Ben Lee Reveals His Favourite Aussie Artists

20 September 2023 | 9:00 am | Staff Writer

From experimental electronic music, lo-fi pop, a "cultural anomaly", and stunning folk music to rock and roll, Ben Lee reveals his favourite Australian artists.

Ben Lee, Mallrat, Georgia Maq & Hoodoo Gurus

Ben Lee, Mallrat, Georgia Maq & Hoodoo Gurus (Source: Supplied, Kat Neisler, James J Robinson, Matt Williams)

More Ben Lee More Ben Lee

To celebrate his upcoming performance at Pambula Beach for Wanderer Festival from Friday, 29 September, until Sunday, 1 October, Ben Lee has told The Music about five of his favourite Australian artists making music today.

The first announcement was made back in April – sporting the likes of The Jungle Giants, Spiderbait and Kevin Morby – with the second arriving in May. It was revealed then that Ocean Alley, Django Django and Thelma Plum would be headlining the festivities. Ben Lee was added to the line-up at the end of July, alongside Sampa The Great, Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers, WILSN, BATTS and many more.

Before his addition to the festival, Ben Lee and his wife, Ione Skye, launched their own label, Weirder Together, to shake up the “outdated” and “boring” status quo. You can find out more about the operation in a The Music exclusive.

Read on to find out who Ben Lee’s top five favourite Aussie artists are today ahead of Wanderer Festival kicking off next weekend.


DeepFaith are an experimental electronic duo made up of Byron Spencer and Daniel Stricker, pushing the boundaries of pop culture, high/low art and technology.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

We released their single King Of The Red Hot Chili Peppers on our Weirder Together label recently; it’s basically an A.I. rendering of Snoop Dogg singing a techno-thrash ode to Anthony Kiedis and his daily routine of buying groceries and getting his nails done. It’s brilliant. So much of the current cultural conversation about A.I. is about trickery and imitation, but DeepFaith are interested in it in a different way, more like the way I imagine Andy Warhol would have liked it - as a new medium to create a totally new experience. 

Georgia Maq

One of my favourite Aussie rockstars, Georgia is an artist who I have a very deep, almost karmic, relationship with. I see so much of myself in her - the fight, the humour, the ambition. Her real gift is sharing her psyche in whatever form feels right. She is an artist who can change the vibe of a room by walking through it.

Camp Cope were obviously a seminal, super-important band. I think you’ll see a generation of musicians coming up who decided to be in a band when they went to a Camp Cope show as a kid. I’m really excited for her solo work. I think her single Joe Rogan was underrated – it was a danceable tune about a complex social dynamic. She’s a truly interesting artist.


I love that Mallrat is operating in her entire own universe as an Australian artist. I mean, there is no one with even close to the same vision she has; she really is a cultural anomaly. I think Australia is really missing the boat by not getting behind her more.

She should’ve won an ARIA for her last record; she is one of the few artists keeping Australian pop music current:  melodically, conceptually and aesthetically. I think Grace is going to have a long career and do lots of interesting stuff. I would never bet against her.

McDermott & North

Another band that we have worked with at our label Weirder Together, I first heard McDermott & North busking on a rainy day and fell in love with their perfect harmonies and deft songwriting chops.

I produced their HOLLYWOOD EP by having them send me vocal and guitar stems, and then got the absolute cream of the crop of LA musicians to play on the tracks: Joey Waronker, Roger Manning Jr. and Mike Viola. All these guys are very selective with what they work on and were genuinely blown away by what the McD and N guys are doing. I love the EP so much; it’s romantic and classic and just an example of excellent craftsmanship.

Hoodoo Gurus

I saw the Hoodoo Gurus last month at the Roxy in LA and was absolutely blown away. It was loud, the guitars were blistering, the harmonies absolutely perfect, and the vibez great! I’m 45 this year, and I think I was the youngest person there, so when I tried to stage dive, the audience were not having it. I had to climb back down into the crowd. But I think the band got a kick out of it.

The whole concept of rock being a young-person game, I guess, is generally true, but then these guys really make you wonder. I was wishing there were more younger bands watching the Hoodoos currently and taking tips. It was simple but perfect, you know, the Cheap Trick secret of rock n roll: “three great chords and four great guys”.

Ben Lee is appearing at Wanderer Festival 2023. You can find tickets via the event website.