With the dust now settling on 2013, you might still be catching up on the sounds and bands you might’ve missed for this year (let us help with our Top 15 Albums Of 2013 You Might Have Missed).

But the attention of music lovers is already turning to the next year of cutting edge sounds and breakout bands. Namely, those artists that are most likely to pull a Lorde or a Flume in the next 12 months.

We’ve already looked at the year’s most promising new acts according to you, dear readers, as part of the results of our 4th Annual Readers Poll (another round of applause for your good taste), while the tastemaking BBC Sound of 2014 also honoured the Top 15 acts they think you’ll be digging in the next 12 months. Now, it’s Triple J’s turn.

Following on from revealing the Top 50 most played artists on Triple J Unearthed, the national youth broadcaster has done some more digging to bring the results of its annual Next Crop list, a 20-strong collection of Aussie artists handpicked by the station as being “primed to make a big splash in Australian music in 2014.”

Triple J’s crystal ball has been pretty accurate thus far, with previous Next Crop picks including the likes of The Temper Trap, Ball Park Music, Boy & Bear, while last year’s list included a number of names that have gone on to claim local and international infamy, such as Flume, Chet Faker, Courtney Barnett, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Northlane, Kingswood, and The Trouble With Templeton – to name a few.

So who does Triple J think is going to turn heads and capture ears in 2014? Read on for a rundown of the 20 artists featured in the Triple J Next Crop 2014.

Bad // Dreems

This Adelaide outfit have already cracked the Top 10 of Triple J Unearthed’s Most Played list for two years running and earned international attention when they cracked the coveted CMJ charts earlier this year. Their debut Badlands album, a natty collection of scuzzy rock sounds and charming laconic songs, has also scored Bad // Dreems an opening slot on their hometown leg of the Laneway Festival 2014. With their unassuming attitude and distinctly Australian flavour, it’s not hard to see why.

The Bennies

This Melbourne four-piece have spent the last 12 months building a sturdy springboard into 2014 for their self-described “psychedelic party reggae ska doom metal punk rock from hell.” Though they started the year on a nasty note, guitarist ‘Jules’ Rozenbergs hospitalised while on tour with good friends The Smith Street Band, they swiftly turned tragedy into triumph – signing on with their mates’ label, Poison City, in August before unleashing Rainbows In Space (a former Tone Deaf Album of the Week) and snagging a slot on the huge Soundwave 2014 lineup.

Born Lion

In mid-2012, four dudes from Wollongong came together with a singular goal in mind – create some furious punk rock. Just over a year later and Born Lion’s mission statement has faltered none, delivering a roaring sound of serrated chords, angular rhythms, brutal beats, and impassioned vocals. They’ve already won a cult following off the back of their Soundwave performance and as signature single ‘D Is For Danger’ heartily showcases, they’ve got the tunes to match the ‘tude.

Cosmo’s Midnight

These electronic producing twins already have the seal of approval from fellow Sydney-sider Flume as spearheading the new wave “Australian Sound”, and given Triple J Unearthed has already given them a good battering on air this year, expect to hear a lot more of their music in the next 12 months. With the ‘lush electronica meets smooth vocals’ box well and truly ticked, they’re bound to find their way onto countless playlists in the near future.

The Creases

Laneway Festival has already sat up and taken notice of the spindly guitar pop of this Brisbane four-piece, honouring the band with an opening slot on the 2014 edition of the festival. Recommended if you dig the Queensland wave of bands like Ball Park Music and The Jungle Giants (who The Creases have supported on tour). Their Next Crop pick is to be expected too given that Triple J’s Nick Findlay hails them as “one of the most exciting bands to come out of Brisbane.”

D.D Dumbo

As anyone who caught this Castlemaine-based wizard’s fill-in slot for Vance Joy at Meredith will tell you, D.D Dumbo has the amazing live show to back up his recorded tangle of knotty guitars, whooping vocals, and warm looped beats. Like a ‘one-man Dirty Projectors’, the beating brains behind the music – Oliver Perry – morphs mutant blues with indie-friendly chic to intoxicating effect, as hear on his debut self-titled EP, which includes a cover version that only someone with true talent and vision could pull of convincingly: a brooding rework of Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ that me makes his very own.

Dustin Tebbutt

With his lilting falsetto, gentle guitar, and Sweden-hopping back story, Dustin Tebbutt is an easy sell. But don’t make the foolish mistake of skipping over this New England, NSW musician because of the ‘singer-songwriter’ tag. His sublime songcraft – which will totally appeal to fans of Bon Iver and José Gonzalez – is too good too miss. Start with The Breach EP, then keep an ear out for what he’s got up his talented sleeve in future.


It’s been a character-building year for this Cairns-born, Brisbane-based songwriter. Eves, the alias or Queenslander Hannah Karydas, has been working hard on cultivating her knack for cunning melodies that stitch to her soaring vocals, as heard in singles like ‘Scrutizine’ and ‘Heavy’. Her latest number, ‘Zen’ (which comes with a self-made music video) shows why her debut EP – due in 2014 – is predicted to do big things for the young lass.

