The best Australian artists to watch at SXSW 2023

With programming spanning all genres and styles, SXSW is not only a hub of discovery, but also a platform to showcase emerging talent from around the world, including a wave of exciting Australian acts breaking through and making waves on the scene. international music.

23 artists will perform at SXSW in Austin, Texas this year, giving the US music industry a veritable show of the best of new Australian music. The ideal place to catch great talent is Sounds Australia, which will take place at Australia House, with shows on March 16 and 17. We love all of our local artists, but here’s a list of our favorite acts:

teen johns

Tahli and Cahli are the blue and redheaded duo from Generation Z who make up Teenage Joans. The band has coined a term for their music, calling it ‘juice box pop-punk’ and yes, that perfectly describes their sound.

You may have heard the two when they won Triple J Unearthed in 2020. They wowed us last year with their angsty and satirical success. Awful. Cahli’s heavily accented Australian female vocals combined with plaintive guitar and catchy rhythms are a recipe for success. The duo have also been showing their versatility of late, getting raw and emotional on their acoustic version of their song. Came. The lyrical quality of Came it’s poetic, yet colloquial, it has stolen and broken the hearts of fans. NME cites that teen johns he’s ‘Australia’s Most Underrated Artist’ and we can’t help but agree, these two are so talented, pulling off hit after hit.

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The two have skyrocketed in popularity but have been performing alongside top Australian talent ever since. Despite their age, these two are seasoned performers and are guaranteed to get better.

king stingray

king stripe
Credit: Press

king stingray it’s one of Australia’s most exciting bands; founded by lifelong friends Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu and Roy Kellaway. The band is made up of Yolŋu and balanda members, who are bringing their indigenous language to a new audience.

The band combines the sounds of manikin and salty sounds of surf rock, pioneering a sound all their own. His self-titled album king stingray it was a hit with fans and new listeners alike. It was the highest charting debut album of 2022. They had a sold-out tour, 5 ARIA nominations, 5-star reviews from NME and pretty much every other Australian music accolade you can imagine.

Yirrŋa’s voice is powerful and offers a raw sincerity in all of her music. Her most recent single, a cover of Under, it’s a revival of what it means to be an Australian and it’s a complete success. This band is bringing indigenous language and music to the world stage and we couldn’t be happier. king stingray the music and popularity speak for themselves, these guys are well on their way to becoming australian icons.

hope d

hope d

This emerging queer artist from Brisbane/meaning, began her career by posting to YouTube from her bedroom at her parents’ house. Hope D’s close relationship with her listeners makes her music deeply personal, fun and honest. The first single from Hope D. Second, ranked number 69 on Triple J’s 2021 Hot 100 countdown, becoming an incredible and immediate hit for the bedroom rock artist.

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his album substance shock was released this year and is an exploration of the trials and tribulations of queer femininity in her twenties. It describes the good, the bad, and the messy in her life. Their lyrics are witty yet elegant and their music is a triumph of clean, polished pop-rock. Hope D is completely listenable and relatable, she is a great example of what can be done with some Aussie charm, sheer creativity and willpower.

party dozen

party dozen sxsw 2023
Credit: The Gumball

This two piece noise band consists of Kirsty Tickle and Jonathan Boulet. The two formed the band in 2017 and have become known for their wild live shows, as they harness all forms of media to redefine what can be achieved at a live music event.

The two are mostly instrumentalists, with Kirsty playing sax and occasionally providing vocals in an experimental manner, and Jonathan providing masterful sampling and percussion.

The two have created a band that cannot be put in a box. party dozen they are unpredictable, gender-bending, and mind-altering. They recently collaborated with Nick Cage on the song Macca the mutt from their 2022 album the real work which is vaguely disturbing, but fascinating. party dozen is Australia’s leading experimental music band, with increasing critical acclaim.


sxsw slarymen
Credit: Maria Boyadgis

This band has delighted listeners with their dynamic male and female vocals, danceable indie-rock music, and mesmerizing live shows. They emerged on the scene in 2019 and have gone from strength to strength. This band isn’t afraid to have fun as they play across indie, rock, psych and pop genres while keeping their music upbeat and dreamy.

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employees has been keeping their audience in Japan and at home entertained while touring their EP head in the sand. His use of imagery on stage has been the highlight of his performances. The music industry has relished his compelling and political compositions as seen on young guns, written in response to the current crisis of gun violence in the United States.

That employees they are so successful at discussing important issues, but most hopefully, this band won’t let their optimism be defeated by anything. They are a young band that is hopeful and committed. What makes them even more impressive is that they are self-recorded and produced, which has allowed them to find their own perfect balance between their vintage and modern influences. employees they are an Aussie force to be reckoned with.

Check out more SXSW goodness here.

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