Throughout 2023, Tone Deaf and Amrap have been asking music directors or presenters at some of the finest community stations around Australia to share their best Australian music finds discovered on

If you haven’t got your music on Amrap, what are you waiting for? Community radio uses Amrap to source Australian music for airplay.

Anyone can discover all the great Australian music championed by community radio on the Community Radio Plus App, featuring the diverse range of community radio stations nationwide in one handy spot.

This week, we are wrapping up 2023 with a list of the best Australian music from community radio stations across the nation that you should be listening to right now.

8CCC, Alice Springs

Stellar Sea – “Build A Wall”

This track punches a hole in the ozone! Stellar Sea are a 5 piece post-punk band of eco-queers with a penchant for heavy eyeliner and advocating for planetary survival. The song features co-lead vocals that scream and whisper with love and rage in almost equal measures. The bassline is straight outta the 90’s, garage drums and electric guitar leave you wondering if someone just pierced your ear with a safety pin. The sense of place in this song is obvious, you can hear the desert vastness, harsh exposure, and fierce biting connection these folks have to the planet. Stellar Sea have been touring Gadigal, Awabakal, Worimi and Darkinjung lands, with more tours coming up in 2024. follow Stellar Sea on Instagram and Facebook to get a date to their live shows. (Kodi Twiner)

David Garnham & The Reasons to Live – “Illbingini” (When The Water Goes Down)

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Not since Midnight Oil has a band toured up and down the Stuart so relentlessly. Dave Garnham & The Reasons to Live are the band that “Look like truckers, Sing like Angels”. When not writing comprehensive reviews of roadside Dim Sims Dave Garnham is crafting songs drawn from the places and people of the NT. The Stuart Highway Part 1 is the first release of a double concept album drawn from the 2,834km stretch between Darwin and Port Augusta. Featuring co-writing and collaborations with over 20 NT Artists this is a project as immense as the horizon on the highway. “Illbingini” (When The Water Goes Down) was an early release, featuring Jingili / Elliot born artist Stuart Nugget who has toured with the band extensively. Performing in both Jingili and English Stuart reflects on water and land and the threat of exploitation on country and community. The second instalment of The Stuart Highway has just been released  accompanied by a limited-edition vinyl release. (Benjamin Erin)

3RRR, Melbourne

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Miss Kaninna – “Pinnacle Bitch”

Proudly representing Yorta Yorta, Djadja Wurrung, Kalkadoon, and Yirendali heritage, Miss Kaninna is creating her own sonic universe, described by the artist as Blak pop, with a blend of neo-soul, hip-hop and alt-rock. A sequel to the immense single “Blak Britney”, Miss Kaninna’s latest tracks are empowering anthems of respect and representation, and a call to dismantle oppressive structures. (Simon Winkler)

Wireheads – “Hook Echo”

Wireheads are one of the finest groups to emerge from Kaurna Country/Adelaide, and are part of a community of DIY musicians who are putting out some of the country’s best “rock”-adjacent music eg. Workhorse, Nylex, Fair Maiden, Dom and the Wizards “Hook Echo” is the second single from their forthcoming 6th record Potentially Venus being released through Tenth Court, experts themselves of mining the Antipodean underground for hidden gems. “Hook Echo” is brimming with the sort of energy that can only be harnessed through the sort of DIY community that Wireheads are the centre of, elevated into something more singular through the evocative songwriting of singer Dom Trimboli. Wireheads have proven to be a remarkably consistent band over the last 10 years, and with this new album confirm that they are one of the country’s most underrated groups operating in the Australian underground. (Sam Cummins)


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Jen Cloher – “I Am The River, The River Is Me” 

Switching seamlessly between singing in Maori and English, Jen Cloher’s fifth album is a wonderfully arranged and orchestrated work that combines surging, swelling protest rock with intimate explorations of history, language and the effects of colonisation on both individual and collective identity, as well as the search for community in its various guises and places. Their first since 2017’s self-titled LP, I Am The River, The River Is Me was recorded between Naarm and Aotearoa and it features inspired collaborations with Emma Donovan, Kylie Auldist, Liz Stringer, Te Kaahu, Ruby Solly, as well as members of the Naarm-based performing arts group Te Hononga o ngā Iwi. Cloher covers a lot of ground thematically, emotionally and  stylistically across these ten tracks, from the sweet, breeziness of singles like “Mana Takatāpu” to the burning energy of “Aroha Mai, Aroha Atu” and the sublimely beautiful duet on “He Toka-Tu-Moana”. An incredible record that stays with you long after.

