Mallrat, Bitch Diesel, Miiesha, VOIID …
Apart from a few standout songs such as’ Dance Monkey ‘Tones and I or The Chats” Smoko ‘, the new Australian musical presence has completely stagnated on the UK scene today.
Except for Tame Impala or King Gizzard and Lizard Wizard, we don’t seem to have heard much of it – so what’s going on in the country that gave us Nick Cave, Kylie Minogue, AC / DC, and INXS?
Buy a Vegemite sandwich and some Tim Tams as here are 17 bands and artists from below that you should listen to.
Amyl and The Sniffers
While discussing how they found their name and music, lead singer Amy Taylor told the BBC, “In Australia we call poppers Amyl. So you sniff it, it lasts 30 seconds and then you get giddy – and that’s what we’re like!” Melbourne has been making big waves on the pub rock / punk rock scene since they released Big Attraction / Giddy Up in 2018 and winning the ARIA Award for Best Rock Album in 2019 really cemented Amyl and The Sniffers as the band we should be. keep an eye on.
Another ARIA Award darling, the honorary Sampa the Great Australia who grew up in Zambia has been nominated for six awards in 2020. It’s no surprise: the busy, lush production and confident flow is impressive. Like Amyl, she is well established, but by all indications just getting started too.
Combining indie, electronica, pop, and hip hop, Mallrat is a reliable name for a playful hit. Her self-described “Hannah Montana of the rap game”, at the age of 22, has already taken third in the annual Hottest 100 Triple J countdown (an achievement previously held by the likes of Travis Scott, Daft Punk, and Alt-J) who proved that he was a source of raw talent. Citing influences such as Courtney Barnett, Allday, and Grimes, Mallrat is like the AKA-era sweetheart Lizzy Grant Lana Del Rey and Lorde with an Australian hip hop spin.
Potentially one of the longest-running names on Brisbane’s indie rock scene, Jeremy Neale is no newcomer, but his persistently contagious footprint is often underestimated. Since 2012, Neale has been a constant source of catchy pop-infused songs that you can’t help but knock your feet off (see ‘In Stranger Times’ or ‘A Love Affair to Keep You There’). With two albums and several EPs, Neale has been a staple on the east coast since his set at the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in 2013 – he hasn’t managed to break the British world yet.
An indie rock outfit that hails from the Mornington Peninsula about an hour south of Melbourne, the Teenage Dads have something in their repertoire for everyone. 2019’s ‘Vile Crocodile’ is an urgent, guitar-driven song, somewhat comparable to Cabbage’s ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’. There are much lighter, summery and spangly tunes like 2018’s ‘Sunburnt’ or the latest release ‘Thank You for the Honey, Honey’ which are a little more psychedelic-inspired. If you’re a Tame Impala fan and looking for a way to expand the number of Australian bands you listen to, Teenage Dads is the way to go.
Getting their start in high school playing house parties in exchange for a beer, The Grogans exemplifies the surf rock corner on the Australian scene. It’s a lot like California surf rock brands like Wavves, The Growlers or Best Coast, but with a distinctly Australian sound, summer guitar music that’s basically a treat for fun. The new single, ‘Got A Girl’ is sure to captivate the audience when it is played live; with plenty of opportunities to headbang and dance, it’s one way to get your feet up.
Fuzzy punk rock, the name says it all. Bitch Diesel, according to their Facebook profile, is “a pair of girls chasing fame and fortune in a booze mist” – almost as if a cover of Sonic Youth’s Goo came to life and started an all-girl badass guitar band. Having supported established punk and rock bands such as Spiderbait, Cosmic Psychos, and The Courtneys, this Bikini Kill trio’s style keeps them firmly on the Melbourne stage as a force to be reckoned with.
LP Nyaaringu debuted this year and it’s a warm and extensive RnB piece positioned from a point of view that can’t quite be heard: Indigenous experience. Sound-wise, you’ll want to hear more from Miiesha if you like the Ctrl SZA.
