Sounds of 2023
Every year we gaze into our crystal ball and let you beautiful people know who's gonna kick ass over the next 12 months. Some of our previous predictions included the likes of Wet Leg, cleopatrick, The Mysterines, Black Honey, and Pinkshift - so needless to say, we know what we're talking about. Get ahead of the game now so you can brag to your mates later!
We've been eyeing up London-based duo Fräulein since their first single Pretty People back in 2021, and this year brought us their mesmerising debut EP, A Small Taste, which was one of our top releases for 2022. Four tracks of eerie grunge, A Small Taste was the perfect slice of the rich vocals, fuzzed-out guitar, and powerful drums which led to Joni and Karsten opening for the likes of The Mysterines and English Teacher. 2023 is set to be their biggest year yet, kickstarted by a support slot for one of their favs, Big Joanie, at London's Garage on the 11th of January.
Last year was mega for our pals PROJECTOR. From supporting the glorious cleopatrick at Electric Ballroom back in March, to their own UK headline tour, the beautifully abrasive Brighton trio also released singles hell in my head and NON, and joined Marshall's live roster. As far as this year goes, the band revealed they've recently been tucked away writing new music - so we're absolutely fucking gassed to hear what grungey goodness they've been cooking up.
The brainchild of Will Tse, Daisy Brain's angsty and confessional grunge-rock is quickly making him the voice of an anxiety-ridden generation. From a headline tour, including a sold out OMEARA with support from swim school and Carpark, supporting Crawlers and Lauran Hibberd, and breaking the festival circuit at Reading & Leeds, Daisy Brain racked up their live shows in 2022. After releasing Small Matters and the Disconnect Happy EP, we're just waiting for Daisy Brain to take his technicoloured indie-punk to the next level with a debut album in 2023.
The nicest baddasses in rock, Hanni and Clara aka ARXX are finally releasing their debut album Ride Or Die on Friday 31st March 2023. We already know that the long-craved album will feature singles The Last Time and Call Me Crazy (ft. Pillow Queens), along with celebrating the queer alt-rock duo's fan-favourite tracks like Deep and Iron Lung. ARXX kick off 2023 with headline shows at Paper Dress Vintage on the 12th January and Future Yard on January 14th. Pre-order Ride Or Die and buckle up, because 2023 is going to be the best year for ARXX yet!
Wickedly unhinged, Panic Shack's DIY punk has been on our radar since 2020, and the past year has seen them soar with support slots alongside Yard Act and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, and charming crowds at Reading & Leeds, 2000 trees and Boardmasters. Shattering the airwaves with their unapologetic lyrics and crunching hooks, 2022 saw the releases of the Baby Shack EP and Meal Deal, and a collab with Metronomy. Crashing into the new year with a show at DIY's Hello 2023 on the 10th of January, Panic Shack's rampage continues with a February headline tour, with 5 dates including London already sold out - grab tickets to the rest while you still can.
Knife Bride slashed their way out of the Brighton scene in 2022, releasing not one but three killer "glitter pop slut metal" singles: Tits and Teeth, Grenade and FANG DUMMY. They live up to the description, trust. The 5-piece also found time to play Download, support Wargasm on their UK tour with bimbocore royalty Scene Queen, and blazed through a set at Burn It Down - where they'll be making a return appearance next year. Surely an EP and headline tour are on the horizon in 2023?
We wouldn't normally put anyone on this list twice, but for SNAYX we'll always make a special exception. The dynamic duo are set to soar into the rock 'n' roll stratosphere this year - firing into 2023 with the fucking MASSIVE I'm Deranged, which has finally made its return to streaming services. On top of that, the pair will be back with more punk ragers in March when they release their debut EP (!!!) Weaponized Youth: Part 1. With a return to 2000trees and a support slot on Kid Kapichi's tour already lined up, the reptile boys are just an EP away from the big leagues. Chinese zodiac may not agree, but 2023 is definitely the year of the SNAYX.
