Top Aussie Releases of 2020
So, lists are pretty arbitrary, especially for a site like ours, where you mostly know what you’re going to get each day. But, still, I always fall for the “Best Of” lists, though this year, I’m personally staying away from the numbering system; it just doesn’t really mean much to me these days. That said, I do spend a lot of time covering Aussie acts, more than most, so for me, its fun to revisit my favorites. Without further hoopla…here’s my Top Aussie Releases of 2020.
RVG – Feral
I heard through the grapevine that this record got moved around because it was too clean, and having spent hours with that, I get it; it does work without a lot of the rawness of their debut. But, not a bad song in this bunch…and one of my favorite from the band “I Used to Love You.”
Chloe Allison Escott – Stars Under Contract
Have you ever listened to a record so beautiful that you treated it with kid gloves? Like it was a piece in your mother’s china collection? This record is that. Every inch from the Native Cats front woman is downright striking.
Go Get Mum – Ok Now What
If ever there was a record that I couldn’t stop playing, it was this one. Every mix I made included “Moving Day,” which might include my favorite 25 seconds of pop music this entire year.
Pop Filter – Banksia/Donkey Gully Road
Yes, both of these records are equally great. It’s a reminder of the songwriting prowess of every member in this band, all working together to craft brilliant pop music. Despite the tragic events that led to the creation, this lot certainly still has the gifts to leave us with something special.
Thibault – Or Not Thibault
Having been away from the music game for a bit, former Minimum Chips member Nicole Thibault made a huge impact on my listening habits, particularly with early single “Centrelink.” I can see the Stereolab mentions, which I actually think are unfair; I imagine this more as a collection of chamber pop songs from a psychedelic den of sin I’d happily visit any old day.
Sachet – Nets
I came to this Sachet record later than its release, but I gobbled it up; it’s one of those records you just put on start to finish, noticing little twists and turns along the way. Each time I listened I found a new jam that I wanted to claim as my favorite, but there’s no denying “Arncliffe Babylon” as a clear fave.
Girlatones – Horn If You’re Honky
This might possibly be one of my favorite albums of the year, period. I don’t know if you can break a counter on iTunes, but I came close with “Get to the End;” it was definitely my quarantine slow jam.
The Green Child – Shimmering Basset
This is one of those records that seems universally appreciated, which should come as no surprise considering the two players at the helm, Raven Mahon (Grass Widow) and Mikey Young (Eddy Current). Bouncing in spots, dreamy and sterile in others, and provocative the whole way through.
Rabbit Island – Songs for Kids
This is a reissue of a rarity, and those of you who loved Joanna Newsom’s early work will certainly appreciate this album; it has that endearing innocence of childhood. For me, I found solace in “Some Days are Harder Days,” and I hope you do too!
Haiku Hands – Haiku Hands
Sometimes you just need a record to blast and let loose. This is like the best of CSS and Chromeo, all rolled into one joyous record you could drop at a club or put on at full volume for your spin class.
The Great Divides – Face the World, Again
It’s easy to throw the Go-Betweens reference around with bands from Australia, but this is perhaps one of the few times where I think that actually is a sufficient pigeonhole. If you don’t believe me, just listen to “Face the World.”
Permits – Time Permits
You might say “Hey! This just came out!” But, the band is made up of members of Pop Singles, Chook Race, the Shifters and Dag…all bands I’ve covered here pretty extensively. Need I say more? Rips. Start to finish.
Totally agree about Girlatones and Get to the end – best song of 2020 and beyond!