The music industry is undoubtedly in crisis mode at the moment, with the global pandemic that is COVID-19 causing events, tours, and festivals to be cancelled, and robbing artists, performers, and those in the creative industry of a dependable income.
While a number of initiatives have sprung up to help support artists in this current time, the most effective way to continue supporting creatives is to buy their music and merch, hold onto any postponed tour tickets, and above all, stream their music as often as possible.
Here’s a list we’ll regularly update with community radio music directors from around the country of Australian artists much loved and supported by community radio and its dedicated listeners. Their music has been a source of strength, inspiration and connection. Some of these tracks are new releases, and others from artists who would otherwise be traveling and touring at this time.
3RRR FM Melbourne Music Director Simon Winkler kicks this off with Australian music available on Amrap’s AirIt service to help compile a playlist of the best Aussie tunes to show your support to. As Simon explains:
“This has, and continues to be, a devastating time for so many. The impact on creative communities is enormous, and we definitely encourage everyone to show your support in any way you can. Please stream and share, and if you have the means, buy music and merch from artists.”
Check out ‘Orion’ by #1 Dads:
One of numerous highlights from Golden Repairs, by Tom Iansek, also of Big Scary. Tom writes about this emotive and immersive track: “‘Orion’ is an invitation for quiet introspection, to feel whatever it is you’re feeling, comfortable or uncomfortable.”
A. Swayze & The Ghosts – ‘Mess Of Me’
An instant punk rock classic that sounds from the Hobart crew. Their local live shows are legendary, and this track reflects energy and intensity of their sets.
Alice Skye – ‘I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good’
Naarm-based Wergaia/Wemba Wemba woman, Alice Skye, released her latest single ‘I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good’ via Bad Apples Music late last year, and was due to perform at SXSW. Produced with Jen Cloher, it’s another sample of Alice’s compelling songwriting and performing style.
A poignant first single from nine-piece Afrobeat ensemble Ausecuma Beats, sung by Yusupha Ngum, celebrating love between two people that recognises no divide.
Check out ‘Aida’ by Ausecuma Beats:
A sample of the local group’s debut NO!, offering club-ready bass-heavy breaks, cavernous dub-disco grooves, post-punk synth riffs and industrial hip hop beats.
From the newly released Far Enough, filled with rock and roll and garage punk anthems of resilience, defiance, and acceptance.
Soulful, blues infused rock and pop sounds from Melbourne-based Chitra, taken from a recent EP on Our Golden Friend. Chitra says: ‘Leaving’ is a song I wrote about someone wanting you only when you aren’t around.
“That confusion of wanting to stick it out but getting frustrated with the hot and cold headache. It’s a cheeky ode to leaving indecisive people to their own devices.”
Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird – ‘No Surprise’
Melancholic disco pop shows another of the many facets of this local pop force.
Check out ‘No Surprise’ by Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird:
Soaring new single (matched with a cinematic video) from Melbourne-based, Perth-formed group. ‘Going Gone’ is taken from an upcoming album to be released on new label, Blossom Rot Records.
New from the Yorta Yorta artist, musician, broadcaster and community leader, ‘Survive’ is an emphatic statement of “strength and fortitude as we enter into one of the most difficult years in history of life on this land for all. It is a piece that brings invigoration in a time of dire need. It is a call to stand up, to heed the historical strength of Indigeneity.”
The second single from the rising Adelaide artist, out now via Melbourne’s Music In Exile label.
A joyous garage pop track about setting your sights on the stars. From the new Horn If You’re Honky on local imprint Lost and Lonesome.
Check out ‘Pop Stars’ by Girlatones:
Good Morning – ‘But We’re Not There Yet’
A classic love song, from the über talented duo of Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons.
The latest recording from Anika Ostendorf matches memorable melodies and dreamy experimental pop sounds with poignant reflections on loss and grieving.
Harvey Sutherland – ‘Superego’
Described as a “back-to-basics machine funk stepper”, Superego doubles as an advanced class in percussive soul for the dancefloor.
Hearts and Rockets – ‘You Don’t Know What You Have Until You’ve Had Enough’
One half of a split single with Zig Zag, a special collaboration that launched as part of the Brunswick Music Festival 2020.
Check out ‘You Don’t Know What You Have Until You’ve Had Enough’ by Hearts and Rockets:
A jazz and house propelled trip to the moon from Henry Hicks, Melbourne based improviser, composer, bassist and producer, and a founding member of hip-hop/soul community “30/70 collective”.
