Summer is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with the best Aussie rock, or to make some new discoveries. With beach days beckoning for a soundtrack, there’s a wealth of homegrown talent to sink your teeth into.

Here are some of our fave bands that are keeping Aussie rock alive. Most you’ll know. Some are newer to the game. All are essential additions to your Summer playlist.

Modern legends…


Kingswood have been packing out gigs for over a decade. There’s a rare kind of versatility about Kingswood’s sound that’s helped them to win over fans far and wide.

Add to the playlist: ‘Say You Remember’, ‘Say My Name – triple j Like A Version’, ‘Micro Wars’.

Kingswood are essential additions to any Summer playlist


DMA’s pump out Britpop-influenced tunes at a prolific rate. The trio have gone from strength to strength since releasing their gut-punching debut, Hills End, in 2016.

Add to the playlist: “Lay Down”, “Silver”, “Too Soon”.

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Dune Rats

The always outrageous Dunies are the poster boys for Australia’s ‘90s rock renaissance. While the dreariness and drizzle of Seattle is swapped out for surfing and beer, Dune Rats produce a brand of rock that truly is nostalgic. 

Add to the playlist: ‘No Plans’, ‘Scott Green’, ‘6 Pack’.

Tonight Alive

Tonight Alive are a pop punk juggernaut who are, by now, accustomed to international attention. Though they’ve been on touring hiatus since 2018, the beloved four-piece have rocked their way into hearts and minds so enduringly that it felt wrong not to include them on this list.

Add to the playlist: ‘Lonely Girl’, ‘The Edge’, ‘Book of Love’.

Tonight Alive
Pop Punk’s Australia correspondents, Tonight Alive.

Ball Park Music

Crowdpleasers from the get-go, Ball Park really need no introduction. Like their musical second-cousins, San Cisco and Jungle Giants, this band pumps out great songs at an absurd rate. Their live shows are essential viewing for any Aussie rock fan.

Add to the playlist: ‘She Only Loves Me When I’m There’, ‘Coming Down’, ‘Literally Baby’.

Ones to watch…


Hailing from Jervis Bay, this duo enjoyed a breakout year in 2019. With Falls Festival appearances and three cracking singles to their name, it’s only a matter of time until Debbies go from triple j Unearthed favourites to full-blown Aussie rockers. 

Add to the playlist: ‘What Do I Know’.

A. Swayze and The Ghosts 

A. Swayze and The Ghosts’ musical synergy can probably be put down to long-term friendship. It takes more than that to gain the attention and patronage of the iconic Rough Trade label, though. There’s surely more to come from these Hobart-based rockers.

Add to the playlist: ‘Suddenly’.

Papaya Tree

These guys are a must-see live act with a bright future ahead. Boasting an eclectic sound and a horn section to boot, do yourself a favour and climb up the Papaya Tree ASAP.

Add to the playlist: ‘Radar’.

Papaya Tree
Keep your eye on Papaya Tree

The Tipsy Scholars

The band formerly known as “The Gypsy Scholars” have supported the likes of Thirsty Merc, INXS’ Andrew Farris and Polish Club in their short history. The Tipsy Scholars followed up their debut EP with new single, ‘Hey Friend’, in 2019. We can only hope it’s the sign of more music to come.

Add to the playlist: ‘Hey Friend’.

Amyl & The Sniffers

With lyrics like, “I’m not a fan, not a fan of tradition, I just wanna get pissed here in my kitchen”, it’s no wonder this band are already becoming cult favourites. With an energetic frontwoman and driving punk hooks, they’re only going to get bigger.

Add to the playlist: ‘I’m Not A Loser’.

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