In addition to an enviable climate and decent healthcare and education systems, we’re #blessed with mindblowingly-talented musicians here in Australia. And it’s something that we’re not ashamed to celebrate. November 1 marks the start of Triple J’s Ausmusic Month, kicking off with the annual Ausmusic T-Shirt Day.
A staple of Ausmusic Month, Ausmusic T-Shirt Day is a way to show support for your fave local artists and share the love in your feed and on your torso. This year, the ABC is teaming up with music industry crisis relief service, Support Act, to give back to the Aussie musos that brighten our lives during hard times and mental illness.
To celebrate Ausmusic T-Shirt Day, the Style team have composed a list of our favourite Aussie acts. The amount of editing this list underwent is evidence of the sheer volume of fantastic Aussie acts. Without further adieu, I present to our fave Aussie acts, in no particular order.
Before you get stuck into it, hit play on our Aus Music Month playlist to get you in the mood!
Tamille Head, Print Journalist & Indie Dreamer
When it comes to costumes and live performances, nobody does it better than the boys from Client Liaison. Their live shows and film clips are peppered with all the necessary show-stopping elements: backup dancers, tongue-in-cheek props, a crowd surfing limousine and Foster’s tinnies thrown out into the crowd. Special mention to the boys for bringing Tina Arena on board, the undisputed MVP of Splendour In The Grass 2017. Those costumes, those moves, that voice.
2017 has undoubtedly been the year of the Shark. Since skyrocketing to fame with her breakout single, Adore, Shark has won a legion of loyal fans. Her breakout EP, Night Thinker, has been the unofficial soundtrack to my year. In January this year, ahead of Australia Day, I wrote an article about what to wear to mark the occasion (hard-hitting journalism, amiright?) using the line “where you’ll be when Amy Shark inevitably takes out the top spot on the Hottest 100”. By now, we know she didn’t quite take out the top spot, but she bloody well almost did, bowing out only to Flume. Not bad for a sheila who was relatively unknown some five months prior. Forget Shark Week, I am declaring this Shark Month, as we prepare to receive the news of her bevvy of accolades come ARIA night later this month. Amy Shark, I adore you indeed.
Gang of Youths
In the words of frontman and absolute dreamboat, Dave Le’aupepe, “sometimes life sucks, everything is lame. Not everything’s as easy as making lemonade.” From their track Let Me Down Easy, and their second album, Go Farther In Darkness, we’re reminded that music is the best recipe when life hands us more complicated ingredients than lemons. Dave should know, it’s pulled him through death, divorce and his darkest moments. If you buy just one album before the year’s end, make it this one. See them live while you’re at it. Dave is a true performer.
As one of the biggest Aussie artists of the year, Barter has won a heard of fans for her part tongue-in-cheek, part feminist-rallying-cry lyrics. Set to tour with Stevie Nicks this month, her debut full-length album, A Suitable Girl, has been nominated for triple j Australian Album of the Year. Nominations aside, she’s already won a place in my heart and Spotify playlists. ILY Ali.
The Smith Street Band
No list of favourite Aussie acts would be complete without mention of Melbourne rock piece, The Smith Street Band. Album after album, they deliver upbeat, heartfelt folk-punk songs, lurching from cathartic shout-along lyrics and ripping guitar riffs into crooned emotional messages and delicate, fragile instrumentation. I’m particularly fond of Ducks Fly Together, which has got me through two fairly brutal non-breakups.
Honourable mentions to: Tired Lion, Violent Soho, Vera Blue, Meg Mac, Ball Park Music, Safia, Rufus, Boo Seeka, Banks, Paul Kelly, Holy Holy, The Jezabels and The Kite String Tangle.
