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!
New Music Friday AU & NZ
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)
triple J Unearthed Best New Music
Double J Best New Music
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.
Australia’s Best New Music
Home & Hosed
New Music On FBi Radio
The Australian Music Scene
Pilerats Presents: The Office Playlist
Best New Music on 2SER
Good Intent’s GOOD FRIDAY
The Underground Stage: New Australian Music
DISCOVER – Budding artists doin’ their thing
New Music Champions