The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Songs Sans Frontieres: Australia

When you think of Australian music, I’m guessing your knee-jerk reaction is to think of hot pants or wobble boards. Sure, Kylie and Rolf Harris…

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When you think of Australian music, I’m guessing your knee-jerk reaction is to think of hot pants or wobble boards. Sure, Kylie and Rolf Harris deserve their status as some of Australia’s greatest (or most grating in the case of the latter) exports, but there are many more artists who the Australians haven’t been so keen to let leave their shores.

The recently announced ARIA nominations have thrown a handful of artists into the forefront of the Australian music scene. Washington, Guy Sebastian, Sia, Angus & Julia Stone and Birds of Tokyo have lead the way proving that artists from varying genres and backgrounds can make a name for themselves. Australian Idol winner Sebastian is up against British favourites, The Temper Trap, for Most Popular Australian Album. Others in the running include Kate Miller-Heidke whose album Curiouser was thrown into the spotlight when a song from it was used on that pinnacle of Australian culture, Neighbours.

Although these artists prove that the Aussies have progressed a long way from the days of didgeridoos, it’s not to say that Aussie roots music no longer has a place. The John Butler Trio released their fifth studio album this year, to much critical acclaim for their acoustic folk sound. The Cat Empire fly the flag on the alternative scene with their ever expanding band impressing audiences with their own amalgamation of jazz, rock and reggae. As for rock, Powderfinger have always dominated the music scene, but with their farewell tour this month it looks as though they’ll be making way for new talent to take their crown. And there certainly is a lot of talent out there:

1)Plans – Birds of Tokyo

2)Funky Tonight – The John Butler Trio

3)Caught In The Crowd – Kate Miller-Heidke

4)Steer – Missy Higgins

5)These Days – Powderfinger

Catherine May