Community radio music presenters and music directors often have an encyclopaedic knowledge of local music and an insatiable thirst to keep their ears ahead of the curve. So in this Tone Deaf series, the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) invites music directors to highlight new Aussie tunes that you might have missed.

In this edition, Liz Ansley – Music Coordinator from Brisbane’s 4ZZZ – contribute with a selection of tracks currently making their way to community radio through Amrap’s music distribution service ‘AirIt’.

Check out Liz’s selections below and if you’re a musician you can apply here to have your music distributed for free to community radio on Amrap’s AirIt.

This week’s 5 best Australian artists

Jimblah & Ellie May – ‘Black Life Matters’

This powerful track is the latest in a string of singles that speak raw, confronting and incredibly necessary truths from Larrakia Nation-via-Adelaide MC Jimblah – all of them on AMRAP’s Airit, and all of them equally worth your attention.

Written in just two days with singer/songwriter Ellie May in response to the shooting of unarmed 19-year-old Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker, Jimblah’s own words say it all:

“‘Black Life Matters’ is in response to the constant downplaying of First Nations reality, the lack of truth on the matter, the constant disingenuous narratives that are centred around ensuring Non-Indigenous Australians feel comfortable with the continued dispossession of First Nations People from our Lands, & to the reality that genocide is in full swing, yet it’s just another normal day in Australia.”

Check out ‘Black Life Matters’ by Jimblah & Ellie May:


Feels – ‘Water Level’

When they made the trip to perform at SXSW earlier this year, Perth duo Feels caught the attention of Oasis’ manager, who told them they were unlike anything he’d ever heard before.

The whole “totally unique, never before seen” hyperbole gets thrown around a lot, but in Feels’ case it’s actually true – how many other acts do you know that can boast a four-octave electronic marimba/xylophone, 11 different drum pads, and up to six sticks hitting the triggers at any time?

They’ve swept the floor with various award wins and industry recognitions over the past few years, and now their debut album of future-focused percussive electronica is finally here.

The title track’s dynamic, bouncing, fluid nature makes it the perfect entry point to the album, which is packed full of fresh, exciting new energy via features from ZĀN, LALKA, Joan & The Giants, and MISSY.

Check out ‘Water Level’ by Feels:


MissGenius – ‘I Don’t Wanna Be’

Over a laid-back guitar and a swung beat, Noongar and Maduwongga vocalist MissGenius has a tough internal conversation about beauty standards, her own expectations of herself, and capitalism – “Without money, how do I win? I just wanna be thick, but then I wanna be thin”.

MissGenius’s warm, emotional croon and deft flow aren’t the only ways she uses her voice: she’s also a public speaking and confidence coach for young indigenous women through the Goolarri Media program Goldfields Girl, and currently a youth mentor with Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).

Check out ‘I Don’t Wanna Be’ by MissGenius:

Alice Skye – ‘I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good’

This could be the most honest, tender exploration of what anxiety is like I’ve ever heard. Wergaia woman and indie singer/songwriter Alice Skye has always had a preternatural ability to tease out the simplest ways to communicate the biggest feelings and she’s well and truly outdone herself here, on her first new music since signing with Bad Apples.

Beautiful, feather-light production from Jen Cloher lets Alice’s voice and lyricism shine, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the stunning artwork by Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament, Aretha Brown.

Check out ‘I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good’ by Alice Skye:

Olivia’s World – ‘Blotter’

Olivia’s World can boast a lot of indie/DIY pedigree: it’s the new project of Lica Rezende (Go Violets, Tempura Nights), Joe Saxby (These Guy) and Canadian musician Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap, The Softies).

I’ve been hanging out for more of their punchy, bouncy pop songwriting since they appeared on Right Here, Right Now (4ZZZ’s flagship live music program for local artists) and it more than delivers, with recent single ‘Blotter’ as a charming standout.

Check out ‘Blotter’ by Olivia’s World: