Who says Australia doesn’t have a culture? I mean, have these people seen Kath & Kim or Summer Heights High? Admittedly, Australian culture doesn’t fascinate me that much, but maybe it’s just because I’ve lived here my whole life and left Australia for only a week. But one aspect of Australian culture that no one can regard as boring is Australian music.
I love music, I listen to it every day and Spotify is probably the most used app on my phone. Below I’ve listed my favourite six Australian artists (and there were so many more I wish I could have listed but they weren’t Australian). To sus out what else I love, click here to visit my Spotify.
ONE: Matt Corby // favourite song: Wrong Man (Paste Studio live version)
Matt Corby is likely to be one of Australia’s most influential alternative artists, due to his hit singles Brother and Resolution, and he’s my favourite Australian musician without a doubt. I was lucky enough to see him at Thebarton Theatre earlier this year, and I will be seeing him again at the Lorne Falls Festival this New Years Eve. Matt Corby made his musical debut on Australian Idol in 2007 as a young teenager with identity issues, who allowed himself to be heavily influenced by the producers. But he has immensely developed as an artist in the nine years since his reality TV show appearance, which he called ‘big f***ing mistake’ (click here to read more).
He has a voice that can thaw even the coldest of hearts, and his perfectly curated lyrics hit you in the face with raw emotion.
Matt’s music is a melting pot of soul, acoustic, jazz, folk and psychedelia. He has a voice that can thaw even the coldest of hearts, and his perfectly curated lyrics hit you in the face with raw emotion. Matt and his band produce earthy vibes, and his voice is a unique and perfect mix of gravel and sweetness. He’s a humble character, who hides behind the mic and rarely engages with the audience in live performances. He doesn’t regard his music as anything amazing, but his growing popularity stands to defy that. Matt’s only album, Telluric, released in March 2016, matches if not exceeds the brilliance of his earlier EP’s. If you’re a fan of Boy & Bear, Angus and Julia Stone, and Bon Iver, Matt Corby’s newer, more authentic songs won’t let you down.
TWO: Vera Blue // favourite song: Patterns
I discovered Vera Blue not long ago, but I am already in love. The only letdown with this Sydney based singer-songwriter is that she has only one EP – Fingertips, but she’s recently done an amazing Like a Version cover. Her version of Breathe Life by Jack Garrett earned her a spot on Like a Version Volume 12 and rightly so. At only 22, Celia Pavey has attracted an enormous amount of attention for an emerging artist, and her hit song Hold has reached over 11 million listens on Spotify.
Vera Blue’s music is folk and acoustic with a surprising element of soft electronica, which creates a unique blend of gentleness and ferocity.
If you love strong, spine-tingling vocals, look no further. Vera Blue’s music is folk and acoustic with a surprising element of soft electronica, which creates a unique blend of gentleness and ferocity. She describes her music as “a blend of folk and cool, heavy, thick sounds.” Vera Blue’s music is so unique that it’s hard to find similarities with other artists, but if you love London Grammar and Wafia, Vera Blue may just become your newest obsession.
THREE: Sticky Fingers // favourite song: How To Fly
Sticky Fingers are among the first that come to mind when you picture Australian music festivals. I’ve loved this band ever since I heard ‘Australia Street’ on the 2013 Triple J Hottest 100 album, and their two album releases since have only had me raving about them even more. Witnessing their short 40-minute act at last year’s Groovin the Moo festival was one of my best experiences to date, which will only be replaced when I see them this November at Thebarton Theatre. They’ve recently released their third album; Westway (The Glitter & the Slums), which I have devoured, but I still enjoy their oldest album the most; Caress Your Soul.
A combination of rock, reggae, pop and psychedelia flavours … this borderline contradictory fusion of genres is what sets them apart.
Sticky Fingers produce music like no other; a combination of rock, reggae, pop and psychedelia flavours. This borderline contradictory fusion of genres is what sets them apart not only in the Australian music scene, but in the international sphere as well. Sti-Fi describe themselves as “the perfect storm in a stifling indie-rock climate”, which has no doubt led to their enormous success and sold-out tours all over the world. If you have a fondness towards Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd and the Clash, Sticky Fingers will hit the spot.
