The Sound of 2023 - Part Two 2

The Sound of 2023 – Part Two

Presenting the second part of our list of artists to watch over the next twelve months, here is a vibrant collection of diverse acts of different types reflecting the range of tastes here at GIITTV. Stand by for a third part and Welsh tips.

The Umlauts

The Umlauts say “we’re just your average trans-European, multi-lingual, art-school, post-punk, techno-inspired, über-group/circus-troop/diaeresis.” Forming in art college in London around Alfred Lear and Oliver Offord, joined by Maria Vittoria Faldini, the band’s Monégasque co-lead singer, alongside Annabelle Mödlinger from Austria. Ü’s sound is an endlessly intriguing stew of multi-genre, multi-lingual European-influenced art pop that rustles with elements of sinister electro pop, no-wave, and menacing post-punk, bearing comparisons with the burrowing melodies and synths of The Knife, the experimentalism of Björk and the art pop suss of Grace Jones.

Following a string of well received live performances, they released their superb second EP Another Fact. During the sessions they were also joined by violinist Magdalena McLean, her strings weaving themselves like snail trails through these intoxicating and enveloping multilingual songs that constantly catch you off guard. From the pulsing swirl of the title track that is underpinned by a techno beat, it’s a homage to the “strangeness of clubbing…and a melding of experiences and perspectives”. In trademark Umlauts style it features violins, balalaikas, and a bicycle pump.

Perhaps their best moment so far is ‘Sweat’ whose ghostly minimal twitch is riven with buzzing bass, spidery synths and entwined refrains that switch from spoken to chanted, from obsessional to intoxicatingly spooky, and from Italian to English, it is inspired by Italo-pop and also shares an adventurous artistic vision that reminds me of the best of Audiobooks. Enigmatic, vibrant, and insidious, the sound of The Umlauts is sure to capture you in its web in 2023. (Bill Cummings)


Not a happy band name, unless each band member have divorced themselves from previous unhappy projects and found each other in a group therapy class. Which is to everyone’s benefit; their ex’s will see that in time too.

Divorce are purveyors of great wonk pop, soaring melodies, and a melting pot of styles on debut EP Get Mean which came out last year. Single ‘Checking Out’ is a great Country song blended with post punk, angular guitar, with the humour and vaudeville elements of The Lemon Twigs. Quite a unique combination.

Big things expected. (Jim Auton)

Teeth Machine

Teeth Machine are doing a great line in minimal, ethereal perfect pop on ‘Penny’, a Track of the Week from last year, and are only three singles in. ‘Drive By DK‘ had elements of Shoegaze and trip hop to it, and ‘Gumball‘ follows suit but with added moodiness and added Breeders scuzz.

I caught some of their set when they supported Sorry in Brixton in November and I’m looking forward to seeing a headline gig in a small, hot, sweaty room soon.

How they approach an LP will be interesting; it could be a sprawling monster or a lesson in minimalistic art. Either way it will be one to watch out for when it appears. (Jim Auton)


Where to begin with deadletter‘s 2022? A slot on the BBC Introducing stage introduced by Steve Lamacq at The Great Escape, supporting Placebo in arenas around Europe, their own headline tour, the release of their debut EP Heat!, and numerous other festival appearances – the list goes on and on. The 6-piece are Yorkshire born and bred but are now based in London and having signed to So Recordings are set to continue their rise. The addition of a saxophone to their post-punk sound adds a layer of chaos but its the twists and turns of the lyrics of charismatic frontman Zac Lawrence that really grab the attention. Pointed and observational yet delivered in such a way as to get the crowd dancing. There is only one way deadletter are going in 2023. Onwards. (Julia Mason)

Seraphina Simone 

With a Deep-South pastor grandfather, and a heritage that is black, Greek, Irish and Cherokee, Seraphina Simone is a swiftly rising pop songwriter whose songs have soulful, self aware and witty edges as she examines her place in the world. Signed to YALA!, her awesome debut EP Milk Teeth came out last summer. She has also recently been part of Self Esteem‘s band and even opened for her on her Prioritise Pleasure Tour.

The EP’s electro pop textures are infused with Seraphina’s illuminating soulful vocals, and crammed with infectious hooks, and underscored by lyrics best illustrated in the lovelorn, introspection of ‘Lovesick‘ that’s illuminated by cinematic production and catchy choruses.

Milk Teeth is perhaps her standout moment so far, laced with witty and revealing lines, framed in chugging riffs and glittering production, while Seraphina’s artfully delivered earworm choruses are epic. It’s a meditation on the pressures of idealised beauty and a feeling of never quite fitting in, growing up as a brown girl surrounded by media saturated with “very white” manic pixie dream girls.

“‘Milk Teeth’ is about growing up feeling ugly and invisible. Beauty standards were inextricably white, with the idealised woman being a gamine, long-limbed, milky-skinned waif. I was brown and short with frizzy hair and I dreamed of waking up one day looking like Alexa Chung or Cory Kennedy or Kate Moss.” 

“Rather than questioning the system and thinking how fucked up it was that I was made to feel like I wasn’t enough because of the colour of my skin and body shape, I internalised it and made it my mission to fit in, spiralling into self-loathing and self-denial about my own heritage because of some fear of being too Other. It’s ironic that as an indie kid that scene was all about a community of awkward misfits, except all the misfits looked the same. It’s taken me a long time to unpick all that bullshit and accept myself as I am.” (Bill Cummings)

Somebody’s Child

On first listen to Somebody’s Child‘s ‘We Could Start a War’ I thought this was Sam Fender.  The quality and strength of the vocal immediately made me sit up and pay attention.  Cian Godfrey is the driving force behind Somebody’s Child and newly signed to cult label Frenchkiss Records this is an anthemic track, full of passion and with lyrics both heartfelt and honest.

 “So what the fuck are we fighting for?
What are we hoping to achieve?”

Somebody’s Child’s self-titled debut album is set for release in February.  Described as a melting pot of the band’s influences including ‘80s synth sounds inspired by The Cure and Joy Division and guitar riffs which recall the mid/late 2000s indie rock it’s an intriguing prospect.  In addition they are confirmed to play SXSW and Eurosonic plus have a debut headline tour in early 2023. I have my ticket and you may want to do the same while you can. (Julia Mason)

Tom A Smith

Having supported the likes of Miles Kane and Sir Elton John this year, Tom A. Smith’s name is on everyone’s lips. Just eighteen years old, Tom’s been on the scene since the age of eight and has built quite the following. Now backed by a full band, 2022 saw him tour the festival circuit and release a wealth of material that showcases not only the strength of his vocals and how talented a guitarist he is but also how far he has come. (Laura Dean)

The Sound of 2023 - Part Two 2

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.