A recent study from Billboard and Nielson Music titled “COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on the Entertainment Landscape” determined that the coronavirus pandemic has lead to an upwards swing in music discovery amongst listeners. It can be overwhelming navigating the realm of music discovery, so we’re shining a light on seven of our favourite Australian artists that we think are worth delving into during isolation.
Cronulla native Adam Newling has spent the past few years cutting his teeth on the Australian touring circuit as the guitarist for Shire shredder Ruby Fields. This year has seen Newling step to the forefront as a solo artist, with the release of his debut singles ‘Cheer Up’ and ‘Morning Breath’. The two tracks demonstrate Newling’s ability to write thoughtfully and introspectively whilst maintaining an irreverent air of slackerdom.
Check out ‘Morning Breath’ by Adam Newling:
This year saw Perth punks Cold Meat serve up their debut full-length record, Hot and Flustered. It’s a searing record that sees the band reckon with everything from music industry sleazebags to climate change deniers. The whole thing burns with a kind of intensity that makes you want to punch a hole through drywall in the best way possible. Cold Meat are making some of the finest punk music in the country.
Check out ‘Womens Work’ by Cold Meat:
Arguably the most charming duo on the Australian music circuit. EGOISM write music that feels destined to soundtrack a Sophia Coppola film. Whooshy, mesmeric shoegaze married to a backbone of pure pop glory.
Check out ‘What Are We Doing?’ by EGOISM:
Singer, songwriter and producer extraordinaire Carla Wehbe released her debut single ‘Don’t Tell Me’ back in March. The track is a total humdinger, radio-primed pop melodies are backed with hazy ’80s tinged production. ‘Don’t Tell Me’ is Carla Wehbe’s first solo music offering and follows her co-release with Tyron Hapi and Roy Bing on 2019 single ‘Touched’, which has clocked over 3 million streams.
Check out ‘Don’t Tell Me’ by Carla Wehbe:
Tamara & The Dreams
The first song I heard from Melbourne dreamboat Tamara & The Dreams was ‘FUNNY!’. It made me feel like someone was simultaneously punching me in the gut and kissing me gently on the forehead. It felt like all my ugly, self-conscious, secret feelings had been validated in a jim-dandy alt-rock package. Tamara has only released three tracks but they’re all total corkers, she’s a whip-smart lyricists with a proclivity to understand your feelings better than you do.
Check out ‘FUNNY!’ by Tamara & the Dreams:
This one is for all you tin foil hat weirdos. Set-Top Box are an elusive act that dropped one of the most mind-melting records I’ve heard this year. The band’s debut LP TV Guide Test is a complete assault on the senses. Sonically, the record is frantic, frazzled and fucking fun as hell. Thematically it’s grim. So grim. If you weren’t already cursing late-stage capitalism, this record will have you personally rallying up the troops to sucker punch Jeff Bezos in his smug little face.
Check out TV Guide Test by Set-Top Box:
Carla dal Forno
Donna Hayward’s “it’s like I’m having the most beautiful dream, and the most terrible nightmare,” feels like a per cent for the music of Melbourne post-punk artist Carla dal Forno. The sonic realm that Forno creates teeters delicately between beauty and despair.