Left image by Remi Hii // Right image by Daniel Boud //
The Aussie music scene is currently more powerful than ever, there are so many awesome bands/artists coming from the sunburnt land have been killing it in 2017, it’s been hard to keep track of them all. This list is based partially of bands/artists that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live as well as songs that have been stuck in my head over the year, and could easily go on much, much, longer.
I think you really don’t need to look overseas to discover great songwriting and performing, there’s plenty of delicious stuff going on in our own backyard, so if you get a chance these holidays be sure to check out some live music. You never know, the next big Aussie act might be playing their first show at your local this weekend. But anyways, here it is:
Melbourne’s Sugar Teeth playing at Oxford Art Factory was probably one of my favourite gigs of 2017. The four-piece are a masters of harmony and carry you away on the wings of sweet melodies before dropping you into heavy psychedelic freefalls. Expect big things from these guys in 2018.
Our first taste of what will surely be one of the most anticipated albums of 2018, ‘Dawning’ is everything we’ve come to expect from the Sydney lads – clever guitars, a huge chorus that tugs at your emoticons and catchy vocals from singer Tommy O’Dell.
With his latest single ‘Medicine,’ Bibby takes us on a journey as he attempts to score a little extra sugar from his doctor. Despite the desperation of the song, it’s a little bit lighter than earlier work from the perpetually foul-mouthed larrikin, but just like older catalogue, is as contagious as the chicken pox and serves as a nice appetizer for what’s to come next year.
The latest song from Sydneysiders PLANET hits you right in the feels, and it’s one that we’ll be singing well into 2018. For such a young band, their tunes have an emotional maturity, and when tangled up in huge melodies, it’s inescapably catchy.
Taken from her debut Midnight Love, ‘I Want You’ sits in that middle-of-the-EP, slow song zone that you often find yourself skipping over – at least I do, anyways. But fear not, Peterson has countered that with one of the smoothest tunes of the year – dreamy and seductive, ‘I Want You’ will grab you from the get-go and it won’t let up.
Accompanying an extremely uncomfortable video, Uncle Murl’s ‘Noble Soldier’ is the jangly sing-along that takes us back to the late 60s and into the future. Lyrically, the tune touches on PTSD and alcoholism, but the bouncy vocal melodies and guitars lifts us up from the pits of despair as we shake along without a care.
Short, sweet and not very discreet, ‘Cholesterol Heart’ captures the energy, wit and sarcasm that TNSW’s 2017 album You Work For Us is chock full of. While the tongue-in-cheek claim that they’re “best punk band in Australia” may be contentious, the Sydney four-piece are easily the most entertaining band getting round. It also comes with one of the best videos of the year.
Taking on the classic 90s track by New Radicals for their triple j ‘Like a Version,’ the Brisbane lads was a bit of a risk – no one wants to hear a shitty version of a song we all know – but thankfully they delivered us a stellar cover. I must say they also have released a bunch of awesome originals this year, and if you haven’t checked them out, yet this tune my be your gateway drug.
Pioneering the rock revival scene in Australia, Orb deliver us a tune that sounds like an argument between the 60’s and the 70’s – White Album-esque verses are sliced up with Sabbathy (is that a thing?) guitars. It’s dark and downbeat but also heavy and uplifting, as the song calls and responds to our ears delight.
Jermango Dreaming have seemingly come from nowhere this year, bringing along their own brand of heavy melodic pop that is drenched in clever harmonies. I only found out about them towards the end of the year, and are oh so thankful for it. ‘I Want You’ is a sweet love song that has just the right amount of darkness to it, reminiscent of The Next Day era David Bowie.