Dare I say it? Mutiara Matilda could be Australia’s answer to Dua Lipa. Using locks as an opportunity to get creative, Pearl has become what can only be described as a pop icon. The right disco ball, the sparkly dress, beckons you to the dancefloor electronic pop. The self-described 17 year old “disco mermaid” has grown from strength to strength over the past few years and has been featured in several magazines and made a big splash in the world of Triple J’s Unearthed High.
Teen Jesus and Jean Teasers
With 90’s craze, Teen Jesus and Jean Teasers in Canberra make rock music with a fantastic grunge twist. Formed during a 10-year stay after watching School of Rock and continuing to wow at Triple J’s Unearthed High, Teen Jesus and Jean Teasers have made a big mark on the indie scene, appearing at a series of festivals including Groovin ‘The Moo, Waterfall Festival, and St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Taking inspiration from bands like Cherry Glazerr, Siouxsie and The Banshees, and Blondie, their guitar-fired rock brought grunge back to the capital.
With DZ Deathrays and DMA among their fans, the fiery and melancholy mix has gripped quite a few. Featuring the kind of guitar that instantly seems to make you feel energized the first time you listen to it and vocals reminiscent of Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, it’s easy to see how this passionate group has garnered such a following. Talking about their latest single, vocalist Zoe Catterall explained, “’Linda’ is for anyone who has a bad boss. After being talked about / shouted at, and reluctantly working somewhere so I could pay rent, I wrote to Linda and quit. ”
Even though it was only formed in 2019, Teenage Joans thundered into the alternative rock scene winning Triple J’s Unearthed High 2020. Already invited to play on Girls Rock! Performing at the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival and winning the “South Australian Best Live Act” at the 2019 National Live Music Awards, the duo carved their place in the national eye. Cahli Blakers and Thalia Borg took pop-punk, or the pop punk they liked, and made it cool again. Immediately catchy from the first listen to it, Teenage Joans will be fun to watch.
Tamara & The Dreams
Combining inspiration from the likes of Blondie, Angel Olsen, Courtney Barnett and Best Coast, these four Melbourne-based works create indie pop for internet-dwellers like Tamara Reichman herself. By arranging to put together lyrics about memes and algorithms with a heartfelt discussion of seasonal affective disorder and the struggle to cope with your feelings, then putting all of that on top of a fun melody, Reichman is much more than a “username with too much time. As the name of the band shows, their performances at the St Kilda Festival and Brunswick Music Festival will hopefully make them make big strides on the live scene.
Indie rocker lo-fi RAT! Hammocks make fun guitar music for people trying to make sense of their life. Inspired by the joy of Christmas carols and mariachi music, RAT! Hammock wants their music to be “a big party and everyone’s there, hand in hand” while addressing the fact that in your 20s, you compare yourself to other people very often. people, looking for meaningful work, and trying to find lasting friendships.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
Formed in Perth in 2014, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets has been popular for a while, but hasn’t gotten as much fame as Tame Impala or King Gizzard and Lizard Wizard. These guys are prime examples of alternative Australian psychic bands that make upbeat and catchy music but have been overshadowed by their predecessors. Playing All Points East the same day as The Strokes as well as going on their own UK tour, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets is sure to start picking up speed here and you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t join in soon. .
Tropical Fuck Storm
An exciting find for fans of King Gizzard and Lizard Wizard, Tropical Fuck Storm is an experimental psychedelic post punk treat. Frontman Gaz Liddiard said of their music, “We are the most chaotic band out there which is not a very unheard concept at the moment,” which should give you an idea of what to expect to enter. As Liddiard’s statement might sound daunting, the music is very accessible if you’re already a fan of psychedelia and much more engaging than some of the other bands sharing the stage.
Brisbane-based VOIID proves that grunge didn’t hit its peak in the 90s. Inspired by Hole, L7 and the Smashing Pumpkins, the band takes what was famous 30 years ago and gives it a modern twist. VOIID trying to use their voice to answer non-existent conversations, drummer Jasmine Cannon has explained that as a band, they are not “going to hide. [their] lyrics or experiences just so the mainstream can turn a blind eye. After touring with DZ Deathrays and playing some of the biggest festivals in Australia, VOIID made a big name for themselves.