New music from Australia in pictures, words, and numbers
🔥 The Best New Music Playlists In Australia In 2023
When you strip out all of the various mood playlists, genre-specific anthologies, greatest hits collections, and in-jokes set to music, there actually aren’t that many playlists that focus both on Australian artists and their latest music.
I’ve found about 30 of them, so – since they’re all dead bloody great – I figured I’d compile a guide (what you’re reading was updated in January 2023, with the next update due in July 2023).
All of these playlists are really, really good at updating regularly, finding new Australian talent, and posting new music when it comes out. If you want to stay across the best new music in Australia, these are the lists to follow (of course, if you want to pick just one, I’d recommend mine!)
Anyway, here you go – the best new music playlists in Australia: there’s a handy gallery first of all, which means you can see just the list of playlists, separated into five categories by size, and then ranked by followers. Below that is a bit of a summary about each one – you can mosey through the gallery, click on the categories below to go straight to that section’s lists, or just doomscroll the whole damn thing in one go. Happy listening!
A large, partly algorithm-driven list of the best of the week’s releases. These are both positives and negatives of course, but it’s usually got some newer acts in there which makes it really influential but with a bit of a conscience. Without question the most influential playlist in Australia, and the most important one to make an appearance on for acts of any size.
triple J’s New Music Hitlist
Like all of their new music playlists, Triple J’s flagship new music list only adds around a dozen tracks each week, so you’re getting a really easy-to-consume snapshot of what’s hot according to the folk at the big red drum. Each week, there’s usually one or two breaking artists added in as well, which is usually a pretty good indicator of who they’re betting on to get bigger. I sometimes think I’d like to see a few more tracks added here but, to be honest, this is a really useful size to scan through, especially if you follow a few of these lists.
THE big hip-hop list, so a massively important list for the genre, and the one to follow if you want a one-stop snapshot of the scene.
The Local List
With ~100 tracks added every time it updates, this is the perfect list to follow if you want to hear recent releases from Australian artists, and nothing else. Given its audience size, it’s also a really important one for an artist’s career, and making it on here will usually see them get a sizeable listener bump. Aside from its sheer length, which can be a bit unwieldy, the only downside here is that a large number of tracks are frequently re-added each week – while it’s all-Australian, it’s not all-new, with some tracks being added and re-added each week over a period of months.
The biggest purely guitar-driven list in Australia, this one is also hugely influential for its genre. Again, a must-follow if you’re into the sound.
A bit more spicy than Indie Arrivals, but while it’s not quite as large, this one gives newer acts a space to break through, especially ones with a bit more bite than would usually be tolerated on a major playlist.
Alt Here (fka Broad Chords)
Big & jangly, this features a worldwide selection of artists, but when an Australian artist makes it in here, it’s often a strong signal that they’re doing extremely well.
Another playlist made of onomatopeia. Most of it’s pretty new even though not all of it’s Australian, but hey – nothing’s perfect. That said, this might not be the most massively followed playlist, but it is one of the most perfectly formed if this sort of sound is what fires your synpases.
triple J Unearthed Best New Music
While this is home turf for Unearthed, it’s not *really* about unearthing artists – many of those added to this list are already well-established acts. However, it’s an excellent space to see where the Triple J team’s head is at on new artists – if an act is getting ace reviews from JJJ staffers, they’re likely to end up here, which can save you a ton of time wading through Unearthed itself.
Double J Best New Music
It might be your parents’ favourite way to show they’re cool, but it’s got a decent sized following and this is the sort of list that helps propel a niche artist into a broader world. It might not have any pizzazz whatsoever, but if your favourite act breaks on here, it’s getting noticed.
Fresh Finds AU & NZ
Another relatively small-scale list from the big player, but one which can often give intriguing insights into who Spotify are digging on. Calling it a ‘feeder club’ is too patronising since making it on here is no small thing – but you should consider that every act who does get a spot has an asterisk by their name, there’s good odds to be had.
Remorselessly independent, this is the kind of thing that by rights simply would not be allowed to exist in a world entirely run by commercial decisions – and we should all thank the universe for that. Noisy, bonkers, and occasionally unlistenable, this is the list you want to make it onto if your neighbours really, REALLY, hate your band.
Australia’s Best New Music
The Guardian are just as earnest about new music as they are about everything else, and – God love ’em – they construct an admirably broad church of new music each month. Because it’s monthly there’s usually a heap of stuff on here that’s weeks old, but it’s impeccably curated, it’s got sharp taste that often disregards an act’s size or cool factor, and the grown-up-newspaper vibe adds cred to any act that makes it on here.
Home & Hosed
If you don’t obsessively flick through this playlist like it’s the new release bin at the record shop then you really don’t give a shit about new music and I simply don’t want to know you. Essential.
