2016 hasn’t been all bad, there’s been a ton of emerging talent to ease the pain. Check out our 10 favourite new Australian bands of the year

As quickly as it crept up on us, the end of 2016 is approaching. Today’s the day that half the world looked at their calenders and suddenly thought “F*&!, December is next week?”

At the end of 2015, we asked some of our favourite artists to round up the year in their own special way as well as choosing our own top 100 songs.

Fear not, the 2016 edition is in the works as we speak. But to tide you over (and possibly send a few hints in the process), we’ve thrown together a list of our 10 favourite acts that really broke it through in 2016.

new australian bands

There’s so many new Australian bands who broke through in 2016, it’s impossible to pick your favourites. Today, we do the heavy lifting for you.

Alex Lahey

The Sydney musician spent 2016 performing alongside some of the biggest acts in Australian music; Ella Hooper, The Jezebels and reeling in some impressive accolades by anyone’s standards. Her track Let’s Go Out was premiered by Linda Marigliano on triple j’s Good Nights and went on to win 2016’s Unearthed, earning her the opening slot for July’s Splendour in the Grass. A huge force for female songwriters and Australian music, Alex Lahey is one talented woman!

After the release of EP B Grade University, Lahey has been cleaning up, with an impressive following and praise pretty much across the board.  All in addition to Pitchfork naming You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me Best New Track. Her sound is a dry Australian poetic train of thought, unique and bright. Lahey is an exceptional example of the landscape of artistry we can expect for young Australian music.

Koi Child 

By no means hidden away over in Western Australia, Perth psych pop outfit Koi Child have been dominating the psych scene. With a mentor in musical genius Kevin Parker, you could hardly expect less.

Currently touring in a slew of tasty festivals including This That, St Jerome’s Laneway and Strawberry Fields, Koi Child have also cleaned up at recent WAM awards, taking out Best Urban Act amongst others. Expect to see Koi Child develop the hype this coming summer, this massive psych collective isn’t going to be a passing phase.


Sydney group Flowertruck have been kicking around for the past two years or so but it’s safe to say that 2016 has been their year. The indie pop outfit have played support sets with Band of Skulls and Shining Bird, not to mention their own tour with their highly anticipated debut EP Dirt.

The awesome foursome of lead vocals by Charles Rushforth, Sarah Sykes on synth, Hamish Dobinson on guitar and Will Blackburn on drums were nominated for FBi Radio’s SMAC awards as Best Live Act last year and 2016 has gone to show that this band is heading towards great things from their beginnings in Sydney’s Inner West.


This Brisbane sass cat named is totally shredding. Mallrat is a brash and funky fusion of indie, hip hop and electronica. Taking BIGSOUND by storm earlier in the year, she’s received astounding praise for her EP which was in everyone’s hot hands in sweet minutes.

Currently touring with Thundamentals, Mallrat has been most recently put forward to host the Triple J Breakfast show in light of Matt and Alex’s departure at the end of the year.

Bec Sandridge

The electro pop princess has had a cracker of a year. With the release of her debut EP in a surprise online and her own tour in the pipeline for the summer, Bec Sandridge is powerful, eccentric and oh so fun.

After winning Triple J unearthed 2015, Sandridge has climbed higher and higher, smashing it both live and with a series of stunning fresh releases.

Julia Jacklin

If you haven’t heard of Julia Jacklin until now, I suggest you get your head out of your butt and start paying attention. The Blue Mountains indie folk singer-songwriter has been putting out amazing music all year and gracing some of our best stages and those overseas.

Absolutely killing it at SXSW earlier in 2016, Jacklin took her debut EP Pool Party around the globe, signing with labels in both the UK and United States as well as Liberation back home. Julia Jacklin is a true homegrown hero and destined to be one of Australia’s big name exports.

Winston Surfshirt

The Northern Beaches locals have been on the scene for a few years now but they have kicked up the dust in 2016 with their incredibly successful collaboration with Polographia on Sly.

A little twist of their ska funk brand was so gorgeously absorbed by this downbeat electronic tune, it showed the potential of Winston Surfshirt’s tasty sound to permeate the upcoming summer and has set a tone for further releases from this truly unique group of talents.

Gretta Ray

Unearthed High could not have done much better than this Brisbane Gem.  At just 18 Gretta Ray is a stunning songstress of unimaginable potential.  Romantic and adolescent, her sultry tone totally encapsulates the beautiful tragedy of youth.  An understatement to say that Ray will be slaying 2017, her winning release Drive is dark, sweet and filled with the highs and lows of a promising addition to fresh Australian music’s compendium.  To see it, is to believe it and with that watch Matt and Alex surprise Gretta Ray with her Unearthed High win.

Tash Sultana

Who could have a list like this and NOT include this Melbourne superstar.  From busking on the streets of her home city Tash Sultana has completely taken renegade over Australian music, think out of this world musicianship, we truly have not seen multidisciplinary artistry like this in god knows how long.  With a mind-blowing live set and arguably some of the best releases of 2016, this world music electronic fused sound has set the bar incredibly high for anyone who thinks that they can beatbox into a pan flute…and no you did not read that wrong. Trust us and get yourself to one of her shows to experience something like you’ve never known.


Montaigne has been rising from strength to strength this year, with a stellar EP release and a sold out tour, Jess Cerro is an enigmatic and powerful performer. Her debut album Glorious Heights, which includes singles I’m a Fantastic Wreck, Clip My Wings and Because I Love You, has been welcomed with open arms into the throws of Australian songwriting.

Her clear delightfully poetic voice, wicked sense of humour and onstage presence makes for a standout artist and a beacon of musical hope on the landscape of the next generation of songwriters.