FOUR: RY X // favourite song: Haste
Is it obvious yet that I love bearded men that can sing? RY X is a newly discovered obsession of mine, and one of my proudest discoveries this year. I found him after raking through the 2016 Falls Festival playlist and man I am SO excited to see him perform (yes I am lucky enough to have one of the golden tickets for Lorne Falls). Even though Ry Cuming is mostly based in USA, he was born in Australia so I don’t care, he’s still on this list. His single Berlin attained him worldwide recognition in 2013 when it was used in a Sony TV advertisement campaign, but other than that he’s largely unknown by Australian audiences.
RY X’s music is beautifully poignant and nostalgic; my favourite emotional reactions to music. His husky and ethereal voice consumes me
RY X’s music is beautifully poignant and nostalgic; my favourite emotional reactions to music. His husky and ethereal voice consumes me and it’s the perfect thing to listen to on long car trips or a rainy Sunday. His music is complex and at times pulsating, incorporating a number of different instruments, yet at the same time he’s one of the most peaceful artists I’ve come across. It’s a work of art. RY X is the epitome of my music taste, and will probably rise to be my number one favourite after I listen to more. He’s similar to James Vincent McMorrow and perhaps Matt Corby, but really RY X is in his domain.
FIVE: Allday // favourite song: Sides ft. Nyne
Allday is an exception to my general folky/acoustic taste in music, and is one of few rappers that I actually like. This young Adelaide-born now Melbourne-based rapper has only one album, Startup Cult, but plenty of singular releases and a few EP’s that are equally as brilliant. He’s one of the more known artists featured on this list, with hit singles You Always Know the DJ and Right Now, yet still an emerging artist who’s growing in popularity. I saw him at HQ earlier last year and his set had everyone bouncing all night.
Tom Gaynor’s music would be considered soft hip hop by some, with witty, cleverly curated ryhmes that are delivered flawlessly.
Tom Gaynor’s music would be considered soft hip hop by some, with witty, cleverly curated ryhmes that are delivered flawlessly. His music is often centred around drinking, girls, drugs, aspirations and music, a concoction that resonates with younger audiences. Allday deviates from the standard hip-hop scene in Australia, which is probably why I like him so much, yet at the same time he shares similarities with Illy and Dylan Joel. If you’re someone like me that generally doesn’t like rap but seeks something with a little more energy at times, Allday is the artist to check out.
SIX: JOY. // favourite song: Like Home
I first discovered JOY. when she supported James Bay in his Entertainment Centre performance earlier this year, and I’ve had my eyes glued to her Spotify for new releases ever since. This 19 year old beauty from Brisbane is an emerging star that is bound to make it big one day. She has only one Soundcloud album, one EP and a few singles, yet they are all stunningly brilliant. JOY. won the Triple J Unearthed spot for the 2014 Brisbane Laneway Festival and has collaborated with Peking Duck and What So Not; both impressive achievements for such a young artist.
Her voice is angelic and captivating, which contrasts with her self-produced mix of powerful electronic beats.
JOY.’s music embodies pop and electronica with an indie twist, and her vocals are as soft as silk. Her voice is angelic and captivating, which contrasts with her self-produced mix of powerful electronic beats. These elements, along with her stunning beauty and urban aesthetic, make for a very contemporary and fresh artist. If you’re a fan of Kiiara and Banks, get on JOY.
Thank you so much for reading my first post lovelies! I was planning on writing about my favourite ten, but by the fourth artist it got super long and probably boring if you aren’t a fan of alternative Australian acoustic folk music (kudos to me for rambling on about shit people don’t care about). Considering six is such an odd number to choose for a favourites list, my remaining favourites would have been Xavier Rudd, Lakyn Heperi, Greta Stanley and Vance Joy, in case you were wondering.