It’s nearly impossible to rank artists to an accurate level if you bring bias, talent, popularity and many other things into the picture. What is easier to do and can be based mostly on opinion is a list of artists who have had themselves a damn year. Like I said in my previous ranking of singles – if I could put everyone on the list, I would, but then what’s the point? The criteria in this top artists ranking is that the artist had a great year in buzz, some solid releases and consistency in progressing their work and art… oh, and I just like them.
Let’s get to it – Rowdy Alternative’s top 5 artists of 2023:
1. Mitchell Ferguson
When it comes to straight up creativity, work ethic, quality as well as quantity, Mitchell Ferguson takes the number one spot with flying colors. Ferguson is one of the most unique musicians in the Texas scene and has proved it with his most recent EP, WHOLE LOTTA SAUCE. You get elements of blues, grunge, even hip-hop – but here’s the thing, he kills every style while simultaneously making it his own sound. I really can’t say enough about Ferguson this year, and I truly think the year 2023 is going to be the one he looks back on as the ignition of the rocket ship he’s about to blast off on.
2. Treaty Oak Revival
Treaty Oak Revival came out of nowhere for me, personally, and I feel like a lot of other people outside of the immediate Texas music scene would agree. These guys popped very rapidly and have grown quite the passionate fanbase all over the country. They have that throwback sound that you can compare to groups like Cross Canadian Ragweed or The Great Divide in some aspects, but the rock ‘n’ roll Treaty Oak brings to the table makes them own their own lane. The band’s newest record, Have A Nice Day, was a fantastic addition to their catalog this year and they show no sign of slowing down.
After changing their name from “Read Southall Band” to just “Southall”, that was the start of a great string of singles, and eventually an elite album. I’ve hit every positive bullet point about this group for a couple years now, but one that you need to remember is that these dudes are talented. Their self-titled album is one of the best releases of the year, and included all-time tracks like Scared Money, When You’re Around, and By Surprise. You can see how hard Southall works and grinds just by keeping up with their socials (shoutout Scoob), and they have never pumped the brakes once.
4. Hannah Wicklund
One of the most underrated artists in the rock scene right now is Hannah Wicklund, a musician out of Hilton Head, South Carolina, who has serious pipes and can shred with the best of them. There’s a lot of hype that has grown around her this year in anticipation for her upcoming record, The Prize, which is coming out very soon, but also the singles she has dropped to prepare us for the complete record. Wicklund is very diverse in sound – channeling straight blues in one song, then crazy psychedelic, acid rock in the next. There are huge things to come for her in the coming year.
5. Huser Brother Band
Zach and Josh Huser would top the list of “nicest dudes on the planet” if I was to compile that, but they’re just so good that they made this one as well. Huser Brother Band killed the touring this year, just straight up grinding. They also happen to have a talented group of dudes in their band who really know how to put their own talents into a song. Their newest EP, Becoming Somebody, is packed with no-skip bangers including Messed Around and Let You Go. There’s a lot to come still from these dudes and we can not wait to see what they bring in 2024.