New Music On FBi Radio
The erstwhile FBi Radio in Sydney does a stellar job supporting Australian music, and their playlist reflects their eclectic, often super-bleeding-edge tastes. The playlist features acts from anywhere, but has a particularly admirable commitment to ensure at least half of it is Australian (and half of that is from Sydney). A treasure.
The Australian Music Scene
This is the largest of all the playlists I categorise as “independent” (ie not run by Spotify, Triple J, Double J, or The Guardian) and is a total beast. A real firehose, it updates several times a week, which means there’s usually something new to discover. There is no filter here though – do not expect it to make any sort of sense as an actual playlist, but instead use it as a terrific resource to see who’s releasing what in Australia.
Outstanding Australian indie label Domestic La La run a weekly playlist, which (brilliantly) is mostly built on suggestions garnered from commenters on their Instagram page. While they don’t make the mistake of just pushing their own label’s acts, even if they were to do that it would still be bloody brilliant. Essential, and a real source of crackerjack listening suggestions.
Pilerats Presents: The Office Playlist
Pilerats make no claim about how often this playlist gets updated, but new tracks are added with near-clockwork regularity and with what appears to be deep care to expose a huge range of acts, both local and global. Whether they’re *actually* listening to this stuff is debatable – but there’s no doubt they pay attention to how this thing is put together.
Despite the frankly hilarious claim that it’s updated weekly, when Tommy Faith does get around to adding stuff to his playlist it is *always* worth paying attention to.
Best New Music on 2SER
Sydney’s community music station 2SER’s playlist may not add loads of tracks but they make bloody certain it’s as varied as it can be. Ensuring that Australian artists are fully repped is just a bonus. A small but perfectly-formed weekly treat.
Good Intent’s GOOD FRIDAY
Run by the good folk at PR agency Good Intent, this is really well-crafted playlist, assembled with enthusiasm and care. Inevitably, there’s a built-in bias towards acts they work with, but that doesn’t detract from the quality.
The Underground Stage: New Australian Music
👋 Hello! My own playlist is 100% focussed on emerging, independent, and DIY artists, featuring only Australian acts, and only tracks that have been just-released (ie within a matter of days, most often on release day). I keep it to a brisk 50 tracks and add tracks regularly, sometimes as often as twice or three times a week as new music is released, but always with a major update on Friday mornings. The cover artist is always one I’ve previously photographed live and who has a new track out that I think is awesome. It’s my own personal love letter to new Australian music, and I genuinely love every track I post.
DISCOVER – Budding artists doin’ their thing
Amnplify do sterling work and focus mainly on live music on their site & socials, but are big champions of new Aussie recorded music too. Updates as they get new music (so there’s usually something fresh on the plate), and there’s a pleasing breadth to the choices so that you get a solidly wide lens on new stuff some of the best more emerging artists in the country.
New Music Champions
Purple Sneakers Presents: #Trusted For Taste
One which should probably have more followers – partially because it’s attached to a pretty well-read publication, but mainly because it’s really good. It’s another one which doesn’t go mad with the number of adds each time it updates, but which clearly selects them pretty carefully. There’s a decent amount of global acts in there, but the newer Australian ones they select are all top drawer.
Sounds Australia Selects
One of my favourite playlists, Sounds Australia’s weekly updates follow a strict rule – they must have showcased for Sounds Australia. Every week you get a dozen or so brand new tracks from Australian acts of all sizes, and all genres – this one rule creates a great little snapshot and it often turns up a gem or two that’s gone unnoticed elsewhere.
Happy Mag Weekly
I like the fact this one completely wipes and resets each week, with a compact but well-rounded selection of what’s big, what’s new, and what’s just plain great. Loads of Australian music sitting alongside global megastars, it’s solid as a rock.
Discovery: The Best New Music From Australia and Around The World Mag Weekly
About a dozen adds a week get slotted on to The AU Review’s playlist, a mix of international acts and newer Australian ones. It also updates on Thursdays, giving you a helpful new mixtape just before the Friday rush arrives.
Best New Bops
The irrepressible Nic Kelly – outside of radio-ing, DJ-ing, and TikTok-ing – also maintains this sparkly gem of a playlist, which absolutely bathes itself in glorious pop. So bright it could sear your retinas, but your ears will thank you.
Run by the people behind the burgers, the music, and the good times at Mary’s, this is the soundtrack of a wild-ass time in Sydney. Always updated with passion and care, and often completely off its chops, it’s a brilliant snapshot of what’s tickling the ear canals of some of the most influential people on the scene.
Run by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, this one is predictably focussed on smaller releases, although some fairly massive labels still count as ‘indies’ for some reason. Still though, despite the occasional ringer slipping through the cracks, this is a great listen every week.
Lennox Groove’s TURNED UP
Lennox Groove do a whole bunch of music-y stuff – promo, bookings, management etc – and their playlist is a mirror to their passion for music. Updated irregularly but often, tracks are chosen with care. Well worth a weekly listen for a hot hit of what’s new.