Discover indie-pop darling Matilda Mann, punk rock rebels Ultra Q, electro-pop producer Sam Gellaitry, and more.
by Tyler Appleby Publishing date: Jan, 12, 2023
It’s 2023 and whether you subscribe to the whole “new year, new me” ideology, the calendar reset marks the slate clean for you to measure whatever you please—resolutions, relationships, personal goals…etc. For the musically inclined, this means a new year of releases and opportunities for burgeoning artists to rise from the crevices of Spotify and Apple Music’s catalog depths and make their way into conversations with your not-so-musically inclined friends. So in the spirit of out with the old and in with the new, we rounded up 8 alternative artists destined to have a great year and deserving of a spot on your music queue. Discover the next indie darling, pop punk band, electro-pop producer, and more below.
Casting beautiful spells from her otherworldly musical universe, there’s no emerging indie-pop artist as exciting as Dora Jar. Breathtaking vocals, bittersweet songwriting, and inspired production define Dora’s artistry, along with her ethereal yet goofy vibe and energetic stage presence. Fresh off her astounding Comfortably in Pain EP, Dora is set to further show off her talents to the world and build her already impressive catalog. Listen to “Multiply” for a taste of her whimsical pop style, and “Spell” to see how expansive her musical universe is.
There are not many artists as refreshingly cool as Wallice. Defined by loud guitars and stoically confident lyricism, Wallice’s music is reminiscent of great ‘90s rock bands like the Pixies and Weezer with a dash of Lana Del Rey’s attitude and Lorde’s wistfulness. Her most recent single, “Japan”, showcases her talents beyond alternative rock, and her 2022 EP, 90’s American Superstar, makes a strong case for her global big-stage potential. With festivals and gigs booked for the first half of the year, along with the promise of new music, Wallice is a name you’ll be hearing a ton in 2023, and for good reason.
After spending 2022 playing festivals around the world, including Life is Beautiful in Vegas and Slow Life Slow Live in Seoul, the pop powerhouse is ready to show why they’re the next big act capable of selling-out arenas and dominating the charts worldwide. Their most recent EP, Live in Seoul, proves their stage presence and sound are top-notch, especially for their trademark songs like “There’s Still A Light In The House” and “Like 1999”. With a new single, “Throwback Tears”, coming out on January 12th and a teased album on the way, Valley is destined to break out on a global scale.
While emo has seen a massive resurgence over the last few years, thanks to artists like Willow and Beach Bunny giving it new life, the California punk scene is being kept alive by Ultra Q. Drawing influence from The Strokes, Slowdive, and The Cure, the band perfectly melds energetic melodies with punchy riffs—something the punk genre hasn’t heard since the ’90s. Fronted by Jakob Danger Armstrong, the son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Ultra Q is a band that all rock fans must have on their radars before they reach superstardom as the next great punk band of this generation. Listen to “Redwoood” and “I Watched Them Go” to see what they’re all about, and be prepared to have their upcoming music on repeat throughout 2023.
It’s rare to find an artist that not only makes you excited about their own music but about the future of music overall. Nostalgically bittersweet songwriting, a warm yet familiar voice, and melodies that’ll have you staring aimlessly out the train window on your daily commute, the music of Matilda Mann is captivating on every level. Her most recent single “Margeaux” is reminiscent of early Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell while “Doomsday” is perfect for fans of Phoebe Bridgers and Maya Hawke. After signing to Arista Records in 2022, Matilda is poised to release her best music yet and showcase her transcendent performances on stages worldwide in 2023. Matilda Mann is the future of indie-pop, and 2023 is hers for the taking.
Already a seasoned and well-respected producer, working with the likes of Masego, Don Toliver, and Tierra Whack, Sam Gellaitry has quietly become one of the most exciting artists in electronic-pop music. His most recent record, VF VOL II, is full of inspiring beats and earworm melodies, as he continues to prove he’s capable of being the next great pop producer. PinkPantheress is one of many artists who noticed his potential and collaborated with him on the endlessly catchy dance bop “Picture In My Mind” last year. He’s already received the coveted Drake co-sign, for his remix of Drake’s song “Massive” with GoldLink and PinkPantheress, and has opened for Kaytranada at multiple tour stops. There’s no limit to where Sam Gellaitry will go, he could be playing the main stage at EDM festivals, producing the next big pop hit, or stealing the spotlight as a solo artist.
If there’s an indie-rock band that should be on your radar in 2023, it’s Toronto’s Kiwi Jr. Fresh off the release of their third record, Chopper, the band has proven they’re a force to be reckoned with in indie-rock space, thanks to singles like “Unspeakable Things” and “Night Vision”. With vibes similar to The Strokes, Pavement, and The Vaselines, Kiwi Jr’s catchy synth melodies and boisterous guitar riffs, matched with beautifully nonchalant vocals, make them one of the most intriguing bands in the indie scene. Lead singer Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade fame) has a knack for writing incredibly quirky yet cool lyrics, and the band perfectly complements his unique style. Check out Chopper as you catch up on the best records of 2022, and discover why Kiwi Jr is one to watch.
Hailing from Philadelphia, Sadurn is a four-piece indie-folk band that is the culmination of all the best things the genre has to offer. Their recent record, Radiator, was an underrated project from 2022 and has some of the sharpest lyricism of the last decade. After signing to Run For Cover records, an influential indie label, Sadurn is showing beyond doubt that they belong in the same conversation as bands like Big Thief, Tomberlin, and Aldous Harding. If 2022 was the announcement of Sadurn onto the indie scene, 2023 will be the year they get their flowers. Listen to “Icepick” and “Snake” to see why they’re so special—they’ll be on repeat for the entire year.