Over the past few weeks we’ve partaken in making best-of lists and digging up some Lost Tracks (good music that was overlooked during the year). Consider this a hyper-specialized combination of the two: the top 10 Australian indie rock songs of the year.
It’s been an especially fruitful year for my favorite geographic micro-genre, with woozy, wobbly, strummy guitar rock emerging as a distinct sound Down Under. One reason for the largely unified aesthetic is that there’s barely a single degree of separation between these bands. Boomgates features members of the Twerps and Dick Diver. The singer is also in Eddy Current Suppression Ring, whose guitarist plays in Total Control, and who recorded albums by Woollen Kits and Royal Headache. It’s like a soap opera, but without the drama. They’re all mates.
Of these 10 songs, Royal Headache’s whiplash rock-and-soul and the rattling claustrophobia of Total Control and Constant Mongrel provide the most adrenaline. The rest are varying degrees of laid-back, but even with lots of overlapping members, each band offers its own charming take on off-kilter wistfulness. My 10 favorite tracks, in order.
1. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding - “Hazy Morning”
2. Blank Realm - Cleaning Up My Mess
3. Boomgates - Whispering and Singing
4. Woollen Kits - Cheryl
5. Royal Headache - Surprise
6. Dick Diver - Alice
7. B**ch Prefect - Bad Decisions
8. Total Control - Scene From a Marriage
9. Constant Mongrel - Reflex
10. Twerps - Work It Out