2019 was a blessed year for Australian music.
We had amazing releases like Thelma Plum’s cracker debut album Better in Blak, Julia Jacklin’s sadgirl masterpiece Crushing, Collarbone’s dreamy Futurity and Sampa the Great’s heater The Return just to name a few.
ONEFOUR skyrocketed Aussie drill to the forefront of the music conversation, Flume ate ass live on stage (can we repeat: we stan) and Tame Impala teased a new album (keen!!!!)
But 2020 is set to be even hotter. Syrup’s found five amazing home-grown acts that you NEED to keep your eye on this year, because they’re gonna go stratospheric. Let’s go.
Melbourne’s Harmony Byrne is a ridiculously talented, passionate and innovative singer/songwriter who needs to be on your list in 2020.
She’s already garnered write-ups on Pile Rats, Earmilk and Billboard and recently supported the Teskey Brothers on their national tour (nothing to sniff at, we assure you).
Not afraid to discuss her past as an ex-Mormon or her struggles with mental health, Harmony’s music is candid, bluesy and incredibly vibey. Her ability to combine disparate music styles and tackle sometimes dark subject matter whilst remaining thoroughly engaging and charming is unlike most musicians out there. Do yourself a favour (shoutout Molly Meldrum) and check her out.
If Radiohead, Muse, Jeff Buckley and Bloc Party had a lovechild or three (don’t ask me about the logistics, just let the mixed metaphor work) it would be Array.
This young alt-rock band from Sydney’s Inner West are renowned for their energetic live presence and mature sound, mixing ’90s English alternative tones with Australian rock aggression, backed by strong instrumentation and an emotional sensibility.
Already featured by Happy Mag and gigging like nobody’s business, the boys launched a new single on 13 February with a show at The Vanguard in Newtown. It’s pretty hot so go check ’em out.
Hamza Rashid is a young Pakistani-Australian visual artist and MC from south-west Sydney who’s an exemplar of Australian hip-hop.
Hamza’s bars are eloquent and technical, his music exploring the anxieties of growing up in the 21st century and the experience of being a “third culture kid”. His exceptional production and charismatic style have seen him rack up radio plays and Spotify playlist adds in 2019, and Hamza’s only gonna get bigger in 2020.
Listen to his latest EP Trash and Treasure right tf now and get on the Hamza wave.
Flower Boy 卓颖贤
Half-Chinese, half-Lebanese, 100% iconic, Flower Boy (aka Non Chalant) is one of the most dynamic artists and performers making music in Australia rn.
Informed by a classical musical background and a love of the Australian underground music scene, Flower Boy weaves dreamy, ambient tones under personal storytelling and an eye to the future, exploring emotional themes and uncharted utopias through sound.
She’s already been recognised as one of FBi Radio’s Independent Artists of the Week and her momentum is only growing. Catch her spinning at a club near you or check her out on Soundcloud.
This 19-year-old rapper/producer puts other rappers to shame. Hailing from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Boler Mani describes himself as having “the best ad-libs in the game” and tbh I don’t disagree.
A true double threat, he spits with heat and precision over incredibly lush beats, and has a keen eye for production. He’s truly at the forefront Australian hip-hop. He’s got support from triple j’s unearthed high and the nod from triple J breakfast presenter Erica Mallet; opened for Carmouflage Rose at BIGSOUND; and netted bulk plays on Spotify. Man keeps putting out gem after gem. Get around him.