Emmy-Lou Mckean, Digital Journalist & Musical Mixed-Bag
I’m not going to lie, I got to the Julia Jacklin party a little late. But I’m glad I got there when I did. The first time I heard Julia Jacklin, her raw vocals caught me off-guard when she played her track Don’t Let The Kids Win live on Triple J. I’m not overly emotional, but I was overcome with tears and goosebumps while sitting at the traffic lights on Lutwyche road within 60 seconds of her playing the song. I’m certain the neighbouring vehicles were thinking I had just run over a cat or something. Tears aside, Julia Jacklin’s music had struck a chord with me and I was instantly hooked. Her album has definitely been on my Spotify loop for the better half of this year and I was also lucky enough to have the pleasure of seeing her perform live twice. Do yourself a favour and give her tracks Pool Party and Hey Plain a listen.
Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’m a bit of an Introvert fan-girl. The band came out of nowhere and this year the boys have already found themselves on massive Australian tours supporting bands like AFI, Birds of Tokyo and Basement. I first heard their breakout track Everything Is Different Now in September when it was included on the Bigsound Festival Spotify playlist and I haven’t looked back since. I hear major Brand New and Title Fight vibes in their heart-wrenching and punchy vocals, which I thought wouldn’t easily translate on-stage. But, their Bigsound performance quickly proved me wrong. Just last month, the band were signed to local label UNFD, which is evidence that I’m not the only one fangirling over this Newcastle 4-piece. You can check them out at the end of this month at Crowbar.
Honourable mentions to: Methyl Ethel, Ocean Alley, Young Franco, DMA’s, Hermitude, Pond, Mallrat, Bad//Dreems, Deadlights, Kučka, Ocean Grove, Jagwar Ma, Kingswood, Tkay Maidza
Siobhan Taylor, Digital Journalist & Electro-Pop Lover
Hilltop Hoods: Nosebleed Section came out when I was still pretty young, and I have vivid memories of listening to this song with my brother and being so amazed at the production of the track. The clever sampling, infectiously groovy beat, and tongue-twisting raps were like nothing I had ever heard before. They were my gateway drug to hip-hop and rap, and have continued to excite me as I’ve gotten older.
Cut Copy: In Ghost Colours is easily one of my favourite electronic albums ever. Light, creative and neon-bright, Cut Copy is a fresh take on French-touch and blog-house. Their ability to continually recreate their sound and vary their art direction never ceases to excite me. Listening to Cut Copy is just such a gloriously good time, and offers no end of electro-pop delight and dance-party vibes. Add to a playlist of Daft Punk, Does It Offend You Yeah?, Bloc Party and Van She and you’ve got a killer stack of tunes.
Parkway Drive: We can thank my high school boyfriend for my Parkway Drive love. He was really into hardcore music and I pretended to be as well so that we would have something to talk about. I used to trawl music forums and review sites learning about Parkway Drive, The Devil Wears Prada and Underoath so that I could convince my boyfriend that I was a “legit” fan. I know, pathetic. Well, the relationship didn’t quite stick, but I ended up becoming a big Parkway Drive fan and then, eventually, fell in love with the punchy, in your face, visceral nature of hardcore music for real. Cheers, boys!
The Preatures: Blue Planet Eyes is still one of my favourite albums, regardless of whether it’s making me dance and sing out loud or cry in my car. I like how playful Isabella Manfredi’s vocals are, while still sounding strong and powerful. With Fleetwood Mac, The Divinyls, and The Pretenders as strong influences of the bands sound, I’ve always enjoyed their ‘80s-esque, understated, rhythm-focused brand of pop. With clever lyrics that get into my head and eddy up emotion, they are just such a damn good band and I could listen to them on repeat.
Ball Park Music: I’ve got a Ball Park Music tattoo on my arm, so what more do I need to say? I first heard their song Sad Rude Future Dude on Triple J, and the nihilistic lyrics paired with a style of indie-pop I’d never heard before immediately pulled me in and I’ve been listening to them ever since. Whether they are tearing my heart open with an emotionally-tinged ballad or getting me grooving to a catchy pop tune, I find that I am always excited to hear new music by Ball Park.
Honourable mentions to: The Jezabels, Safia, Flight Facilities, The Avalanches, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Alex Lahey, Cloud Control, Violent Soho, Feki, Kimbra
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