Sure, nostalgia might be fashionable right now, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of originality out there — especially in music. All around us, tons of inventive and fun pop acts keep bubbling up and thanks to a new viral market, it’s anyone’s game for who takes over the algorithm (and eventually your next Spotify Wrapped.)
There’s plenty of new music to look forward to this year from both veteran stars and your most recently beloved newbies, but the most exciting artists are the ones with distinct personalities and a clear vision from the jump. From the dreamy sounds of Hemlock Springs to the bubbly pop of Raissa, here are just a few acts to look out for in 2023. These are artists who can do more than just make a great song: they can make you excited to follow every move they do next.
The world can always use more girl groups, and FLO are preparing for a full takeover. The London-based trio released their debut album, The Lead, last summer and had a breakout moment with the the bubbly kiss-off “Cardboard Box.” The group harks back to the golden years of pop supergroups of the Nineties and are equally well-matched with their powerhouse vocals. After winning the BBC’s Sound of 2023 poll, they’re gearing up for world domination imminently. The trio haven’t announced a sophomore album quite yet but could see some of their previous singles gain even more attention as the year progresses.
Raissa, who was born in Spain before relocating to London, has been releasing music on her own for the last year after launching her career on Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records. Both her sound and style can be best described as brooding and somewhat grunge-y, yet she has a strong grasp of what it takes to make a truly great, bubbly pop hook. Just take a listen to her latest single “I Want Your Sex,” a shimmering and sultry bop with all the fixings of a properly inescapable earworm.
Since going independent in 2020 after a stint on Atlantic, Roan has released a steady stream of brilliant pop singles that she worked on with Dan Nigro, the super producer who’s helped Olivia Rodrigo and Caroline Polachek with some of their major hits. Roan’s string of 2022 bops were especially bright and buzzy, leading to opening slots on Rodrigo’s tour, as well as Fletcher’s, in the fall. Soon, she’ll begin a headlining trek of her own. Roan is planning on releasing an album this year.
Springs is an accidental pop star, having taken up making music as a hobby while in college studying medicine. But thanks to the viral success of her new wave single “Girlfriend,” and famous fans like Grimes and Steve Lacy, she is now all in on her budding career. Springs is dropping her next single in mid-January and is working on her debut album. She could be very well primed for a full takeover of both TikTok and the charts.
The TikTok star who helped redefine the word “bimbo” has had major pop ambition for a while now. At the turn of the new year, they began previewing a new single titled “I’m So Hot” that could fulfill all our early aughts pop nostalgia dreams. With notes of Paris Hilton’s short-lived pop stardom and Britney Spears’ Blackout, Chlapekca has the charisma to become the new reigning star of this year’s dance floors.