Another one of our top picks of 2022, Toronto grunge twins Softcult quickly became a Coven favourite over the past year - and their EP Year of the Snake definitely got a lot of spins here at RC HQ. Politically-charged and armed with hypnotic harmonies and distorted guitar tones, Softcult have carved a niche in the rock scene with their deliciously dark shoegaze-glossed scuzz-pop. They've already got huge plans for 2023: supporting Incubus on their UK tour, opening for Muse at home in Canada, and releasing a brand new EP See You In The Dark out on the 24th March.
James And The Cold Gun
South Wales' loudest rockers James and the Cold Gun landed shows at BST Hyde Park with Pearl Jam and on tour with Therpay? thanks to their pummelling beats and furious riffs this past year. As if that wasn't huge enough, the quintet dropped their debut EP False Start, followed by a headline UK tour, and the riotous new single Chewing Glass. James and the Cold Gun have been teasing a debut album in 2023, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Don't worry, we'll feed you with all the updates along the way.
Brighton-based three-piece CIEL saw a rebirth in 2022, shifting their sound to a refined grunge-pop, and focussing their shoegaze and indie influences into a dark and angsty dream. Gritty riffs on the massive tune Fine Everything and moody harmonies fuzzed-out Baby Don't You Know lead to the Not In The Sun, Nor In The Dark EP and a haunting collab with the AA Sessions collective, as well as plays on the BBC 6 Music A-list and KEXP. After killing the UK live scene the past few years, CIEL are entering 2023 with a support slot on Lynks' tour and a show at The Old Blue Last on January 24th for DIY's Hello 2023 series already under their belts.
Dead Pony's electrifying War Boys EP was easily one of the most exciting releases we saw last year - pulsating drum beats, growling guitars, and ferocious vocals all mark their signature sound. The Glasgow four-piece have both bark and bite, further proven by their latest release: a tasty cover of Nelly Furtado's Maneater. 2022 also saw them support Mother Mother and play the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury (!!!) amongst loads of other festivals. If you missed them, they'll be playing Camden Assembly on the 24th of January.
STONE's debut EP punkadonk solidified the Liverpool quartet's place in the alt scene in 2022, serving up a hearty dose of punchy melodic punk with a splash of 90s drum and bass. They also went on tour with The Wombats and Inhaler, supported Sam Fender, played a sold out show at OMEARA, and a boat-load of festivals like Boardmasters, Reading and Leeds, and Y Not? In February they'll be supporting The Kooks on tour, as well as headlining their own in April.
Your new favourite rock band Uninvited shook up the Scottish alt scene in 2022 and aligned themselves with indie-rock royalty at 2000 trees and Reading & Leeds. The four-piece embarked on their first ever UK headline tour, packing out dates at London and Glasgow with rooms sweaty and ready for their belters - from queer indie anthem Tomboy, to 90's tinged The Party Song, and feminist rager Behind The Black Door. Having ended the year signing to Lab Records and securing a support slot on Nova Twins' UK tour, we're convinced that it's going to be a big year for Uninvited.
Glasgow indie-rockers Spyres stole the show in 2022 with their debut EP Dear Diary, a nostalgic 00's soundtrack of teenage angst and festival-ready riffs. We were lucky enough to chat to the four-piece towards the end of the year, taking a look at their massive triumphs including their UK headline tour, a mad summer of festivals, and supporting the likes of Softcult and Declan Welsh & The Decadent West. After being teased with some upcoming tracks on their tour, such as the bass-driven Give Me Back My Man, we're more than ready for new Spyres in 2023. Grab tickets to their headline show at Saint Luke's on February 9th, and your ears might be blessed with some more upcoming gems.
Cork based art-punk trio Pretty Happy came to our attention when their track Boots stomped its way onto our Discovery playlist at the end of the year. 2022 saw the band support Pavement and THUMPER 666, and this May they'll be supporting Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon! We can't wait to hear more new music from them over the next 12 months.