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.
Steph Liong, Music Director of 2SER in Sydney, continues 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 Steph explains:
“There’s no doubt that these unprecedented times have been tough and challenging for artists and anyone who’s a part of creative industries, but it’s also been extremely inspiring to see the music community adapt and innovate so quickly, and band around initiatives and campaigns like Support Act, Isol-Aid, I Lost My Gig, and the Sound of Silence.
“There’s still lots of music being released, especially from independent artists untied to strict release schedules, and now is the perfect time to dig a little deeper and more locally than you perhaps otherwise would. Join live-streamed gigs, share playlists, and if you’re in a position to, please support where you can and directly to artists.”
Check out ‘Shut Down’ by Blood Circle:
A new duo split between Sydney and Adelaide making luxurious and ambling synth-pop as if Grimes were a lost member of Cocteau Twins.
‘Lucy’ is the debut solo release from Melbourne’s Emma Shields and lifted off the excellent compilation album, Stay Inside — Songs From The Great Indoors. Shields’ powerful yet endearing dream-pop vocals sit comfortably next to some heavenly Beach House-inspired synths, like some type of soothing gravity blanket.
As the guitar maven for Phantastic Ferniture, Elizabeth Fader sure helped dish out catchy tunes aplenty. Having signed to Cooking Vinyl Australia, ‘Encore’ is Fader’s debut solo single which sees her tinker in a world where electro-pop meets heartland rock.
The newest single from these psych-rock explorers is a kaleidoscopic adventure that approaches Anatolian grooves, and alluring taste of their upcoming album The Garden.
Check out ‘Spring’ by Jesse Madigan:
The young Newcastle singer-songwriter writes of seasonal love in northern NSW mixing the softly sung wood cabin-rock of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago with the percussive finger-plucked guitars of Bill Callahan.
First catching my attention as a vocal feature on Space Invadas’ record a few years ago, I was excited to see Natalie Slade gearing up to release her debut album. The first taste is this velvety slice of soul, jazz and R&B that was produced by Hiatus Kaiyote’s Paul Bender.
While channelling the scratchy DIY spirit of ’80s-era Flying Nun Records, Sydney’s Sachet have captured their very own version of infectious and angular power-pop that’s generous with doe-eyed harmonies and buzzing guitars.
A hot and bothered ode to queer electronic disco from the DJ, musician, and producer. From top to tail it’s a bewitching soundtrack to a club experience that ends blissfully in a chill-out room.
Check out ‘Way Out’ by Snape:
Goth-tinged post-punk from the Sydney quartet that’s sonically stirring and headrush inducing. One of the biggest highlights is the interplay between those chiming guitars and brightly-lit synths.
Intimate and leisurely guitar-pop about getting older and moving into the next stage of life led by Liam Halliwell (of The Ocean Party). As the band’s name suggests, their music is perfect for a winter’s day spent indoors (or social distancing for coronavirus).
Sun-drenched Americana from the Melbourne-based, Canadian expat and band of Australians. McNeil’s soaring vocals are front and centre, acting as a perfect vessel to beautifully unhurried songwriting that recalls the work of Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch.
A curious amalgam of psychedelia and classic ’60s pop influenced by The Flaming Lips and Bowie. ‘The World Will End Today’ was written tongue in cheek about a dreamed-up scenario that would cause humanity to flee Earth, but in these very strange times it doesn’t feel so farfetched anymore.