Tuesday, 22 January 2013

10 and 1 - Australian Albums You Should Hear Before You Die

Murder Ballads. Odyssey Number Five. Frogstomp. Kick. Back In Black. Whispering Jack. Fever. Apocalypso. Eternal Nightcap. Hourly, Daily. The Sound of White. Unit. Walking On A Dream. East. Down The Way. Savage Garden. Barricades and Brickwalls. Gossip. Since I Left You. Innerspeaker.

When you're talking about the greatest Australian albums of all time, you're guaranteed to bring up some of the celebrated titles above. INXS and Kylie's true US breakthroughs, Silverchair's riotous debut, Nick Cave's tales of love and death. They are truly defining works in Australia's music history and albums that you really should make an effort to hear, as the book I've started re-reading suggests, before you die. Don't stress out too much if you miss out on Hourly, Daily. You'll find a way to get over it in heaven. Or... you'll go to hell and they'll be playing it over and over and over and over again. And again and again and again. Yikes.

Like most 'greatest of all time' lists, you're always going to find a lot of the same albums discussed. With good reason too, they're generally amazing. What this means is that some other incredible pieces of work find themselves without the recognition they deserve, so today, I'll be presenting to you ten album I recommend you give a try before you cark it that only occasionally pop up nowadays (even though the majority are quite new). In 'Straya, cark it mean you dead. There were no typos in that last sentence. Read it as written please and thank you. As is the 10 and 1 rule, I'll leave you with one Aussie album you don't need to listen to in this life or the next or eternal whatever fairytale you believe. Here's some great Aussie music. Enjoy!

THE 10:

From Here To Anywhere
by Sneaky Sound System (2011)


"I won't forget the time, when you told me, we could be something, the memory is mine." From the anthemic 'Big' to the hopelessness of 'I Need You So,' the playful 'We Love' and desperate 'Really Want To See You Again;' Sneaky Sound System's latest album, From Here To Anywhere, goes a long way in supporting the theory that Australia is home to the greatest electronic-pop in the world. 

Howling Bells
by Howling Bells (2006)

It's easy to feel that the Howling Bells are underappreciated when you see an act of their caliber performing in Brisbane's Alhambra Lounge. No disrespect to Alhambra, it's a good venue for emerging acts. It teaches them to deal with an unpredictable crowd; half are music fans that came to see the show, half are drunk wankers that have stumbled in off the street thinking it's The Family. For an established act like the Howling Bells that have three critically acclaimed albums to their name? They should at least be at The Zoo, competing with that jerk of a drummer that's busking on the other side of the street. I love you Brisbane and I love the Howling Bells. Let 'Low Happening' take you over before 'A Ballad For The Bleeding Hearts' sends shivers right through your body. 

Farewell Youth
by Matt Walters (2011)

The one-two punch of 'St. Peter's Gate' and 'I Would Die For You' alone makes Farewell Youth an unforgettable listening experience, but there's a lot more to love. Walters has a wonderful way with words that you'll find yourself falling for. The album may close with the cute (and probably pretty gross if you think about it too much) track 'The First Time,' but it'll stay with you for a long time after.

by Operator Please (2010) 

Those crazy kids from Operator Please grew up A LOT between their debut, Yes, Yes Vindictive and the more polished and ultimately more satisfying follow-up, Gloves. 'Back and Forth' and 'Like Magic' are indie-pop perfection that leave me wondering how they didn't climb right to the top of charts around the world. Tracks like 'Jealous' and 'Just Kiss' show that Amandah Wilkinson has so much more to give us as a vocalist. Must be about time for a new Operator Please album, yes? 

Sad Summer Hits
by Texas Tea (2012)

Any excuse to bring up our favourite Australian alt-country-rockers. 'The Alphabet Song' and 'I Love You Like I Love This Black Eye' are two of the best written (and performed) songs I've ever heard, for completely different reasons. 'I Don't Write No Sad Songs' and 'Heart Says Yes (Head Says No)' bring a smile to your face and make you want to get up and dance, for completely different reasons. 'Wedding Belle' and 'Have I Got The Worry' capture two very different times and genres that you won't find anyone else successfully combating. "F, if you see it's not about the ability to swear at you just because I'm mad, G, gee I really thought that we, could work this out but now that you are gone I'm kinda glad." Smart writing, excellent performances, powerful vocals... You owe it to yourself to give this a listen.

Gravity Won't Get You High
by The Grates (2006)

This is one album I wish people would talk about more, because I find myself forgetting it and coming back to it far too much. 'Gravity Won't Get You High' is one of the craziest, explosive and ultimately funnest debuts from an Australian act since the new millennium. There's no shame in remembering how much you loved The Grates when they emerged with '19-20-20' and 'Science Is Golden.' Not like that shame you feel whenever someone brings up your strong belief that Jet were going to be bigger than Jesus. 'Lies,' 'Feels Like Pain,' 'Trampoline,' 'Inside, Outside.' So many fantastic songs. It's the quieter beauty of 'Rock Boys' that leaves me truly indebted to The Grates. Amazing. Now, Patience... get out of the Southside Tea Room and back into the studio! 

by The Verses (2010)

Seriously, did Ella Hooper piss someone very powerful in the music industry off? Is anyone in the Australian music industry considered 'very powerful'? I'm just finding it hard to explain why an album as good as Seasons, all Fleetwood Mac-y in its goodness, failed to make an impact. 'Want Everything' is a song that should have dominated radio. Maybe not Nova, but 97.3 (right, Brisbane?!). Or Triple J, if they chose to remember that the Hooper kids won Unearthed! Eskimo Joe's 'Black Fingernails, Red Wine' isn't too commercial to get a ton of airplay, but The Verses aren't cool enough for you? Your standards are ridiculous! Sorry... sorry. Ranting. Enough. If Hooper's solo career doesn't take off, I'm going to assume she killed or maimed someone. Go listen to Seasons

Jet Age
by The Superjesus (2001)

So I like female rockers... what of it? What are you, new to this blog or something. You are? Hey! Welcome... stick around. Sometimes I feel like The Superjesus and their brand of pop-rock were just a little too ahead of their time. Imagine if 'Jet Age' was released as an alternative to Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway or P!nk's 'I'm Not Dead.' Sarah McLeod singing catchy, radio-friendly tunes like 'Gravity' and 'Enough To Know' against the likes of 'Behind These Hazel Eyes' and 'U + Ur Hand'? I know who I'd be supporting. All of them. I'm a sucker for faux-angry pop-rockettes. The standout moments, much like on Gravity Won't Get You High, are the quiet ones; 'Second Sun' and 'When I Tell You In The End.'    

Oceans Apart
by The Go-Betweens (2005)


Underrated is a word that followed the Go-Betweens throughout most of their career. Now they've got a bridge named after them. Does Silverchair have a bridge named after them. No. So there. Oceans Apart continued the successful songwriting relationship of Robert Forster and the late, great Grant McLennan. 'Finding You' will take your breath away.

The Good Son
by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (1990)


Isn't there some policy that you need to listen to 'The Ship Song' before you can even enter the country? No? There should be. Murder Ballads and The Boatman's Call usually get the nod for Nick Cave albums, but really, they're all worth a listen. This one just so happens to contain 'The Ship Song.' 



Beautiful Nightmare
by Reece Mastin (2012)

Not in this lifetime, or the next, or eternal whatever fairtyale you believe in.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love it or hate it? Agree or disagree? Let me know what you think!