Close Counters – “Soulacoasta II”

The sophomore album from the Naarm-residing electronic duo comprised of Allan McConnell and Finn Rees, this just sprung out immediately with its impeccably constructed house and jazzy-dance goodness. Across fourteen tracks of excellent sample-based arrangements that capture the spirit of early 00s house and garage, while pushing the genre into unique places. Everything just gels, owing much to the obvious deep-digging for the material that is cut up across this. An exceptional and lengthy record of electronic music that works for dancefloors and just about anywhere else. Really worth hopping into and vibes aplenty.

Edge Radio Hobart

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Good Morning – “Queen of Comedy” 

Good Morning out of Naarm Melbourne have never been afraid of flirting with the sublime, the beautiful and the emotional, but on Queen of Comedy they have fully committed and the result is… well… sublime. From their new double A-sided single, Queen of Comedy is probably closest in style to chamber pop. It positively drips with strings and oozes with a profound sense of sadness. Written and sung by Stefan Blair and featuring a string quartet arranged by Chloe Sanger, the track comes on like the best bits of late era Beatles. Good Morning are amazingly prolific, yet their sound continues to improve and evolve with every release. Their journey from DIY indie to full blown pop has been fascinating to watch and I for one can’t wait to see what they do next. The flip side “Dog Years” penned by the other half of Good Morning, Liam Parsons, doubles down on the chamber pop vibe. The end of the track features some lyrics from the Liz Phair classic “F**k and Run.” Amazingly Phair granted permission for the use of the lyrics and they add another layer to a track that’s bursting with new sonic ideas. (Pete Hampson)

Behind You – “The Well”

All hail a new single from experimental punk rap LORDS, Behind You. “The Well” shifts effortlessly between passages of sauntering industrial groove and blasts of frenetic chaos. Just as you start to believe you’ve been assimilated into an abrasive mist of jagged noise, you’re given a moment to reset your limbic system and recharge for the next onslaught. The push and pull between different textures and intensities from Behind You is masterful, but “The Well” is further heightened by the addition of three filthily good guest verses. The melodic barbs of 1300’s Rako, Teether’s magnetic drawl, and BAYANG (tha Bushranger)’s abrasive spit take this song to another level. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve pressed replay. (Aeron Clark)

PBS FM, Melbourne

RVG – “Squid”

“Squid”the second single from RVG’s highly-anticipated forthcoming album Brain Worms, is a masterclass in absurdist songwriting. With hypnotising, pulsating drive, the song imagines being a squid – “some hideous turquoise thing” – and stepping on a Tiktaalik, the extinct lobe-finned fish from the Devonian Age, the age of fishes. Hmmm, what?! What Romy Vager is talking about here, I don’t know. But if creatures from millions of years ago provide us with clues about the history of life, then perhaps it’s worth digging deep into RVG’s lyricism to work out what it is we have become. In no uncertain terms at least, Vager tells us, “Don’t go back in time, it’s not worth it.” What we have become is too fixated on a past that doesn’t warrant too much analysis, and perhaps what RVG is imparting in this amazing song is a wisdom about the importance of being in the moment.

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The Rookies – “On the Shoulders of Giants”

Alto saxophonist Greg Sher once told me this about his band, The Rookies: that it was an accidental band born from a love for jamming out jazz standards. But you would have to see them play to realise that, while these guys do indeed live in the moment, The Rookies do nothing accidentally and are certainly not a straight up well-tempered standards outfit. A decade ago, the quintet of friends found their home in a weekly Wednesday night residency at The Rooks Return and recently celebrated both their 400th show at the Fitzroy bar whose name they carry, and the release of their first all original record Feed The Fire. On this album, The Rookies hone in their response to injustice, inequality and exclusion with a necessary anti-reactionary message that demands nothing short of radical reform to our systems of power. Fusing post-bop and klezmer emotionality, the wistful track “On the Shoulders of Giants” sounds like a funeral march for great ideas that were never fully realised. And like the rest of the album, it is also a hopeful call to action. (Firas Massouh)

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