Born in Nigeria and having moved to Nottingham in his early teens, JERUB draws on gospel, pop, soul and indie to create an arresting soundscape which he pairs with emotive, wispy vocals. With his next single dropping in February and his second EP set to follow later in the year, 2023 looks set to be a strong period for him.
Bristol-via-Black Country band Melotone offer something remarkably original. Their psych jazz sound is fronted by the dreamy vocals of Alec Madeley, who occasionally dips into the Portuguese language of his heritage. The evidently tight-knit playing from the rest of the band – Pete Carey (guitarist) Ant Nicklin (bass) and Ed Pearson (Drums) – gives an almost hypnotic-like charm to their work at times. We expect a lot from these lads in the future.
It’s been quite the year for Dirty Hit signee Wallice. The LA-based indie-pop artist dropped her second EP, 90s American Superstar – a concept project which tells of the trials and tribulations of a fictional celebrity. Having already toured with beabadoobee and played her own sold-out shows in London, Wallice looks and sounds ready for another gear change.
The start of 2022 created a springboard for Hazey, who broke onto the scene with a viral clip taken from B@ckbox’s Hardest U18s Cypher. The resultant track, ‘Packs and Potions’, went to number 11 in the charts and led to remixes from the likes of Digga D, Unknown T and Millionz. With his distinctive scouse flow, that appears to be just the beginning for the Mystery MC, whose numbers continue to rise.
Mauvey isn’t your typical alt-pop star. Even for a genre that prides itself on trying new things, his artistic endeavours go a step further, with an immensely charismatic performing ability and a style that traverses genres (inspired by his Ghanaian roots, and his upbringing in both the UK and Canada). He also has a touching overarching philosophy to his work, promoting love with every performance.
2022 saw the arrival of eleven archers, the poignant debut EP from singer-songwriter Nehmasis. The Palestinian-Canadian had experienced both the struggles and successes of the music industry in quick succession the year prior after her debut single, ‘What If I Took it Off For You?’, recalled the discrimination she’d felt as a Muslim woman when a label refused to offer her compensation for an advertising campaign. Since its release, the delicate track went on to soundtrack many videos of women discussing their relationship with the hijab on TikTok. And following her recent COLORS show and with more music to come, she’s only getting started.
Taking their band name from the inspiration behind Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Darcy – 19th century politician Thomas Langlois Lefroy, who broke Jane Austen’s heart – Wynter Bethel and Tessa Mouzourakis don’t just share a mutual love of literature. Their mission, they claim, is to subvert the broken woman trope and take up the mantle as lead characters. With more music to come next year, building on their popular 2021 EP, Flight Risk, as well as a support role with Sigrid on her UK tour, expect their quest to continue.
18-year-old Sekou is a true talent. With his voice, it’s little wonder Arlo Parks hand-selected him to play the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury earlier this year. Having grown his love for singing in the church as a youngster, and honed his craft at the East London Arts and Music school (which was helped set up by Chase & Status), this singer from Ashby, Leicestershire is set for big things. He’s even given himself the task of headlining Glasto in three years.
Listen to the lyricism on Lexie Carroll’s already commendable number of releases and you’d be hard-pressed not to think she sounds wise beyond her 17 years. Traversing folk, indie and pop, the young singer-songwriter recently signed to respected label Seven Four Seven Six, which will likely help her hone her craft in the ilk of new labelmates Matilda Mann and Matt Maltese, setting Lexie up for a big year ahead.
2022 was a year that marked an incredible set of releases from Irish post-punk bands, including Gilla Band, Fontaines D.C. and Just Mustard. The sound and hunger from Dublin five-piece Gurriers indicates that the conveyor belt of talent shows no sign of abetting. The guitar riffs and vocals on 2021 single ‘Top Of The Bill’ demonstrates their impressive, mature sound, whilst 2022 release ‘Boy’ gives you a sense of their raucous spirit. Expect big things.
An artist who turned the tedium of lockdown into a productive period, Ireland’s amy michelle used the time to learn to produce her songs. Her mellow indie-rock is delivered with soft vocals over a typically sparse arrangement and sees an obvious resemblance to the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Elliott Smith. With more music next year and an early 2023 gig at Shoreditch’s The Old Blue Last, she’ll no doubt be kicking on.
With a fast-growing reputation for their high-energy live shows, Liverpool band STONE look to build on their superb recent EP punkadonk – their first EP since they signed to Polydor. Applying an exhilarating guitar rock sound to tracks about the challenges faced by many youngsters today, STONE are cementing a solid fanbase – which already includes the likes of YungBlud, Sam Fender, and Louis Tomlinson.
Welsh singer-songwriter Edie Bens had her most prolific year to date in 2022, which included the release of singles ‘Therapist’ – which was given some love from BBC Radio 1 – and ‘Had You Never Gone Away’. The rising star grew up on a farm (with a pet owl and the world’s largest dog, according to the Guinness World Records); here, she developed her meticulous lyric writing. Her debut EP arrives early 2023.
Sam Austins has come a long way since couch-surfing and sleeping in the back of his car, after leaving home in his late teens. The singer-songwriter and model is nowadays more likely to be found opening shows for Vince Staples, Danny Brown and Playboi Carti or attending New York Fashion Week – as he did this year as an honorary guest of fashion magnate Phillip Lim. With an EP set for release in 2023 and another bigger project later in the year, expect to be hearing Austins name a lot more on the airwaves.
Another artist on this list finding new and novel ways to innovate the pop genre, it might sound like a bit of a misnomer to label spill tab as one to watch when she’s already amassed more than 60 million streams. In truth, we’re sure she’s just getting started. Having collaborated with the likes of Gus Dapperton and Metronomy, and won plaudits for her part-French, part-English 2021 EP Bonnie, spill tab will no doubt keep up the momentum in 2023.
Demonstrating her impressive vocal and emotional range on her debut EP, VITAMIN – C, this year, Dublin-based EFÉ (Anita Ikharo) will be taking this breakout success into 2023. Her two Glastonbury performances and support slots for JPEGMAFIA’s two nights in Dublin equally ensured she’s growing an impressive resumé when it comes to live shows.
2022 will also live long in the memory for North London rapper AntsLive, not least for his feature in Nike’s World Cup campaign. And now he’s hoping to build on the impressive single releases from the year too, with an EP dropping in January.
South London outfit Bleach Lab combine a mutual love for ethereal dream pop with a collaborative lyric-writing approach. 2022 has been a year in which they’ve continued to cut their teeth as live performers, with a recent headline show at Lafayette, playing to a sold-out crowd at Omeara and numerous festival appearances. Given the importance of such shows to a band’s development, we can be sure of big things to come next year.
With a penchants for hyper-pop, along with elements of breakbeat and jungle, New York-based Izzy Camina is continuing to mark herself out as a welcome voice in the genre, in the mould of Charli XCX. Her forthcoming EP, ANG3L NUMB3RS, is set for a Spring 2023 release and was co-produced between Izzy and Aaron C Harmon (whose credits include Doja Cat, Diplo and blackbear).
Another band on this list who hail from Ireland are garage punk rockers Sprints. Their 2022 EP A Modern Job demonstrated their lively, tight-knit playing wrapped around lead vocalist Karla Chubb’s relatable angst-ridden vocals. Plus, who else can make a track titled ‘Delia Smith’ with such oomph? Sprints are only heading onwards and upwards.