Eight Naarm artists you have to know in 2023

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Eight Naarm artists you have to know in 2023

Words by Louis Harrison

2022 brought us so many emerging new artists across genres, as well as fan-favourites with hits we still can’t get enough of.

2022 was a year of new artists, new music, and new playlists. 2023 brings with it the excitement of even more to come! With festival season in full swing this summer with packed lineups, here are some Melbourne/Naarm artists you need to watch this year.


Electronic/indie/pop trio Telenova released their debut EP in 2021 following the success of their single Bones which charted at #91 in the 2021 triple j Hottest 100. Telenova has also joined the lineup for Ability Fest 2023 alongside other local and international artists. 2022 saw Telenova release more singles and an EP titled Stained Glass Love, which quickly garnered attention from their fanbase. From their formation in 2020 to the festival-playing band they are now, Telenova is definitely one to keep on your radar and in your playlists.

Gretta Ray

The triple j Unearthed High Winner and Vanda and Young Songwriting Award Winner for 2016 teases the release of new music to drop this year. Kicking off 2023, Ray released a cover of Elbow’s One Day Like This in partnership at State Library of Victoria and has leaked demos of potential songs to appear on her anticipated sophomore pop album. Gretta Ray remains a promising artist with strong lyricism and storytelling through her music.


At just 16, Winner of triple j’s 2022 Unearthed High Competition 2022, JACOTÉNE is certainly making her mark on the industry with her pop/R&B demo of I Need Therapy. Already playing festivals like BIGSOUND, set to perform at St Kilda Festival, and join the lineups of plenty other 2023 events, JACOTÉNE is a powerful young artist whose music is reminiscent of artists like Amy Winehouse. JACOTÉNE’s music is available on triple j Unearthed.


Known for their high-energy live performances, Pridelands are a well-loved favourite for heavy music lovers in Melbourne/Naarm. The five-piece alternative-metal band released their first full-length studio album in 2022 following their 2015 debut EP Natives and 2018 EP titled Any Colour You Desire. For any metal fans, Pridelands are sure to bring the emotive and energetic performances that have made them so popular in years before into 2023.

Babyface Mal

With hundreds of thousands of streams on his music, Babyface Mal is a rapper/songwriter from Melbourne. His unique, individualistic sound and impressive skillset has won him fans from across Australia. Mal has been working on more releases to keep pushing and promoting his sound to new viewers and continues to be a presence in the industry. One to add to your playlists in 2023.


Sidney is an indie-pop singer-songwriter with a soulful voice and hauntingly beautiful lyrics like “thought I’d be fine by now / its not like I haven’t tried” from Tried, a single on her debut EP titled Imposter. In late 2022, Sidney supported Gretta Ray at the idyllic Chapel off Chapel, showcasing her vulnerable tracks. Sidney is one to watch in 2023, as she continues to build her discography and play live shows locally.


From curating mixtapes as a teen for her friends to playing festivals and having her music on rotation both locally and internationally, FOURA is shaking up the world of electronic music. You might have seen, or rather heard FOURA’s music at events like Let Them Eat Cake at Werribee Mansion in Naarm, BIGSOUND, Falls Festival’, and Beyond The Valley.

Sophie May

Sophie May released her debut album in 2022 following her rise to popularity on social media as an unsigned artist before she had even released a single. May has quickly built up a dedicated fanbase with her music being compared to the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams, Clairo, and Holly Humberstone. May took to TikTok during COVID lockdowns to share her songwriting, with one of her clips gaining traction quickly. Since releasing music on streaming services, May’s music has found its home on many chill playlists. May is definitely an artist to keep watching with her poetic lyrics and laid-back sound.

Check out her Unearthed profile here.