The long weekend has come and gone and so has the latest triple j Hottest 100. Over the years, as my age and music taste have both progressed, I’ve found that less and less of my favourite songs of the year appear in the list.
In fact, when comparing my own RadMix100 with the Hottest 100 and 200 list, I have just 15 matches in the top countdown and 11 in the lower half, meaning just over an eighth of my songs made it into the whole 200 list. Not that it concerns me, I have been striving to share and promote artists that aren’t necessarily on the ‘best-of’ lists and I will probably continue even further down that path in 2019.
This week, I bring you a set of 10 great new tracks, including a couple of artists that are brand new to me as well. Enjoy!
What a week/year/life for Danzal Baker, aka Baker Boy. After releasing hot new funk-dance-rap song, Cool As Hell, through his new label at Universal, he was announced as Young Australian of the Year. He topped it all off with Mr La Di Da Di at #51 and Black Magic at #143. The hot streak looks set to continue as he rides into 2019 on a huge high with as he works on his album, due in August. Baker teamed up with the boys from Thundamentals and writer/producer Carl Dimataga to create a dance-funk song that lives up to its title. Rapping in his native tongue of Yolgnu Matha whilst balancing the lines between fun and serious cleverly, it’s no wonder the youngster from Arnhem Land is gaining momentum with every track.
I’m just a little excited for the new Julia Jacklin album. I couldn’t help but include her latest single, Pressure to Party, because even at just 3 minutes, it’s enough to tantalise the taste-buds. With just over three weeks till Crushing is released, this song, along with Body and Head Alone make for something that feels like it will surpass her debut. There’s a bigger and more upbeat feeling on this track pointing towards a spot of diversity on this record as well as some fun. Great cameos from her siblings and the very awesome Body Type in the video clip too (click on album cover to view)
As Australia prepares to decide who will represent our country at Eurovision this year, some songs are starting to come out. What was once just a gimmick is becoming a huge platform for established and emerging acts to perform on what is really a massive stage, this year in Israel. Kate Miller-Heidke has created a song worthy of the stage. It’s quirky, it’s damn entertaining and it contains her amazing operatic voice. Look, it’s got all of the components you want, and assuming there’s some sort of interpretative dance in the live act, there’s no reason why this song should climb to the top of the pile when Australia Decides on the 9th of Feb. (Live on SBS!)
Drmngnow released this powerful new track, just in time for Invasion Day last Saturday. Called Ancestors, it pays respects to the OGs of this world, the indigenous tribes, cultures and peoples that are, so often, left behind in many respects. The Yorta Yorta man is a prolific performer in Melbourne and teams up with Kee’Ahn and River Boy for this down-beat and relatively chill but important hip-hop song. Combining elements of R&B, clever production and strong lyrical representations, you’ll feel in contact with the First Peoples in this song. A real head-turner from someone that deserves the attention and shares a message that should be widely heard.
Following up their solid songs of 2018 (one featured in week 27) , Way Shit have returned with Everything Is Good and it is certainly not way shit, but very good. The trio from Footscray have built a reputation for not pulling any punches and being as personal and reflective of the world around them as they dare. In this case, lead singer, Shelley Smith, recalls the experience of seeing Melbourne musician, Jess Locke, for the first time and how it inspired her to start a band.
I looked at her and said I could do thatBandcamp
And since then I haven’t looked back
Too scared to look back
It’s a ripper of a track and paves the way for a debut album to released in the not too distant future.
I’ve been a massive fan of Owl Eyes for a long time and am keenly waiting for more solo music, but hey, when we get to hear her collab with quality producers, it takes me back to her great shows with Flight Facilities. This time, LO’99 creates the beat for Brooke Addamo to grace her vocal over the top, right from the top. Sometime is an airy, summery track, giving Addamo a chance to spread her wings as LO’99 provides the perfect accompaniment with his cruisy soft-dance production. A beach banger if I’ve ever heard one.
Since winning the triple j Unearthed NIDA comp in 2018 and delivering a fun party-themed video of the track, we’ve been waiting for an actual release, and Asha Jefferies has finally popped it out. If You Were My Hero follows the story of dating someone because a psychic told her she would on her 18th birthday. I guess it came true then? Her vocal is really showcased beautifully on this track and there’s luscious bass and backing that builds my expectation for her debut EP, Hold Yourself Together, due out this Friday!
This laid-back indie-rock tune sings of being buried by ash, like those from the mountain of the same title, Pompeii, as well as reflecting the feeling of being trapped in a toxic relationship, all the while going through a band break-up. Cheery – no? It is in fact a well-constructed song that balances a droney back-line nicely with a sharp lead guitar line (from ex Youth Group member, Cameron Emerson-Elliott) and distinct vocal from Max Doyle (Songs). The band, called Victoria, are actually from Sydney, but named themselves after The Kinks’ song. Also featuring Patrick Matthews (founding member of The Vines, Youth Group) the resume is strong and the tracks are sure to be as well.
There must be something in the Perth water, because it seems to produce the best psych music in the country. Stephen Bailey, a member of Mt. Mountain, has created this bubbling, warm track, Hyde, that feels almost hypnotic with its consistent snare, the doublets on keys and meandering vocal. It comes from a forthcoming second album, titled 9 released on the 22nd of February via Dusky Tracks locally and Cardinal Fuzz in the UK. A new discovery for me and worthy of following!
Squaring Circles are another act that I am discovering for the first time. With just a few tracks to their name, this Melbourne experimental duo have a really nice groove on their latest track, Inresolve. Some haunting production echoes in the background of this track with a lovely dancing bass, tribal percussion and immersive vocal that builds to a frantic conclusion. A debut album, Motion, is to be released via Best & Fairest on 29th of March.
(Click on album art to view videos of all tracks)