The artists that will shape 2018

Now that the new year has kicked into gear and the wave of nostalgia is starting to pass, let’s take a look at some of the artists you most definitely should have on your radar in 2018.

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Stella Donnelly

You probably already know Stella Donnelly from acts like Bells Rapids and BOAT SHOW, but it’s her solo work – stripped-back acoustic guitar, angelic voice, and storytelling that drips of years far greater than her own – that has caught the country’s attention. Her honest, sometimes heartbreaking lyrics and stand-up routine worthy banter are as endearing as they are memorable.  From her all-killer, no-filler debut EP Thrush Metal to her two much talked about sets at Bigsound, Donelly’s is a voice you’ll be hearing on the Australian scene for years to come.

Where to start: The upfront and devastatingly beautiful ‘Boys Will Be Boys’.

Gold Fields

It’s been a while since we’ve heard new music from Ballarat’s Gold Fields – but 2018 is set to finally deliver the follow-up to their 2013 debut Black Sun. They recorded their debut three times before they were happy with the final result, so we were never expecting a speedy return, but boy-oh-boy have they kept us waiting. Following a one-off set at Vivid Sydney 2017 and a cheeky music snippet in a Converse ad, we can all breathe a sigh of relief – Gold Fields are back. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder so here’s hoping for more indie-electronic bangers real soon. You can bet once this new record drops, you’ll be hearing it all over the place.

Where to start: Their hook-filled earworm ‘Happy Boy’.


Didirri has been mesmerising people all year with his thoughtful songwriting, onstage charisma, and nostalgic charm. His songs carry a raw, emotional energy rarely seen in a songwriter of his age, his lyrics don’t shy away from the truth, and onstage he breaks down walls between the audience with the greatest ease. With his recently inked record deal through Unified – which will see the release of new music in the first half of 2018 – we expect you’ll be hearing a lot more Didirri real soon.

Where to start: The reflective, heartfelt ‘Jude’.

Hockey Dad

Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming have been carving up the NSW coast for years, but it was their 2016 debut Boronia that pushed them out to national audiences. Through tireless hard work and the genuine connection between the duo, they’ve earned a legion of loyal fans across the country. But it’s the growth on their forthcoming album Blend Inn that’s sure to take them to the next level.While they continue to capture the energetic vibe and sunny sounds of the east coast, it’s the tales of growing up – stories of anxiety, homesickness, and struggling to fit in – that’ll make you return again and again.

Where to start: The first single off their new album 'Homely Feeling’.


Norway’s Sigrid only started music four years ago, but she’s proved to be a fast learner, churning out a series of Scandipop bangers that have the world paying attention. The next generation of pop superstars are starting to shine, and she’s right at the front of the pack. Her debut single ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ kicked off 2017 with a bang and paved the way for her charmingly, hook-filled debut EP. Still, we’ve only had a small taste of Sigrid, and 2018 is shaping up to be her year.

Where to start: Empowering pop banger ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’.

Thunder Jackson

If you don’t know Thunder Jackson yet, you’re forgiven – the mysterious duo only released their debut single in November, but the buzz it generated has set them up for a big 12 months. ‘Guilty Party’ is an outright smooth, party jam – from the funk-inflected guitars to the hookworthy lyrics, this tune is sure to have you dancing in no time. While there isn’t much to know about Thunder Jackson besides their Oklahoma and Cariff origins and their chance meeting in a Los Angeles cab, one thing we’re certain of is this pair know how to create an instant pop banger. “What exactly is a Thunder Jackson?” – well, maybe 2018 will tell us.

Where to start: Try not to dance along to ‘Guilty Party’.

Rex Orange County

It’s been a pretty crazy 12 months for Rex Orange County, AKA 19-year-old Alex O’Connor. As well as two guest spots on Tyler the Creator’s Flower Boy (on ‘Foreword’ and ‘Boredom’), and playing live with Frank Ocean and Skepta, he also self-released his debut album, Apricot Princess. Ten loved-up tracks full of soaring hooks, gorgeous vocals, and jazzy piano, it’s pretty damn obvious why O’Connor is receiving early nods from all your favourite artists.

Where to start: The sickly-sweet and utterly intoxicating ‘Loving Is Easy’.


Yungblud’s blend of punk hip hop is the future – there’s no doubt about it. He’s a little bit early Arctic Monkeys and a little bit Jamie T, with a healthy dose of hip hop spirit thrown in for good measure. He’s only got a handful of songs under his belt but the English youngster is making waves right around the world – including right here in Australia. If this little taste has already got us swooning over Yungblud, you can bet we’ll all be head over heels real soon. You’d best get him on your radar immediately.

Where to start: The angry-yet-charming Tin Pan Boy’.

Now that you're keen for the year that will be, reflect on the year that was with our guide to the Best Albums of 2017