HTRK – ‘You Know How To Make Me Happy’
An ecstatic high from the iconic group’s exploratory and revelatory Venus In Leo.
Combining synths, beats and atmospheric textures, ‘J.B.’ is Louise Terra’s compelling cosmic pop ode to platonic friendship.
New from Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt, a local songwriting prodigy, and one of the organisers of the pioneering Isol-Aid festival.
Check out ‘Heavy Feeling’ by Merpire:
A soulful single, and precursor to Miiesha’s forthcoming collection of songs, Nyaaringu, translating to “What Happened?’ in Pitjantjatjara, is due for release in May.
The first official single from Sydney-based future-soul artist Ngaiire draws inspiration from her time growing up in Papua New Guinea, and tackles certain taboos around relationships.
Precision Auto – ‘Trapdoor Spiders’
First single from local super-group, featuring all-stars Evan Purdey (Gold Class), Anna Stein (Würst Nürse), Nigel Moyes (Jim Lawrie), and Liz Thomas (Ouch My Face).
Primo! return with a new line-up and a renewed energy, their upcoming album is a post-punk, pop and experimental rock record that reflects on decision-making, change, time, heartbreak and the practicalities of work and daily life.
Check out ‘Elevate’ by REMI:
Uplifting new track from the local hip-hop icons. Elevate is an invitation to free your mind, all underlaid with a Parliament-inspired groove.
Off a double A-side that “takes its cues from the heavy hearted heavyweights of ’70s-’80s punk and power-pop, all the while flipping the script just enough to make it sound like 2020.” Accurate.
Heart-breaking, tender, and transcendent new material from RVG, taken from their upcoming second album, Feral.
Sarah Mary Chadwick – ‘Let’s Fight’
Taken from the prolific Melbourne artist’s sixth album, Sarah Mary Chadwick is a singular songwriter and lyrical genius.
Check out ‘Let’s Fight’ by Sarah Mary Chadwick:
Simona Castricum – ‘Supertouch (feat. m8riarchy)’
A high rotation electronic new-wave club anthem from Simona. It draws on the best dance sounds of the past, and lays a path to the future.
A guitar pop gem from Liam Halliwell, backed by his band of musical masterminds Emma Russack, Nathalie Pavlovic, and Dylan Young
Squaring Circles – ‘Circumambulate’
The Melbourne two-piece group continue to innovate on their latest single, introducing new vocal dimensions to their boundary crossing psychedelic beat excursions.
Check out ‘Another Life’ by Sui Zhen:
From Losing, Linda, a concept album that forms part of a greater cross-disciplinary art project. It’s an essential record that plays upon themes of technological mediation, memories and relationships.
Sweet Whirl – ‘Something I Do’
Breathtaking new ballad from Sweet Whirl’s Esther Edquist, imbuing “bleak moments with space, mystery and romance.” It’s taken from Sweet Whirl’s debut album How Much Works due for release via Chapter Music in late May 2020.
The Avalanches – ‘We Will Always Love You (feat. Blood Orange)’
The welcome return of The Avalanches – joined by Dev Hynes of Blood Orange – with a timeless pop sound and a timely message of eternal love.
A new figure on Melbourne’s electronic music scene, this enigmatic producer blends IDM, ambient soundscapes and lo-fi guitar tones with the nostalgic synth tones and hip hop breaks that pioneers like Boards of Canada would be proud to call their own.
Check out ‘Right In Front Of You’ by Tim Shiel:
The Native Cats – ‘Run With The Roses‘
A towering post-punk anthem from singer and synth operator Chloe Alison Escott, and bassist Julian Teakle. The song is described as finding Chloe at her most revealing, and most evasive, with a bassline like an eighteen-wheeler barrelling down the highway!
Tim Shiel – ‘Right In Front Of You (feat. Braille Face)’
A stunning electronic soul and synth ballad from two leading local music ambassadors, out via their own label collective Spirit Level.
Zig Zag – ‘Crying All The Way To The Bank’
Incisive lyrics and addictive post-punk disco grooves, this track forms the other half of a recently-launched split 7″ with Hearts and Rockets.
Zoë Fox And The Rocket Clocks – ‘Shiny Car’
Fresh from their recent Isol-Aid album launch, here’s an example of Zoë Fox and the Rocket Clock’s interplanetary, interdimensional dance pop powers.