Gang Of Youths

Aside from the awesome band name (how did no-one think of that ’til now?), these five Sydney boys have a great tagline, they make “emotional-ass concept rock.” What does that mean? Well, they’re not scared to aim straight for arena-rock sized anthems that have shades of The Killers, U2, and Bruce Springsteen. They’re also trotting around with indie royalty like Vampire Weekend and Frightened Rabbit for their respective Australia tours; how’s that for exposure?

The Kite String Tangle

Danny Harley has been producing music under the Kite String Tangle moniker since May 2012, and nearly every single one of his ethereal pop tunes has been a hit-in-waiting. He’s already had a sold out national trek, and with a number of on-target songs already under his belt, he’s in a great position for a killer release in the coming months.

The Love Junkies

Already bona fide heroes in their hometown of Perth, this trio of grunge disciples won big at the WAM Awards this year, the rock dilettantes walking away with Rock Act Of The Year and Best Breakthrough Act trophies. One listen to their roaring debut album, Maybelene, and its clear to hear the skill and potential of The Love Junkies. They’re pretty much festival ready too, having toured with British India and played Big Day Out and Groovin’ The Moo already.


Another multiple WAM Award recipient, the Perth-bred musician won the Song of the Year gong for the socially conscious rhymes and self-made production of ‘Nourishment’, which features Perth native Abbe May. Epic in scope and powerful in execution, Mathas isn’t sugarcoating his ambitions to be a go-to name in the Australian music scene. Jump on the bandwagon early before he drops his debut album next year.

Meg Mac

Having taken music as a given in her life since the ripe age of nine, Meg Mac (aka Megan McInerney) has only flaunted two songs so far ‘Known Better’ and ‘Every Lie’, but they have enough soul, drama, and arresting chops to score her an Unearthed slot for the Falls Festival, and she’s likely to appear on a few more festival bills if she keeps pumping out such strong tunes.

The Murlocs

When he’s not jamming with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, the harmonica howlin’ Ambrose Kenny-Smith (son of The Dingoes’ Broderick Smith) can be found fronting The Murlocs. Amazingly, this rock outfit are still a bit of a best kept musical secret, but given their sheer talent for full-blooded fuzz rock and 60s-styled garage-bred pop (and the growing popularity of Kenny-Smith’s other band), it won’t stay that way for long.


Having claimed the 2013 J Unearthed Artist of the Year Award, Remi was a dead-set selection for the Next Crop picks. But that’s purely because he’s one of the hottest names in Aussie hip hop right now. Killing it both in the studio and on the stage, the MC has thousands of YouTube views, multiple mixtapes, and multiple support slots to his name, playing with international stars like Danny Brown, De La Soul, and Joey Bada$$ (to name a few). His touring schedule also means he’s set to expand his fanbase in 2014; after playing Falls Festival and NYE on the Hill, he’s off to Perth FestivalPush Oversupport Illy on his national tour, and embark on his very own.


Playing alongside Disclosure and the Tone Deaf reader-beloved RÜFÜS has brought big exposure to this Canberra trio, whose own brand of music – all energetic beats, tender singing, and smart sampling – fits perfectly among the best of Australia’s emerging talent – electronic or otherwise. Their horizons are beginning to expand, don’t be left out of the picture when they finally break.


A healthy dose of heavy on the Next Crop pack comes from Perth’s chaotic hardcore unit Statues. They nearly split in 2012 after losing half their lineup, but it was a blessing in disguise, as the revitalised rockers have since spawned their most life-affirming set of brutal metal yet. Showing off passion as well as precision, they’re putting the finishing touches on their debut LP.

Tkay Maidza

Born in Zimbabwe, raised in Adelaide; MC Tkay Maidza only discovered hip hop in 2010, but in that short time she’s already become one of the leading lights of the emerging wave of new rappers, thanks to the collaborative magic she’s found with Adelaide producer Bad Cop. Their bass-heavy banger ‘Brotnosauras’ is a full showcase of their combined talent, including Maidza’s natural born skills on the mic. She’s set to appear on next year’s lineup for ‘friends-of-friends’ festival, The Hills Are Alive, too – so expect the word of mouth to spread quicker and wider in the next 6 months.

Wave Racer

Another of the Flume-approved “Australian Sound” mob, this Sydney electronic producer – already a favourite of Triple J House Party (joining in for the live tour earlier this year) – is actually a Future Classic labelmate of Harley Streten (and on his personal ‘high rotation’ mix). The dolphin-obssessed, Nintendo 64-inspired Wave Racer is also benefiting from being part of a like-minded community of producers and remixers that are spruiking each other’s talents (including Triple J Unearthed club Cosmo’s Midnight, Yahtzel, and L D R U).

Willow Beats

You wonderful Tone Deaf readers already know that Willow Beats are one of the most promising acts of 2013. Narayana Johnson and Kalyani Mumtaz’s infectious brand of spiritually-fused electronica is onto a good thing, and the face-painted cult is sure to grow thanks to their attention to detail that marries dubstep power with pop-hewn ambience. Plus playing some of the biggest Aussie festivals on offer – such as Splendour In The Grass, Falls, and Strawberry Fields, also puts them in great stead for a huge 2014.

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