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.

Cameron Menegoni, long running host of 2SER’s all-Australian music show, The Band Next Door, continues this series with Australian music available on Amrap’s AirIt service to help compile a playlist of the best Aussie tunes doing the rounds on community radio to show your support to. As Cameron explains:

“I’ve been lucky to have had the privilege of being the host of The Band Next Door on 2SER now for 8 years. It’s been, and still is, an incredible experience and since taking on that role I’ve come to see Australian music in a completely different light.

“Watching bands at the pub/local level first dipping their toes in the water, so to speak, and testing out what they can do – there aren’t any rules and they’re not really trying to impress anyone except themselves. It’s inspiring to see such dedication and comradery at a grassroots level. Of course it’s completely ‘ruined’ my musical tastes, ha. I was a very different person in my final years of high school and the immediate few years after that. I really have to thank 2SER for its part in exposing me to sounds that I wouldn’t have heard if I had kept reading international music magazines that never really acknowledged the disconnect of Australia to the rest of the world.

“The local and national scene of independent and underground music is so incredibly humble and good hearted, I sometimes will stand there at a show watching a band and clenching my fist while muttering to myself about how there should be more people here to soak this in. Anyway, of course everything is a bit stagnant at the moment, that’s to be expected and is in no way anyone’s fault. So here’s a few tunes that have been released over the past couple of months that hopefully will spark a new kickstart in a surge of creativity bubbling to the surface.

“Being involved in radio is a luxury. I am first and foremost a fan.”

Check out ‘Hollow Man’ by Johnny Hunter:

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Johnny Hunter – ‘Hollow Man’

Nick’s voice in this reminds me of the climactic song in the 2014 film Frank. Great cascading indie rock tune, with the goth pop sort of gleam that lets it transcend into the post-punk realm and keeps the alt-rock crowd happy. Who doesn’t love to use hyphens when describing hybrid rock?

Fritz – ‘Arrow’

I know that Tilly has gone on the record saying that ‘Arrow’ is the most brutally honest song that she’ll ever write, and it definitely has a warm, sincere glow to it. But I’m so lost in my own hazy sun-soaked daydream every time I hear it, I forget everything it’s about while I float around in a translucent bubble.

Grace Farris – ‘All The People’

Loved the music of Burn Antares, and their records still get played on those easy listening weekend mornings; they’re the Fleetwood Mac of the Northern Beaches I used to jokingly say. Really exciting to have Grace back on the radar again and still sounding as vibrant as ever with a joyful and big band pleasing track.

A Star Pilot From Saturn – ‘Red’

I only recently discovered that ASPFS is the new personality of Sydney folkster Direwolf. Definitely not complaining about this metamorphosis with a song that lulls you into it with a structural riff that eventually shimmers through a fulfilling and evolutionarily loop of effervescent haze.

Check out ‘Whyalla’ by Peter Bibby:

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Peter Bibby – ‘Whyalla’

Peter Bibby isn’t a stranger to the shanty-esque world of rural life, and those carolling odes to a country town and life on the other side of the tracks are still the songbook basis of the Fremantle native. Except now he’s doing it while ripping taut doomy riffs over the top. Hear ye, hear ye.

Boysclub – ‘She, The Atrocity’

Gobsmackingly hard and fast. Plenty of torque coming out of this debut single from a new group out of Sydney that are hurtling down the path that has been etched out for them by groups like The Mis-Made and L7.

Suzie Stapleton – ‘We Are The Plague’

Wholly embracing the dark forest of haunting alternative rock while adding its own surreal take on cinematic, pagan poetry. Suzie has an album coming out at the end of July, and it’s the record I’ve been looking forward to most all year.

Lupa J – ‘Call Them Up’

Really enjoyed Lupa J’s record from last year and the way that different atmosphere of electronic pop was able to be moulded to encapsulate the tangible aesthetic of the genre. But, it’s the harder – beat driven -borderline industrial side of things that really click in with me at the moment.

Check out our ever-growing playlist of community radio picks: