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 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.

GUM – Delorean Highway (Spinning Top Records)

If you’ve been living under a rock then you’ve presumably missed the psych rock goodness that’s been coming from the Jay Watson of Pond and Tame Impala.

The musical wiz kid will release his debut solo album tomorrow (Friday 30th May) and we’ve been amped for the release after the first tantalising cuts, ‘Delorean Highway’ and ‘Growin’ Up’ were dropped. Described as “paranoid pop songs” by Watson himself there’s only one more sleep to go boys and girls until the other eight tracks will grace your ears and appease fans of either of the bands that Watson has helped gain such a large national and international following.

Delorean Highway’ begins with a tame (no pun intended) build-up of atmospheric organs and snare drum patter before getting the Richter scale wound up with a waving siren and guitar squeal before climaxing with beautiful and serene fuzzed out guitar.

And if you want to know what ‘Growin’ Up’ sounds like, well, head on over to Spinning Top Records where you can also score a free download of Watson covering the 1980s Genesis hit ‘Misunderstanding’, also featured on Delorean Highway.

Caitlin Park – The Sleeper (Create/Control)

It’s no surprise that with winter now setting in, rain beating on the windows and fogging up your breath, the option of staying inside on the weekend is a much more inviting prospect. Caitlin Park’s sophomore LP The Sleeper is the perfect thing for those long cold nights, spent inside in good company with a beverage (or three) of your choice, wrapped up in soft warm acoustic folk, nostalgic film samples, and creative lyricism in reminisce of the distant memory of the summer just gone.

The Sydney singer/songwriter’s first release since 2011’s Milk Annual she takes several strides forward in developing her ambient, feel-good soundscapes; impressively written, arranged and produced by Park in two months, recording took just eight days in the extremely apt Blue Mountains with close friend Aidan Roberts (Belles Will Ring, The Maple Trail).

It plays on mood and emotion as opening track ‘Wake Up In A Whirr’ stirs and murmurs, gliding into the early morning light drifting into leading cut ‘Hold Your Gaze’ showcasing her skills and innate ability to meld many different elements into a sonic daydream, gracefully transporting the mind to a place of euphoric utopia.

The Motown inspired ‘The Sleeper’ is the soulful seventh track, in which Parks collaborated with Lee Groves who’s renowned use of classic synths add the sleepy elements in what can only be described as bold pop music. Embrace it, love it, and let it breathe life back into the dreary setting of grey clouds overhead.

The Bombay Royale – The Island Of Dr Electrico (HopeStreet / Rocket)

No-one has ever been brave enough to classify or restrict this 10-piece into any one genre and we can confirm we aren’t going to be the first to do it. Dabbling with disco, funk, and sample-laden tracks, their latest release (out 2nd June) is their first since 2012 and The Island of Dr Electrico delves into the golden eras of those aforementioned genres and binds them effortlessly with the vibrant sounds of Bollywood.

Opening track ‘Ankhiyan’ uses modern western guitar and traditional Indian instruments to explode in a colourful array of smooth and utterly unique music tied together by singers Parvyn Kaur Singh’s and Shourov Bhattacharya’s elegant on-record chemistry as their harmonies compliment each others range.

With sounds of synth, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, sitar, tabla, and dilbura – the way the sounds all come together and blend so many cultures into one is remarkable. No track does this better than ‘Henna Henna’ an upbeat, near-on rock track, with stripped back choruses, hand claps, and rolling bass. You really do have to listen to it to grasp the full dimension of it.

It’s like a multicultural dinner party-turned-rock show, mixed with a Bollywood movie ending dance party. The Bombay Royale have been smashing world music stages and flying the flag high for accepting and adopting the best elements of all cultures to create a distinguished and truly one-of-a-kind listening experience, and The Island of Dr Electrico does it to the near-best of their abilities.

Rat & Co – Binary  (Caroline)

Perhaps one of Melbourne’s best-kept electronic secrets is ambient production group Rat & Co. However, they may be a secret no longer, and with just reason, about to drop the follow-up to One (壱) Uno (壹) Ein (on Friday 30th May), in another kudos-worthy set, including high praise from Triple J’s Home & Hosed.

This is a ‘day off’ album, provoking deep, reflective thought designed to change your perceived ideals and shine a new light on the natural world around you through the power of electronic production. It reminds us that there’s a certain warmth to be found in the shadows and that things may not always be as they seem.

Soothing electronica and relaxed ambient platforms draw inspiration from historical Japanese figures on ‘Samurai’, tours across America in ‘Calculated Movements I & II‘, and the contrast between living in a crowded 12 person warehouse and a quiet family farm. ‘Vocal Insanity’ is the finished product of five years’ work and sums up the differing elements on the album perfectly.

So as shadows move across buildings and let light sunlight shine through, chuck on a pair of headphones and get lost in the sonic, deeply emotive tracks of Binary. It creates an inviting warm atmosphere through chopped up house and hip-hop breaks, synths and drum patterns that will have you feeling strangely comfortable with being alone.

Dune Rats – Dune Rats (Ratbag Records)

The Brisbane stoner pop group have just finished up an overseas tour that saw them head to South Africa and Europe, promoting their self-titled debut and kick as much ass as they possibly could at the same time.

After receiving a kick-start as Triple J Unearthed winners in 2012 things for the trio have been getting higher and higher (both literally and figuratively speaking) and their first full-length (out 1st June) is no exception. The happy-go-lucky group have been hitting shed parties and punching cones to truly bring the lifestyle and music to life.

Dreamy backing vocals sift with rhythmic bass and soft crash cymbals on ‘Funny Guy’, the lead cut, is a party anthem to get lost in. Not shying away from the surfy, fun-in-the-sun vibes that made them, it has a lo-fi recording quality and it’s hard not to want to roll one up and party. If you want to feel rebellious, perhaps you’re looking at a big change and need to relieve the anxiety and not worry about tomorrow – this is the record for you.

Closure In Moscow – Pink Lemonade (Sabretusk)

Having laid dormant since their 2009 debut First Temple, the faithful have been left anxiously waiting to see what direction the post-hardcore rockers would take next and it’s a move to a more playful, in-your-face record combining provocative lyrics and a soul-filled sonic playground – and that’s just on the epic-length title track! An eight minute raucous tune that entices with visceral substance and epic proportions.

As described by our Tone Deaf reviewerPink Lemonade is “an eclectic coalition of catchy, progressive rock and funky soul number influences” the mix up of screaming guitar and vocals with uncontrollable riffage and post-hardcore qualities is a thrilling, heady journey.

From the name down ‘Neoprene Byzantine’ emulates their influences (chiefly, The Mars Volta) changing tempo with no defined structure yet organising chaos into a groovy contagious anthem that’ll blow out even the best of speakers. Dance, cry, head-bang, tap your feet, there’s so much goodness on this album to enjoy, if you haven’t had a listen, head on over to our stream here.

Wagons – Acid Rain And Sugar Cane (Spunk Records)

After spending time travelling America’s well-worn and revered musical highways, Henry Wagons has re-joined his namesake group and brought back the 70s rock swagger and stomping soul polished with a fresh dose of Nashville twang for their sixth studio release.

In the wise words of our Tone Deaf reviewer, “Wagons’ latest release is a really big record in ambition, sound and impact” and the six-piece have tightly attuned themselves after years of familiarity and playing together. The sounds on the record are made even more epic by the powerful element of them playing live together in studio.

Key track ‘Why Do You Always Cry’ encompasses that swagger and heartache and is equally as good on headphones or being blasted out on the radio waves for a liquor induced loud play in your home, ready to be let lose across backyards around the country.

With the legendary Birthday Party/Bad Seed Mick Harvey in charge of the mix you can be guaranteed there’s a touch of dark grandeur amidst Henry’s deep ploughing voice. The only thing that could possibly top this release it the thought of hearing it live, which will be monumental.

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