The Australian music industry and community of local musicians 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.
Aeron Clark, Edge Radio 99.3FM’s Music Director, 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.
Check out ‘The Race’ by Implications:
The debut single from Hobart three piece The Implications is refreshingly self-assured. Full of rolling drums, crunchy bass, jagged guitars and vocals that are languid in one phrase and snarling in the next, ‘The Race’ confidently illustrates why the trio is the most in-demand new band in the city right now. The Implications are onto a good thing, Hobart is awash with singing drummers, and I am definitely here for it.
Skink Tank’s debut, self-titled EP was recorded in-between lockdowns at a disused farm in Lancefield. The trio’s jangly pub rock deals with the important issues in life, like daydreaming at work and being a bit of a downer at parties. Opening track ‘Melbourne Water’ is a glowing ode to bush crew work, Australia’s chatty birdlife, and the beauty that can be experienced when you rise before dawn.
Like debut single ‘AGAG’ and follow-up ‘HOAX’, NOCON’s third single ‘Back of the Truck’ was written and recorded during Melbourne’s stringent lockdown, with Jamie Timony and Jake O’Brien sending stems back and forth via email. The skuzzy guitars and pitched down vocals create a sense of sweaty disorientation reminiscent of those times when you’re perhaps not quite in complete control of your perception of reality.
Check out ‘stare’ by romæo:
The second single from Sydney-based singer, songwriter and producer romæo takes an online stalking scenario and translates it into the physical world. Following on from her ethereal debut ‘revealed’, ‘stare’ sees romæo continue to evolve her exciting brand of experimental pop. This time she finishes it with an engaging dystopian sheen, and vocals that allow us a glimpse into the acoustic guitar folk origins of the song.
The debut album from SCABZ is a pertinent release from an endearingly outspoken band. Swinging between the heckling banter of the pub and acerbic political commentary, ‘Pressure’ is a timely release, capturing the mindset of a generation fed up with the status quo. The title track is not merely a rousing singalong highlight, it’s also a blistering statement on the struggles of daily life during late-stage capitalism in Australia,
The second single from Launceston pop upstart Medhanit sees her emphatically finding her sound. Continuing her partnership with Jack McLaine (Sumner), Medhanit has completed her transformation from acoustic singer-songwriter roots to become a purveyor of insightful R&B infused bangers. ‘Same Things’ examines toxic codependency, but despite the destructive nature of the subject matter, it’s almost disturbingly catchy.
Check out ‘Stay In Bed’ by Alice Skye:
Alice Skye has become known for her striking ability to communicate the tumultuous internal battles of everyday life. ‘Stay In Bed’ speaks of experiences with depression, and was inspired by the struggles Skye and a friend experienced trying to find the energy to leave the house at the same time to meet with each other. Immediately relatable and resolutely uplifting, Skye describes her new single as “a love song to her friends”.
Listening to the debut tape release from Dolphin, ‘If You’re Cold, They’re Cold’, is like picking up guitarist/vocalist Amber Perez-Wright’s (Slag Queens, Foxy Morons, Slumber) diary and leafing through a collection of thoughts and memories that seems way too intimate to be any of your business. There’s a comforting warmth to the songs on this release, heightened by the rawness of the lo-fi approach to recording and the stark honesty of the lyrics.