Although COVID and all its annoyingness has properly ruined 2020, the one constant that has continued to bring us some reprieve from the madness is music, especially local music. The time in lockdown has definitely had its ups and downs, but there’s no denying some beautiful musical moments have been born from it. And they’re trickling down by the bucketload. Local artists have their foot on the gas when it comes to creation, and we hope they don’t stop any time this century. Thus, in the spirit of celebrating those artists, here are five local tracks you need to get on, like, right now.
If you’re wanting to feel a bit wavy but you’re at a loss on how to get in the groove, you need to get on LA Women. They’re a mad concoction of R&B and lush sonics, perfect to throw out a picnic rug and watch the sunset to. ‘Love Me’ features a steady beat with a funkadelic guitar line and atmospheric synth, as vocalist Jake serenades us about sustaining love within a relationship. If you’re a fan of R&B megastars Daniel Caesar or D’Angelo (who isn’t?), then you’ll love this beauty. Definitely check it out.
Have you ever heard a rainbow? Bear with me here, if a rainbow was put into song form, it’d be Jess Kent’s ‘No One Else’. The bop features a slick guitar riff, blazing synth, and a super mellow baseline. But what really shines is the Sydney songstress’s silky vocals, filled to the brim with enough rosiness to bring life to even the most boring of parties. The tune is a proper showcase of the throws of love, bringing to life the feel-good moments that pepper the perfect summer. It’s properly gorgeous, we can’t recommend it enough.
Definitely a completely different type of track, Aussie rapper Zheani’s ‘DIRT ON THE NAME OF STEVEN’ is definitely one to listen to if you want to challenge your auditory palette. Featuring a super haunting guitar line that calls it back to Juice WRLD’s ‘Lucid Dreams’, the track sees Zheani merge the emo punk and rap genres to rap about her heartache. It’s a straight up assault of the senses, with the rapper’s raw vocals cutting straight through the barriers of time and place to hit you hard and fast, leaving you feeling an overflow of intrigue.
Get ready to flare up with beautiful nostalgia as Sydney lyrical hummer Charlie Gradon blesses you with his reminiscent tune ‘Blurry Ones’. The track has a pretty interesting story behind it, inspired by a vintage camera that Charlie bought for his wife, but only took “useless blurry photographs”. The song’s soulful vocals and lingering guitar riffs definitely capture that airy reflection of the blurry photographs he sings of, however it’s anything but useless. It’s a classic tune that leaves you thinking it over for hours on end, trying to decipher the beautiful canvas of rumination that Charlie paints with his creative brush.
Sydney queen of hearts Kota Banks is the real deal, crafting addictive pop-bops that are smooth as silk, but impactful af. ‘Let U Leave’ is a bit of a departure from past hits like ‘Zoom’ and ’20 Missed Calls’, switching it up for a mad UK Garage vibe as her rosy vocals serenade us into the next realm. Although it’s more in the vein of EDM, Kota still hits you with enough emotion to leave you breathless and desperate for more. Needless to say, if you’re in the mood to dance while getting in your feelings, Kota’s more than got your back.
This is a bit of a bonus track as they’re not necessarily local (anymore anyway), but Ocean Alley are properly firing on all cylinders in ‘Way Down’. The track sees the band continue to embody all the rowdiness and heart we loved from 2018’s Chiaroscuro and 2016’s Lost Tropics, yet, its more than clear that they’re continuing to challenge themselves creatively. It’s definitely working, with their new album Lonely Diamond garnering mad critical and commercial success across the country. But seriously, ‘Way Down’ is a proper smash, and you just know it’s gonna make for some amazing crowd-singalongs at their headline shows early next year. If you vibe the track as much as we do, you can check out our interview with the boys here.