘Foolishly In Love’, by contrast, is a soaring synth-pop gem that wouldn’t sound all that out of place in a neon-lit ’80s nightclub.

Both examine life, inner ache, growth, the possibility of rebirth with a refreshing frankness and candour – all of which makes for a very promising indication of what to expect from the soundscapes and themes Bruce addresses on album two. Alex Gallagher

Gena Rose Bruce’s ‘Deep Is The Way’ is out January 27 via Dot Dash Recordings.

Hallie

‘This Is Love’

Cut from the same angsty, heartbroken cloth as 2000s pop-rock revivalists like Pale Waves and Beach Bunny, Hallie sets themselves apart by fully embracing the plasticky, sugar-bombed aesthetics that defined their youth. On ‘This Is Love’, you’ll hear quips of saturated reverb over chopped-up vocals, record scratches and acoustic intros on otherwise bold and melodically charged songs.

But this nostalgic flair is just one piece of a much more intricate puzzle, which Hallie uses as a lens to filter their present. The EP is a real-time reckoning with the crushes, new loves and heartbreaks of their early twenties, but more palpably, it’s a love letter to the turbulence. ER

Hallie’s ‘This Is Love’ is out February 3.

Robert Forster

‘The Candle And The Flame’

The former Go-Between‘s forthcoming solo album is a family affair – wife Karin Bäumler and their son Louis Forster (of the sadly disbanded The Goon Sax) contributed heavily, with guest appearances coming from other family members, former Go-Betweens bassist Adele Pickvance, and a handful of other collaborators.

Recorded in quiet moments of respite during Bäumler’s recovery from cancer, singles ‘She’s A Fighter’ and ‘Tender Years’ feature some of Forster’s most 8vulnerable songwriting, with an ever-present warmth throughout. AG

Robert Forster’s ‘The Candle And The Flame’ is out February 3 via EMI / Universal Music Australia.

WILSN

‘Those Days Are Over’

Shannon Busch will release her debut album as WILSN early next year, after a long string of singles that introduced her soul chops, reverence for the genre’s pioneers and raw attitude.

The latest, featuring Josh Teskey of The Teskey Brothers, is peppered with blues guitar and swaggering horns. But – as with previous foot-stompers like ‘You Know Better’ and ‘If You Wanna Love Me’ – it’s Busch’s bring-the-house-down vocals that take centre stage and command attention. AG

WILSN’s ‘Those Days Are Over’ is out February 3 via Ivy League Records.

Baby Cool

‘Earthling On The Road To Self Love’

For her debut album as Baby Cool, Grace Cuell – who also co-fronts Nice Biscuit – evolves her established psychedelic tendencies with glimmers of Nashville twang and New Orleans swing. These eight songs are understated at first – woozy and dreamlike, steered by melodic lap steel guitar runs lacquered in fuzz – but carry wallops of heart in Cuell’s soul-baring ruminations on mental health, self-love and preservation. ER

Baby Cool’s ‘Earthling On The Road To Self Love’ is out February 10.

CIVIC

‘Taken By Force’

CIVIC‘s 2021 debut, ‘Future Forecast’, was an explosive and frenetic burst of energy that didn’t let up for a moment.

Its follow-up, ‘Taken By Force’, was recorded with Radio Birdman frontman Rob Younger, and early singles ‘Born In The Heat’ and ‘End Of The Line’ already fizz with the raw, electrifying charge that made that first LP such a cracker, while building on its nascent strides towards more melodic songwriting. AG

CIVIC’s ‘Taken By Force’ is out February 10 via Cooking Vinyl Australia.

Daine

‘Shapeless’

It seems like there’s no stopping the momentum of rising emo trailblazer Daine. After collaborations with Bring Me The Horizon‘s Oli Sykes and 100 Gecs‘ Dylan Brady in 2021, plus the release of debut mixtape ‘Quantum Jumping’ in April, the singer has released a steady string of attention-grabbing singles (like the bubblegum-pop gem ‘Boythots’ and emotive ‘Stay Close’).

In 2023, they will release their second full-length project – another mixtape called ‘Shapeless’ – which they describe as “the biggest embodiment of [their] personal growth thus far” and “a huge leap forward in confidence and artistic development”. Full steam ahead. AG

Daine’s ‘Shapeless’ is out February 24 via Warner Music Australia.

Jen Cloher

‘I Am The River, The River Is Me’

Jen Cloher’s fifth album is a powerful and poignant declaration of self, boldly offering the answers to questions they’ve spent nearly five decades searching for. It’s at once a reckoning with and celebration of the journey – a kaleidoscopic distillation of a life’s yearning, discovery and reflection, and the paving of a path ahead that’s never looked brighter.

It’s also a masterclass in tension and release, with Cloher – who for the first time sings in a mix of English and te reo Māori – oscillating from lacy, honeyed folk (‘He Toka-Tu-Moana’) to rip-roaring rock’n’roll (‘My Witch’), brushing by every shade of twang and groove along the way. ER

Jen Cloher’s ‘I Am The River, The River Is Me’ is out March 3 via Milk! Records.

Bec Stevens

‘Big Worry’

Bec Stevensdebut album has spent more than half a decade in gestation, the journey punctuated by character-shaping moves, relationships, deaths and epiphanies. She cheekily describes her artistry as “trauma dumping with a backing track”, and while these songs are suitably gut-wrenching and steeped in melancholy, they’re also teeming with hope and delivered with infectious passion and ferocity.

Stevens worked closely on the record with Jono Tooke of Cry Club and Ben Stewart of Slowly Slowly, evoking the 2014-2018 golden age of Poison City punk with walloping riffs and soaring melodies, all primed for rapturous singalongs in backyards and beer gardens. ER

Bec Stevens’ ‘Big Worry’ is out March 17 via Damaged Records.

DMA’S

‘How Many Dreams?’

In 2020, DMA’S dived headfirst into the unknown, wreaking havoc with their “normal” with ‘The Glow’, an ambitious and experimental dance-inflected epic. ‘How Many Dreams?’ takes them a little further down that well, but feels much more refined, with snappy e-beats and glittery synths gelling seamlessly with their wistful and heartfelt, electric guitar-driven reveries.

Shaved down from more than 70 demos, this 12-tracker is exceptionally tight, spanning the Sydney trio’s broadest spectrum of colours – from the gloomy ‘Dear Future’ to the euphoric ‘Olympia’ – and taking them to heights even their biggest fans couldn’t have envisioned. ER

DMA’S’ ‘How Many Dreams?’ is out March 31 via I OH YOU.

RedHook

‘Postcard From A Living Hell’

With last year’s ‘Bad Decisions’ EP, RedHook made it clear that nothing is off limits when it comes to their technicolour tonal palette. So given twice the runtime to wreak havoc with, it comes as no surprise that the Sydney band reach hitherto unforeseen levels of insanity.

‘Postcard From A Living Hell’ could not be less predictable, jerking manically from grisly breakdowns to booming bass drops, then to saccharine hooks and balladesque harmonies… Sometimes all in the same song. It’s a visceral explosion of imagination, laying hyperpop production over nu-metal guitars with a frankly surprising rate of success. ER

RedHook’s ‘Postcard From A Living Hell’ is out April 21.