I thought I’d try to revive a short-lived and ill thought through series I “started” last year. I never got beyond St Patrick’s Day, so here’s hoping for a longer run. Please add possible dates to add to this series in the comments (independence, feast days, special days observed by nations), or alternatively, if it’s a nation you reside in, were born in, have family there, please feel free to do this yourself – we all love some music lessons.
Australia Day marks the anniversary of the arrival in New South Wales of the first fleet of British ships in 1788. I realise this is not a cause for celebration for many Australians who have renamed this event Invasion Day and call for the abolition of their national holiday because it marks the arrival of convicts from England, the beginning of colonial rule and the start of oppression of indigenous Australians. However, I’m not here to make political statements. I want to share good music and Australia Day provides that opportunity (shallow?).
With that in mind, here is a playlist of great music from Down Under – of course I’ve left out some absolute bangers from more well known artists because I wanted to showcase a mix of popular and up and coming musicians. Let me know your favs from this list and your own personal beauties.
- Courtney Barnett got a lot of love from many of you during the end of year ‘Spill festivities. History Eraser is one of her older tracks – I adore her because I adore stories. Her gig at Roundhouse last year was one of my most memorable live music outings of 2018.
- Fellow Melbourne residents, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, have been on my radar a while; since the release of their French Press EP in 2017. Last year they released their 1st full length album, Hope Downs. I saw them last year and love them for the same reason I love Courtney Barnett. Sick Bug is an early track of theirs. I added it to a running playlist for a friend who was training for a half marathon back in 2017 and it remains a firm favourite.
- Now to Press Club. Another Melbourne band. Raw and punky, they are known for their phenomenal live show stamina, packing in gig after gig. They released their first album called Late Teens only yesterday. If you like Joyce Manor (yes) or Dream Wife (yes again), you are bound to find something to enjoy in this track, Suburbia. There’s a Marmozets sound about them.
- Middle Kids treat us to another song about life in the outskirts. This Sydney trio produce beautifully catchy indie pop and Edge of Town has a lovely soaring quality to it.
- I listen to a podcast show called Get In Her Ears, full of noisy women. Sometime last year as I pushed on through the last stretch of a run, this song from Amyl & the Sniffers filled my ears and brought be to a momentary halt. As soon as I got in, I had to listen to it again at least twice.
- Punk band The Chats make me smile. They are just so….Australian. I don’t even know how I heard their song “Smoko” sometime early last year but I stumbled on it somehow. After you’ve listened to this track “Do What I want” check out “Smoko”, “Bus Money” and “Mum Stole My Darts” They are the Beastie Boys of Australian punk – cheeky chaps with fun catchy tunes.
- Jen Cloher has been around a while (often mentioned in the same breath as her partner, Courtney Barnett, which must be annoying – and here I am perpetuating that nonsense) and this song meant a lot to me during 2017. In fact the whole album is lovely.
- I couldn’t do this list without adding Hatchie (first brought to my attention by her inclusion in the Festive ‘Spill, by Blimpy I think, so massive thanks to him). She and The Beths have soundtracked my January. Gorgeous.
- Sampa The Great delivers her gorgeous funky, jazzy track Energy with hypnotic rhymes, drive and a light touch. It’s bassy and a definite favourite of mine just now.
- Native Tongue by Mojo Juju is so heartfelt. The handclap and chanting backing vocals make it enough of an emotional listen, listening to the lyrics make it a statement piece.
- Paul Kelly – With the One I love. This one is for Deano @deanofromoz. Would be lovely to see him around here again.
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms. I’m adding this because it is Nick Cave and well, it’s just very, very important to me and I go back to it time and again to remind me of stuff.
I’ll dedicate this playlist to my good friend, proud Aussie and BA Captain, Johnny. His musical taste is crap, but he’s a good bloke anyway!
Let me know your Australian favourites and national days to add to this series.