Rock music may be suffering in an age when streaming accounts for most revenue, but certain artists are creating new paths forward for the genre.
No matter what Wenner and his self-appointed sentinels think, rock is not dead yet – just take a look at these 10 rising rock artists of 2023!
Rock music in 2023 is still flourishing and adapting, with new bands and artists helping bring it forward into the 21st century. One such band, The Refusers, are an outstanding example. Their guitar-driven diatribes against establishment are infectiously entertaining; and their mission statement speaks directly to current affairs – “truth is Treason/The US was Born Out of Protest & Mistrust/Submissive societies have rocks in Their Heads”.
The Refusers consist of Michael Belkin (songwriter, guitar & vocals), Ehssan Karimi (drums), Eric Robert (bass), and Steve Newton (guitar & background vocals). Their music challenges the establishment’s goals with melodic defiance songs that resonate today’s fierce revolutionary spirit against it – as witnessed when opening for Joan Jett, Black Crowes and X.
With their latest album 72 Seasons, they’ve taken inspiration from an ancient Japanese calendar which divides each year into 72 micro-seasons. Each song explores one aspect of this calendar while also drawing from nature, culture and philosophy to offer listeners an unforgettable listening experience.
No wonder this album was such a smash hit: it provides a powerful rallying cry to disenfranchised individuals that can propel them forward toward greater and better opportunities.
Fratti’s musical direction has also evolved dramatically, from rich warmth infused with nature sounds to bone-dry austerity – with string scrapes, synth whooshes and subtle vocalization. It is an exciting step that suggests anything is possible for her moving forward.
Many are uncertain of the future, yet alternative music seems to be making its presence known. Social media platforms are making this genre accessible and widening its horizons; more people are discovering this genre thanks to these platforms and exploring its vast possibilities. With some research you may just discover your ideal rock band; then all that remains is sitting back and watching their amazing talent perform live! These 10 rock albums released in 2023 should keep you engaged for days on end! Take a listen for yourself and let us know what you think!
Jethro Tull had enjoyed considerable success with their previous album, Under Wraps. Following Ian Anderson’s throat surgery, however, they went into a brief hiatus before continuing to compose quality music and release new tracks. Their first post-hiatus release was Crest of a Knave; an album which showcases many of their musical influences like folk, hard rock and jazz as well as featuring Ian Anderson’s excellent flute work on various tracks.
This album begins with “Quizz Kid”, a high-energy song featuring a driving drum beat and catchy guitar riff, before moving on to folk-rock track “Crazed Institution”, featuring skittering high hats and twinkling piano. However, the most impressive track on the album is its title track which showcases Tull’s ability to combine their diverse influences into one cohesive whole.
However, the album contains some less-than-impressive tracks as well. “She Said She Was a Dancer” contains eyeroll-inducing lyrics which haven’t aged well; similarly, piano and organ don’t mesh well together either. And to top it all off, “Budapest” ends the record as an endlessly drawn out bluesy guitar noodling exercise with Anderson’s annoying intonation.
Although this album does contain its fair share of flaws, it remains an enjoyable listen for fans of Jethro Tull and an excellent way to discover its distinctive sound. Additionally, this release gives an indication of where they may go next.
Even with claims that rock music is dead, many artists continue to produce breathtaking albums in 2023. Sophie Lloyd’s Imposter Syndrome album is an outstanding expression of self-doubt and anxiety through rock music; Metallica’s 72 Seasons also makes an outstanding contribution. And other artists have already made waves within rock music with their debut albums; see Metallica 72 Seasons as just two examples.
Metallica have established themselves as one of the premier acts in rock music history with nine studio albums, two live albums, 22 music videos and 44 singles to their name. Thanks to their ingenuity they rose from underground metal into one of the world’s most loved bands while their creative pursuits kept pushing forward their sound and artistic approach.
Metallica were pioneers of thrash, alongside Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth, in pioneering this form of heavy metal music that features fast riffs that engulf listeners’ bodies at high speed, often accompanying themes of death despair and power. When they made their major label debut with Kill ‘Em All and Ride the Lightning in 1991 they instantly become mainstream as best selling rock band of 1990s, still holding onto number one billing on Billboard 200 for several consecutive releases!
Metallica continued their quest for artistic exploration by recruiting producer Rick Rubin for their ninth album Death Magnetic (2008), marking a return to their roots while expanding their reach and reaching a wider audience. Two years later came Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, an acclaimed double album that further disrupted genre conventions. Shortly thereafter they collaborated with Lou Reed on Lulu (2011) before joining forces again with San Francisco Symphony for two performances which would be recorded as S&M2 (2020).
Metallica’s new album, Black and Gold (2022), is an action-packed 12-song power ride featuring newcomers Mike McCready and Kirk Hammett as part of an all-star lineup with veteran bassist Lars Ulrich and vocalist James Hetfield. Additionally, Metallica will embark on their co-headlining Worlds Collide Tour this year as well as festivals around the globe.
Paramore will have an impactful 2023 in rock music with their latest album After Laughter, while Sum 41 are working on a double album that will combine pop punk with heavier more metal sounds. All-female metal band Thundermother recently released their brand new album that is sure to get fans dancing their groove things! Plus with Tom Delonge returning to blink-182 and Mark Hoppus rejoining them too it appears rock music may not yet be dead after all!
The Mockingbird & the Crow
Rock has often taken a backseat to hip-hop and rap in recent years, but this year it’s making its presence known. Ranging from cathartic fits of anger to soothing melodies that simply let go of you completely, the genre has made huge noise – we applaud it!
At first glance, it may be surprising to see a British group appear on this list of 2023’s most influential artists, but don’t judge a book by its cover – Jethro Tull have been around since 1967 and recently released their 23rd studio album this year. Their unique musical space can be defined by lush soundscapes, radical experimentation, literary themes sampling theatricality as they continually amaze audiences while inspiring future musicians alike.
Urne made waves when their epic debut Serpent & Spirit dropped in 2021, drawing much praise for blending Metallica-esque muscularity with Mastodon-esque intricate guitar work and Gojira-style crushing modernity to form their sound. Now their new release…So Unknown promises to deliver that cathartic carnage to a wider audience proving these boys can stand tall among metal’s finest.
HARDY has been an instrumental force behind the rise of post-Bro-Country country music, both as a songwriter (for Morgan Wallen and more) and as an artist who’s making an impression live. A true myriad talent who masterfully “combines biography with imagination to craft real storytelling”, his second full-length LP the mockingbird & THE CROWN shows this creative ability on full display.
Hardy makes his debut double album release The Mockingbird & THE CROWN and explores uncharted waters, pushing himself further than ever before into uncharted terrain. The result is a 17-track duality showcase combining country with rock for which no other album on our format has done as successfully before. He collaborated closely with Derek Wells as co-producer as well as co-writer on all tracks featured.