The Australian music scene is booming right now, with several bands exceeding the borders of the Land Down Under. As the groups become bigger, many are making their way to the states for tours, frequenting festivals and Philadelphia venues. Regardless of where all this musical genius is coming from, better to brush up on the hottest bands from the Outback now rather than later:
This Melbourne trio is making some of the most important rock of 2019. The lead single and opener of their 2018 album, How to Socialise and Make Friends, literally called “The Opener,” should be enough to convince you of their talent. First of all, it builds off the best bass riff since Pete Wentz laid down the groove for “Dance, Dance,” then it goes from there by calling out the music industry and the way it treats women, singing, “Treat them like queens until they disagree/ And never reflect and think/ ‘Wait maybe the problem was me.’” Their entire album is filled with stories of abuse, relationships, and family. Their 2016 self–titled album is just as powerful, as well as their Split EP with Philly’s own Cayetana. And don’t let these serious topics make you think for a second that their songs don’t absolutely shred, because they do.
Cloher constructs her songs around slow builds, with a soft and subtle voice that anchors each verse. Often using dry, steady guitars, and drifting, unfocused lyrics with hidden turns of phrase, her songs are perfect to jam out to. She sings in “Sensory Memory” about her longtime partner Courtney Barnett, “Make another pot of/ tea for two is when/ you come home/ we sit and eat breakfast/ Eggs with soldier toast/ buttered well/ so you get the edges of the/ things we never say.” With the way her phrases link together and create a stream–of–consciousness narrative, coupled with her tumbling guitar, you become so immersed in her songs you wish they could never end.
Speaking of Barnett, no list of Aussies would be complete without a mention of the folk–rock star. Having risen to popularity with her album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, she followed by collaborating with Philadelphia–native Kurt Vile on their album Lotta Sea Lice. Her music also incorporates a lot of trademarks of roots rock and jam bands, while diverging in her idiosyncratic lyrics with topics from admiring a swimmer at a public pool (“Aqua Profunda!”) to looking for a house in a suburb (“Depreston”). On her most recent album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, she takes a stand against everyday sexism, singing on the single “Nameless, Faceless”: “Don't you have anything better to do/ I wish that someone could hug you/ Must be lonely/ Being angry, feeling overlooked.” She’s established herself as an artist who has the talent to execute whatever her musical vision holds.
Having just released her sophomore album, Crushing, Jacklin is already getting comparisons to Angel Olsen for her achy, soft voice, reminiscent of crooners of the 20th century. Her music is quiet, contemplative, and largely focuses on her sense of her body. “This album came from spending two years touring and being in a relationship, and feeling like I never had any space of my own,” she says in a press release. “For a long time I felt like my head was full of fear and my body was just this functional thing that carried me from point A to B, and writing these songs was like rejoining the two.” Her music is incredibly grounding, in that way, by stripping songs down to their essence and letting her voice guide you through the experience.
Still a relatively new band for American audiences, the folk–pop duo makes gentle, invigorating songs for the sad–but–dancing type. Similar to the earlier albums of Tegan and Sara, the duo (comprised of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs, if you need help figuring out where their name comes from) will use acoustic guitar when needed, other times a quiet synth, with gentle harmonies that work well at a whisper or a bellow. Their fusion of these elements don’t feel at all strange, they so perfectly meld the instruments at hand. Whether you want a quiet night in or your own tiny dance party, Oh Pep! can help you out there.