As the Australian music scene begins to enter a cautious state of normalcy following a few difficult years, community radio Music Directors and presenters from around the country have shone a light on the finest local talent doing the rounds today.

While many of us are adjusting to the new global environment after these last two years, Australian musicians are still facing enormous limitations in working opportunities to support and sustain their careers. Exposure is more important than ever and ironically harder to come by in today’s media landscape.

The Australian Music Radio Airplay Project – best known as Amrap – offers Australian musicians a pathway to airplay to the many community stations who have long championed Australian music of all stripes. Providing exposure often before anyone else, community radio is a strong and unique network immune to passing trends.

In this Tone Deaf series, we’ve turned to the Music Directors and presenters at some of the amazing community stations from around the country to get their latest favourite Australian music discoveries from Amrap.

3PBS FM Music Director Firas Massouh continues the 2022 edition of this series with Australian music available on Amrap to help compile a playlist of the best homegrown tunes doing the rounds on community radio for you to sink your teeth into.

Check out ‘Misery’ by Good Morning:

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Good Morning – ‘Misery’

The little Melbourne duo of Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons have been making solid tunes for close to a decade, going from strength to strength, and moving from lounge to pub to international stage. In fact, they’re touring the U.S. and U.K. over the next couple of months, introducing their audiences to positive morning affirmations, sung with compassion and depth of feeling. ‘Misery’ is the latest offering, out in a self-produced double single, and speaks to a slacker, lo-fi and honest sensibility in songwriting that’s vying to make a proper comeback. This song has been playing on repeat in my house.

Punko – ‘Collect’

Punko is the nom de plume and creative project of Mulunbinba/Newcastle via Naarm/Melbourne artist Liv Jansz who has recently put out a stunning album titled Plants Singing, recorded and produced at home over a three-month period. The track ‘Collect’ is a personal favourite and a great example of how sincere a piece of music can be. But the entire album is stunningly beautiful, raw and heartfelt, and I highly recommend that you immerse yourself in it from beginning to end.

Planète – ‘Eternal Now’

When I moved back to Melbourne in mid-2018 after a few years of living interstate, local electronic artist Dion Tartaglione, aka Planète, was one of the first artists I saw play live. His performance was one of a few standout
shows that welcomed me be back into the bosom of Melbourne’s vibrant music culture, and reminded me of how captivating electronic music can be. On stage, Planète commanded his spaceship of modular machines, at
once playing around with human emotion and artificial sonic textures to create organic, lush dance music.

Planète’s most recent output, Eternal Now EP, sees a shift towards more bass-centric music. The release is intoxicating in every good way, though it is the slow and sultry title track that stands out for me. It evokes the coldness of the north-hemispheric dub techno tradition while melding it beautifully with something that is quintessentially Australian, the dry and hot sound of the bush.

Check out ‘Eternal Now’ by Planète:

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dameeeela – ‘The Shake Up’ feat. Tjaka

Here’s some more bassy goodness, courtesy of Meanjin/Brisbane-based Yuggera woman, producer and DJ dameeeela, who’s nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. This gritty and fast-moving banger is the right kind of clubby shake up after two years of being cooped up in the house.

Easy Browns – ‘Adept Adapter’

This is great rock n roll with lots of aplomb and twang from a prolific local band that’s sadly decided to call it a day. Their new farewell album Commercial Fluff + Unbelievable Dust is anything but fluffy or dusty. On the
contrary, it’s full of substance, depth and really clever songwriting. I cannot wait to see where the members of Easy Browns are going to next.

Tanzer – ‘Fantasy’

Madonna, Kylie, Tanzer! The fabulous Tanzer comes through with a great song that I’ve been listening to a lot – a bit obsessively, to be honest. Dancing to this extravagant, camp dance number enlivens all kinds of fantasies and
guilty (not so guilty) pleasures. It’s so good, and comes with a wonderful video too.

Alexander Flood – ‘Umoja’

Earlier in the year, I discovered the work of Adelaide-based drummer and composer Alexander Flood through his recent album The Space Between. And what a revelation that was! A seriously talented musician, Flood is a
maestro who effortlessly connects diverse voices, sounds and stories where the drums are the protagonist, narrator, and innocent bystander.

The track ‘Umoja’ is especially exciting in the way that it elicits the Swahili concept of unity from which the word comes. An extensive orchestra of percussion instruments animate the scene in a ritualist dance like no other. An outstanding track on an outstanding album!

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