Tim “Wagner luvva” Lambert takes a week off from the five freshies to bring you his top 10 homegrown hits of the year to date.
We’ve hit the mid-point of the year, and I can’t remember a six-month span during which local, homegrown, fair dunkum Aussie music has been stronger. So let’s have a look at the best all-Australian songs of 2017, so far (full playlist at the bottom) – I can only imagine how hard it’s going to be to round off an end-of-year list.
20: Flight Facilities, Arty Boy feat. Emma Louise
19: Allday, In Motion feat. Japanese Wallpaper
18: Jess Locke, Better/Bitter
17: Fountaineer, The Cricketers
16: Lanks, Comfortable
15: Woodes, Run for It
14: Luca Brasi, Got to Give
13: Kingswood, Belle
12: Maddy Jane, No Other Way
11: West Thebarton, Moving Out
10: Cub Sport, O Lord
I still get shivers when I hear the first bars of this song; I think I’ll turn into a giant goosebump (the good kind, not the Jack Black kind) when I hear it live for the first time.
9: Dear Seattle, Afterthought
The success of Violent Soho, The Smith Street Band and the like have spurred on a new wave of Australian rock bands, and Sydney-siders Dear Seattle are at the pointy end of that charge. The group’s new self-titled EP is out July 14.
8: The Smith Street Band, Shine
I listen to this song when I’m about to do something that I don’t really want to do but have to. Things like talking on the phone when a text is appropriate, and telling somebody that they got my coffee order wrong.
7: Ruby Fields, I Want
This is the bolter in the group; I’m still blown away that this is Sydney-sider Ruby Fields’ first release. The story goes that she popped it on triple j Unearthed, took a nap, and woke up as the next big thing. Even more impressive is Fields’ creative knack – she builds her own guitars and illustrates her film clips between snoozes.
6: Jack River, Fool’s Gold
And the award for the most relevant song of 2017 goes to *drumroll*… you guessed it, Jack River. Fool’s Gold comes on the back of her impressive Highway Songs No.2 debut from last year.
5: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, French Press
One of the most underrated bands in Australia, Rolling Blackouts C.F. are bursting with equal parts nostalgia and unabashed optimism. French Press kicks off their latest EP; a conversation between brothers on other sides of the world climaxing in a waterfall of jangly guitars and lashing drums.
4: Ali Barter, Girlie Bits
One of our favourites at STACK is Melbourne’s Ali Barter, and Girlie Bits is the ‘f-ck yeah’ moment off her triumphant album A Suitable Girl.
Barter describes the song much more eloquently than I ever could:
“Girlie Bits has nothing to do with body parts. It’s about the cage of what we expect of women: girlie guitar parts, girlie singing, hair – this idea of ‘femininity’ and how to fit within it. But women are not some gentle, watered-down version of men. We do it our own way. We work really hard to write good songs and play great gigs – only to have people critique our clothes and the look on our faces, instead of the music.”
3: Middle Kids, Never Start and Edge of Town
Of all the trouble I had nailing down this list, this spot was the hardest – I just couldn’t split this pair of songs from Sydney trio Middle Kids. Then I thought about it and realised I’ve never listened to either of these tracks separately – they are always together – and so, we have out joint bronze medalists.
2: Gang of Youths, What Can I Do if the Fire Goes Out?
Coming off my most anticipated release of 2017, GoY frontman Dave Le’aupepe is channelling his inner Bruce Springsteen on this one. How can it be uplifting and sad at the same time? My heart is so confused.
1: Ceres, Stretch Ur Skin feat. Wil Wagner
If you’re anywhere near my Spotify profile you’ll know that this track is always in my Recently Played. The Melbourne band offered it as a limited vinyl release on their recent run of shows supporting The Smith Street Band.
And for your listening pleasure, here’s the full playlist: