We listen to a lot of music here at Tone Deaf HQ, and we’re the first to admit we’re perhaps a little biased towards sounds of the Australian variety. We do make the best music in the world, after all.
In honouring our favourite Aussies, we’ve once again compiled a list of the most outstanding local releases you should be listening to right now – whether they’re smaller indies acts or big-name essentials, these are the newest Australian records you should be adding to your ‘must-listen’ list.
Let’s get started.
High Tension – Bully (Double Cross/ Cooking Vinyl Australia)
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Melbourne crew High Tension. Between their high energy blistering live shows to their badass music video talents (see: their latest clip for ‘Bully’ here) it’s hard not to love these guys.
Set for release tomorrow, the band are gearing up to drop their new album also titled Bully. Recorded in Adelaide with James Balderston, it features guest spots from Matt Young (King Parrot) and grunge heroine Adalita.
Consisting of Karina Utomo and Ash Pegram (Young and Restless), Matt Weston (The Nation Blue) and Damian Cowards (Heirs, Love Like Electrocution) this second full length from the four piece is the band at their very best.
According to the band Bully, is ‘the perfect soundtrack to flying down the highway, tinnies in the back and no room for fucks to give’ – we don’t disagree.
Baro – 17/18 (Independent)
Only 12 months ago Melbourne’s most exciting upcoming MC Baro released his mixtape HOWGOODISGOOD catching us by surprise with its boom bap production and undeniably catchy flow.
A follow on from that mixtape, Baro is about to release his new nine track EP titled 17/18 and it’s a step up from his introductory release. Featuring more sophisticated production woven together with his laid-back flow, 17/18 encapsulates the rapper coming of age, coming into his own and hitting a creative peak.
With lyrics that are bratty as Tyler or Action Bronson and a flow as chilled and natural as Joey Bada$$ his sound is international. Witnessing Baro’s talent and self-assured confidence on tracks like ‘This Is For You, Fuck Everybody (feat Mitch)’ it’s obvious why acts like Allday, Remi, Illy, Thundamentals, Freddy Gibbs and Badbadntogood have booked him for support slots.
Alta – Awake For Days (Caroline)
Melbourne duo ALTA dropped their brand new EP late last month, and it’s one of the most fascinating and impressive local EPs we’ve heard in all of 2015.
Titled Awake For Days, the five track release traverses the worlds of laid-back dance, weirdo pop and hip hop while still sounding wholly cohesive. Comprising of producer Julius Dawson and vocalist Hannah Lesser, the two piece have gained a reputation for producing ‘sweetly malfunctioning’ experimental pop you can’t not dance to.
Having shared stages with big name electronic acts like Bonobo and TOKiMONSTA, and performed as part of Outlook Festival in Croatia, these guys are definitely worth keeping tabs on. If you wanna ono more about this exciting progressive crew visit their Facebook page.
Eighty 88s – Eighty 88s (Independent)
For those uninitiated, the Eighty 88s are an undeniably funky, arse kicking garage should group who have been playing live around the traps for a while now.
Embracing the playfully sleazy world of old school rock n roll, this crew are definitely not new to the scene. Having put in the hard years on Melbourne’s local touring circuit since the naughties under a number of guises (including: The Sophisticants, The Daily Waters, and The Wildes just to name a few) the eight members who form the collective came together in 2011 over a love of beer and Little Richard.
With years of experience and uncalcuable talent and groove, now is the time for the dirty soul rockers to unleash their debut record, and it’s an absolute pearler. Out tomorrow the band will be celebrating the release of the LP at The John Curtin tomorrow July 10th, don’t miss it.
Stonefox – Surface (Independent)
Melbourne trio Stonefox are quickly gaining momentum as the new upcoming masters of ambient indie gems, and with the release of their new EP titled Surface, the band are solidifying that claim.
Following on from their brand new single ‘Arrow’ which amassed an impressive 180,000 plays on Soundcloud in the past few months, the release of Surface takes us beyond that single and displays a band able to stretch their legs and show us what they’re got to offer.
Riding the dreamy chilled wave overtaking Aussie music right now (see: Airling, Japanese Wallpaper, JOY just to name a few) Stonefox are as good as any of their contemporaries with only EP under their belt – we expect exciting things from these guys.
McRobin – Fault Lines (Independent)
Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Mcrobin’s silky smooth voice and undeniable songwriting talent has quickly made him one of or new favourite upcoming Aussie acts.
Last month we wrote about his single ‘In’, which we described as ‘shimmering and radiating’ and “marked by deftly plucked acoustic guitar and tasteful layers of synth.” Then we swooned over his follow up track ‘Vinegar’ which was equally as stunning.
Tomorrow he’ll be dropping the EP from which those singles came, and with rolling finger-picked electric guitars and steady driving percussion the moody five track release titled Fault Lines ebbs and flows from sparse verses into soaring Buckley-esque vocals. To launch the record he’s be performing at The Evelyn on Sunday the 12th July (as part of Leaps and Bounds) so, if you like what you hear check out Mcrobin’s Facebook page for more info on upcoming shows.