The amount of international folks who’ve liked this blog on Facebook has surprised me. As an expression of my gratitude to you for taking the time to read this little website, I’ve decided to compile a group of artists that are making excellent music down under. Australian readers, you’ll probably know many if not all of these, so feel free to tune out.
Boy And Bear
Crashing drums and electric guitars don’t usually go hand-in-hand with flawless harmonies, do they? But then, there’s nothing usual about Boy and Bear. With every single band member boasting experience as a lead vocalist in a previous band, they really have mastered vocal interplay, and every song on their debut EP attests to this. I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t completely revere their cover of Crowded House‘s Fall At Your Feet.
The Temper Trap
Sometimes it can really irk me when reviewers dismiss a band for falling too close to what they call ‘conventional,’ or even go as far as to claim that they are completely devoid of ‘musical creativity or lyrical ingenuity.’ But to say that about The Temper Trap, and completely gloss over the fact that their tunes are filled with infectious pop hooks and one of the finest falsetto voices in the music scene today, is nothing short of criminal.
There’s a reason why everyone who hears Boulet’s breakout song, A Community Service Announcement, is instantly enamoured. It’s truly that good.
You’re A Animal, the first single off his sophomore album to be released this year, is also brilliant. Oh, and did I mention he played and recorded and produced everything on his debut LP?
If for some reason you needed another reason to be thoroughly impressed by Mr Boulet, he also drums for a band called Parades. Now this isn’t just a case of a talented solo musician also trying to make waves in an inferior group, because Parades are a brilliant band in their own right. Being possibly the most impressive post-rock band I know of, I’m dumbfounded that they haven’t yet exploded into worldwide fame.
Gypsy And The Cat
Gypsy And The Cat are extremely talented at making brilliantly-catchy pop songs. As two former DJ’s who began creating their own material in their Melbourne garage about a year and a half ago, their debut album, Gilgamesh, turned many heads in the musical world, and each song is filled with a vibrant smoothness that both can both excite and soothe.
Tim And Jean
Two teenages, a couple of synths, and some damn fine tunes.
Like The Naked And Famous, Tim And Jean both benefit and suffer from the fact that most articles you read about them will refuse to go a few sentences without likening them to Passion Pit and MGMT. Resemblances are obvious to the former, but they don’t really share too many similarities to the psychedelic tricksters. Come Around is a brilliant electro-pop song though, and their debut album Like What is coming out sometime this year. Keep an ear out for these blokes.
Bag Raiders are a pair of DJ’s who turned their hand to making accessible dance-pop music. Shooting Stars is their masterpiece, and it’s an instantly accessible track that, after a masterful buildup, breaks into a chorus you’ll never forget, nor tire of singing along to.
Sarah Blasko is one of those indie singers that possess real, unmistakeable talent. Blessed with a captivating voice, she makes full use of it. Admittedly, until now I’d only heard her mesmerising cover of Outkast’s Hey Ya, but the tunes of her own are just as beautiful.
Pop-folk, psychedelic, possibly perfect. These Mountain folk (who all grew up within a few minutes of where I live) have an abundance of talent at their disposal, and, on the evidence of their debut album, Bliss Release, are blessed with the ability to construct songs around the simplest of structures, and fill them with innovative intricacies.
It used to be easy to describe Tame Impala. One could just throw in a few references to classic ‘Dad-rock’ from the late 60’s, maybe chuck in the word psychedelic, and there you would have it, a bonafide article about a burgeoning band.
But then they released their debut album, Innerspeaker. Encompassing so much more than mere influences from the past, Tame Impala truly created an LP that exemplified all that is great about modern music: the predilection of its creators to learn from the past while constantly looking to the future.
Sundown Syndrome by Tame Impala (mp3 unavailable)
The Middle East
No amount of superlatives will work here. Words can’t describe the celestial beauty The Middle East capture in their music, which truly has to be heard to be believed.