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.
Sally Lewis & Trinh Dang Brook, Music Directors of Melbourne’s SYN FM, continue this series 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 the pair explain:
“Local music creatives and communities, like many, have taken an incredibly hard hit by this uncertain, unsettling time.
“While we’re feeling far away from the people and places we know and love, the music is still here with us! Stream it, share it, tune into live stream performances and by all means buy it if you’re able (merch too!).
“Switch your dial to local community radios stations as well; they’re still on air and spinning that sweet, local sound.”
Check out ‘Panic’ by Annie Hamilton:
An entanglement of an ethereal vocals and visceral storytelling, Annie Hamilton unleashes on this sprawling piece of alt-pop.
The Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land is back in 2020 with another dance inducing number. ‘Move’ is a little more smooth and soulful than his more recent releases, but it’s just as upbeat and just as likely to put a smile on your dial.
IV League’s Lachie Gilmour is dipping into the sweet and swirly waters of bedroom pop with his new solo project, Bluey. Written after a series of obscure, invasive dreams this track tenderly articulates relatable anxieties all while being endearingly delivered.
A smudgy piece of house music that notes back to the 90s while also holding up its own modern twists. Check out their EP Soft Expression for more slick samples and blazing beats.
It’s bold, brave and full of emotion. Accompanied by raw guitar riffs and vocals that definitely highlight honest lyricism.
Check out ‘Clean’ by Candy:
‘Clean’ is another super catchy track from the prolific indie-pop songwriter. It wonderfully juxtaposes sweet and serious with those defeatist lyrics and bright melodies.
Written a decade ago in 2010 while touring the US, this is a track taken from the scum-rock duo’s lost-but-now-found EP Wicked, Wicked, Time, released in March of this year. A mix of scuzzy blues and downer country-punk, this “let’s meet at the beach” track is unlike any beach-orientated music you’ve heard before.
Full of motion and movement, it’s a very nice slice of warm and hazy indie pop that empowers and encourages listeners to step away from virulent relationships.
Cry Club really do make music that you can dance and cry to. ‘Obvious’ is a fearless delivery of courageous honesty served on a silver platter of sparkly noise-pop.
The band’s “attempt at an unselfish love song” is another dose of their stylish DIY pop. It’s the opening track of ‘Stay Inside: Songs from The Great Indoors’, a collection of music from local labels and artists produced during this period of isolation.
All proceeds will be evenly distributed between the compilation’s contributors, as many of these creatives are facing financial loss during this tough time.
Check out ‘Running’ by Dragoons:
From their Horrorscope tape released back in February, ‘Running’ is an arty garage-rock dance between facing your problems or running away from them.
A hectic taste of surrealist punk madness with racing guitars and fuming drums.
Easy Browns explain that ‘Dog Eat God’ “provokes thought on the disintegration of morality in the face of impending doom”. It’s chaotically twisted and outrageously punchy punk psych-rock.
An open and honest telling of being caught in a closure limbo, El Tee reads to us another introspective narrative through her own pop-rock lens.
‘Matter Of Time’ paints a scolding portrait of Australia’s political landscape with raw vocals and forthright lyricism. Don’t let their catchy jangle-pop sound distract you from their striking outlook on contemporary life.
Check out ‘Sandwiches’ by Gordi:
A song in tribute to her late grandmother; it starts off soft and fragile before soaring into a shimmery anthem that pulls aways with a spirited emotional gravity.
‘Soak Into This’ is a folky, indie-rock reflection on the times of blossoming relationships and friendships. It’ll spark a trip down memory lane of nights out with friends, days in the sun and simpler times. Cue: warm fuzzy feelings.
It’s an instrumental jam, pop and sizzle of house music that flaunts the Perth five-piece’s distinctive blend of modern electronic production and expressive jazz compositions.
AKA Jay Watson, this is GUM’s first new release since 2018. Written, produced and mixed by the multi-instrumentalist, it’s a trippy twist of shady pop that touches on feelings of crippling isolation. Very relatable given the times.
Influenced by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and the ’60s/’70s folk scene, Hannah Cameron’s lyrics beautifully accompany her intimate voice.
Check out ‘Gimmicks’ by Hideous Sun Demon:
A hectic burst of punk-rock, Hideous Sun Demon have traded fuzzy-doom riffs for a more clean-cut (but just as naughty) guitar sound with this ripping new track.
