From country to rock, indie to Indigenous, it's been an exciting week for Australian music, including a win for a band more people need to know about. IA music man David Kowalski shows us why Australia's music scene is still world-class.
DMA's WINNING THE HOTTEST 100
In the news this week is the recent Triple J Hottest 100 event marking 20 years of the breakfast show staple, Like a Version, where musicians both local and international are asked to play a cover song of their choosing. Listeners were asked to vote for their favourite moments from the segment.
The winner was Sydney band the DMA's doing their cover of the 1999 Cher track, ‘Believe’. The sad thing is that for a lot of Australians, this cover is the only DMA's performance they are aware of, as exemplified by the fact that they had to play it during the halftime entertainment at the AFL grand final in 2020.
Congratulations to the band on picking up the win. Personally, I think the voting constituency did Alex Lahey a disservice by not voting her superlative version of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ into the top 10, but that’s democracy in action for you.
The Summertimes are something of an indie supergroup, featuring Ashley Naylor (formerly of Paul Kelly’s band, currently with both The Church and his own band, Even), Steve O’Brien (drummer for Tumbleweed) and Steve Bull (bassist for Icehouse). They bring the sunshine and the pop, they produce music that will sound great on a drive to the beach and will also raise your body temperature on these chilly winter mornings.
Their debut self-titled album has just dropped, featuring 33 minutes of coastal vibes and pounding surf. It's the perfect escapism for your ears while the frost crunches under your feet.
KATE GILL — BORING
From Brisbane, Queensland comes a young singer-songwriter named Kate Gill, whose quiet and understated work is fascinating all the more for the subtle way it gets under your skin and worms its way into your ears. Her latest track, ‘boring’, is anything but. Ethereal and mysterious, it's a paean to staying home and taking time out from the world.
She has already amassed a huge following on TikTok and other social media platforms. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up with her.
FRED LEONE — YIRIMI GUNDIR
Fred Leone is an exciting First Nations artist from Queensland, with his Butchulla family from K’Gari (formerly known as Fraser Island) and his Garrwa and Yanyuwa family from the Gulf of Carpentaria. His debut single, ‘Yirimi Gundir’, is a breathtaking piece of music, steeped in the millennia-old history of his culture.
The track premiered at the MCG during the Dreamtime round of the AFL in 2023, and the single comes with the original and a stunning remix by Leone’s producer friend, Trials. Sung in language and full of traditional rhythmic elements, this is a future classic in the making.
TWO TONE PONY — STORMY WEATHER
David Kirkpatrick is one of the members of the First Family of Australian Country Music. The only son of the late Slim Dusty and the just-as-legendary and groundbreaking songwriter, the recently departed Joy McKean.
Kirkpatrick was on stage with his family from a young age, and while his older sister, Anne, carried on in the family business and became a country star in her own right, David took a different path, going on to be a specialist in emergency medical care. Now, however, he has decided to return to his interest in music with his new band Two Tone Pony, named after a vintage Ford Mustang.
The band’s latest single, ‘Stormy Weather’, is a love song to David’s wife and it is a galloping country-rock banger. The video is filmed in the town hall of Mangrove Mountain in the NSW Central Coast hinterland — the type of old-time country hall that Slim and Joy used to love performing in, making the circle of life complete.
LISTEN TO THIS WEEKS SPECIALLY CURATED PLAYLIST BELOW:
David Kowalski is a writer, musician, educator, sound engineer and podcaster. His podcasts 'The Sound and the Fury Podcast' and 'Audio Cumulus' can be heard exclusively here. You can follow David on Twitter @sound_fury_pod.
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