In this Tone Deaf series, a different music director or presenter at some of the finest community stations from around the country get their opportunity to share the best community music discoveries from Amrap.

This week it’s the turn of Louis Parkinson, Vanessa Violo, and Gracie Dudley from Melbourne youth station SYN. You can check out the trio’s picks below after their introduction:

“SYN features 50% Australian music on high rotation, with a new Aussie album and 8 new songs added every week. Unlike most stations we have three people heading up the music department. We’re all big music nerds
and lovers, and are super invested in the amazing Australian music community as consumers, makers and broadcasters, so to feature so much Australian music each week is always a blessing! These are some of our recent favourites.”

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Sappho – ‘Trouble’ 

Having formerly been the singer and frontwomen for Alpine, Phoebe Baker’s reintroduction to the Australian music landscape as Sappho is fantastic to watch, and even better to hear. After a string of killer indie pop singles since the end of 2021, Sappho has delivered once again with the irresistibly sweet ‘Trouble’.

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It’s got grooving plucky bass, bright synths left right and centre, and Sappho’s distinct voice playfully singing about being in trouble without a care in the world. It’s cheeky, it’s bubbly, and it’s downright fun. The joy of this song gets encapsulated perfectly in Sappho’s simple request to “B E A C H me babe.”

Party Dozen – ‘Fruits Of Labour’

Comprised of saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan Boulet, Party Dozen are a loosely improvisational band making loose music to get loose to. ‘Fruits Of Labour’, a highlight from their third album The Real Work, chugs along with the vigour of a steam train with unrelenting, infectious, and downright dirty synths and drums.

Kirsty’s sax combined with distorted synths and a rough, awkward guitar sound make for a head bopping, face scrunching song that could never end and still never get boring.

Bec Sandridge – ‘Cost Of Love’

After a few quiet years for releases, Bec Sandrige returns with ‘Cost Of Love’, an indie pop song with charm, flair, and heartbreak. Enlisting Lucy Taylor, Dave Jenkins Jnr, and Japanese Wallpaper to assist in production and writing, Bec delivers an instrumental with passion and detail, with a new quirk to be discovered every listen.

Bec’s strong voice dives into the price of love with great self assurance and awareness, touching on a much dwelled subject in music with lyrics that avoids the cheesy and hits the reality.

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Budjerah – ‘Wash My Sorrows Away’ 

Coming off the back of a world tour in Europe and North America, and currently performing throughout so-called Australia, this young musician has artistry and skill that channels the heart of old-school soul music.

With vocals that could cut through any orchestra, Budjerah’s expressions in ‘Wash My Sorrows Away’ paint beautiful imagery that feel like the warmth of a salty summer’s breeze, while relying on the peace to be found in nature when all else seems to fail.

Having grown up in and around the church, he has developed his vocal instrumentations well beyond his years and era. His live performances are a heartstring-tugging conversation between artist and audience, and his musicianship is one that will age like a fine wine.

Vetta Borne – ‘Sad Girl’

Vetta Borne is an inspirational multi-disciplinary artist for a number of reasons, one of them being the creative control she has secured for herself – she wrote, produced, arranged, and performed her last three EPs.

Paving her own path and continuing to release timeless tunes, it’s clear that Vetta Borne is a consistent artist who is forever learning, further cementing herself as an icon in the Australian music industry.

‘Sad Girl’ is the antidote to love withdrawals, reflecting on the past and appreciating the beauty and power within oneself. This single tastefully references the sound and subject matters in her previous releases, while guiding listeners further down her sonic landscape.

Her signature style is funk driven with pop overtones, combined with a velvety voice and hip swinging beat guaranteed to raise the mood of any room.

Ngaiire – ‘Fuschia’ 

Following the 2021 release of her third album, 3, Ngaiire blesses her audience with recent single ‘Fuschia’. Pairing a curious dance beat, moody chords, vulnerable lyricism, and a powerful vocal delivery that draws listeners into her storytelling, this track is as modern as it is eternal.

Being an artist who fully submerges themselves in their work, ‘Fuchsia’ was inspired by Ngaiire’s 2017 trip to Papua New Guinea, which she embarked on to extract visual aspects of her culture to present with her music.

This single addresses the desire for autonomy of your choices and is a call-to-action to embrace the identity that is truest to yourself, despite what the world around you may be trying to reinforce.

It’s about finding solace in art when your reality may be holding you to unfavourable expectations, and in Ngaiire’s words, “It’s about rebellion and that anyone can be a rebel if it’s taking a stand against any mass ideology which in turn could just be a truth not considered. A revolution, even.”

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Dizzy Days – ‘Take My Heart’

Dizzy Days are making waves with their debut release ‘Take My Heart’. Drawing inspiration from the Jungle Giants, Dua Lipa and Sycco, this catchy modern disco/pop track will have you dancing over the perils of an “on again, off again” queer relationship.

Despite this being the band’s first single, Dizzy Days are already creating industry and local buzz with the track reaching the top three on the AMRAP metro charts and their live shows receiving amazing feedback. On stage, the four women emit an aura of musicianship that spans beyond their years.

Bronte Alva – ‘Eve’s Lips (Make Me Want To Cry)’ 

Gaining traction as an independent artist is a task proven difficult for many, let alone a 19-year-old woman writing about her first queer experience. Young Bronte Alva wrote this song as a sentiment to her self exploration and first kiss with a girl. Taking the plunge, Bronte used the initial demo not only to come out to her family but also as her first Triple J Unearthed upload.

This upload peaked the interest of surf rock band The Terrys which led to Alva re-recording and producing the final track with their producer, Jack Nigro. Since then, Alva has gained more fans whilst accompanying the band on their tour. It’s only up from here for Bronte.

Drella – ‘Night Crawls’

If you haven’t already heard of Bobi Andonov (BOBI), you will become infatuated with his crisp falsetto quality and infectious, dark production. The Melbourne-born artist has come a long way since honouring his Macedonian heritage by representing them in the Junior Eurovision song contest back in 2008. With a new stage name that combines Dracula and Cinderella, ‘Drella’ is an enigma to be reckoned with.

In 2022, Drella has electrified the interest of new and old listeners with his latest singles, ‘Night Crawls’ and ‘Until The Morning’. Not only are his vocals as impressive as ever, but his production skills have somehow become richer like aged wine.

With sonic landscapes that are lush with funky bass lines and an overall darker feel than earlier ‘BOBI’ projects, I look forward to hearing future releases from Drella.

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