A rave-dance face melting monster.
The new single from their forthcoming EP Early Trauma, ‘Try As You May’ is a tasty meal of synthy post-punk that comes with a little side of dramatic glam-pop.
A jubilant jangle-pop ditty that dreams of a simple life in the country with plentiful hooks and an energy ripping rhythm.
Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam are the experimental electronic duo who have returned this year with the release of ‘Still Here’. A cut from their album out in May, it’s a piano ballad with rave-esque drum beats reminiscent of the ’90s – it’s utterly delightful.
Check out ‘schleep.’ by Kwame:
A two minute potent burst of trap-beats, silky rap lines, and fiery swings of self-confidence. Listen out for the cheeky little audio bite at the end too.
It’s a melting pot of garage, psych and jazz from this young Brisbane artist.
From their upcoming EP, The Turn out in May, it’s a passionate song symbolising truth and honesty that projects a manifestation of their country-psych, jazzy-blues sound.
A Dhambul songline from Ayawyrra on Bickerton Island and Wyndhangan on the mainland of the Gulf of the Northern Territory tells the story of connecting the two First Nation countries. Infectiously melodic with soaring guitar lines, it’s an upbeat and unshakeable melding of traditional and contemporary.
MOON CUP is the bold and brash brainchild of Rita Khayat, but a two-piece unit completed by Emily Chen. This track features on their self-titled EP. It’s an honest confession of identity upheaval, set loose by their feverish yet precise punk sound.
Check out ‘Fish Magic’ by Muma Ganoush:
A short and sweet debut single from Muma Ganoush. Led by Shelby Wilton, her songwriting creatively concocts a dreamy, topsy-turvy world. ‘Fish Magic’ glistens in a shimmery charm that will sweep you away and have you floating amongst the fishies in your own mind pond.
An emotional time warp chasing forbidden love, Nat Vazer has produced another intimate guitar-pop gem that lets her storytelling and songwriting talents shine.
Party Dozen are the Sydney experimental rock duo made up of saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan Boulet. The lead single of their upcoming album Pray For Party Dozen, this is Party Dozen dialling their freneticism back and ramping up their drone-rock capabilities.
‘No Fun Intended’ ticks all the boxes for being a contagiously catchy rock banger.
The solo moniker of Bella Venutti, the dream-pop project provides another creative outlet for the lead singer of IV League. It’s a beauty of a bittersweet song that reflects on memories and regrets, and it’ll have you swathed in nostalgia with those airy melodies.
Check out ‘Machine’ by Primo!:
This encouraging and empowering song is from their just-released album Sogni. The track circulates ideas of workplace and hierarchy within the album that reflects on daily life and working. ‘Machine’, like the rest of the album, shows off some awesome guitar-pop riffs.
A dreamlike anthem from the “1980s college band living in the present”’. ‘Videostores’ has beautifully shaped lyrics, soothing vocals and a guitar riff to send you spiralling into nostalgia.
Another jewel from their punk-rock crown, ‘Christian Neurosurgeon’ offers another look into their highly anticipated sophomore album Feral. It’s not a rag on religion, but about holding onto false ideas in order to survive.
Partnering up with Polish post-hardcore outfit Love Glove, this is SERF’s contribution to their split EP. ‘Daily Feed’ rides a bass heavy post-punk road, with dreamy synth and surfy guitar roundabouts.
The opener of their Nautilus EP, this track offers a perfect example of the group’s glitchy fusion of underground US hip hop and the UK’s experimental grime-rap sound.
Check out ‘Sweetness’ by Sweet Whirl:
Sweet Whirl is the work of Melbourne songwriter Esther Edquist. ‘Sweetness’ is her second single released this year and it’s a charming moment of alt-pop that features a great ’90s-tinged drum machine beat.
A bounce of odd-ball electronica that sketches together ambient soundscapes, fidgety beats and samples.
File this one under “Lo-Fi, Hi-Tech, Sci-Fi, Slo-Grind, disco scuzz, dance smash hit”.
A song about the band’s shared feelings of experiencing alienation, it’s a collaborative songwriting effort that sees a great step forward for this pop-rock group.
A bedroom pop song to send you floating into an alternative dreamscape, Perth artist Xan Thorrhoea hypnotises you with a spaced-out meditative melody.