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AAA's Favourite Australian Songs of 2014... So Far

In true July fashion, we’ve been reminiscing on the music that has impressed our ears since we stumbled over the line into the new year.

There have been countless incredible tracks let out into the world in the past six months, and plenty of these have been home grown. We tried a best of list, but let’s be honest here: there was just far too much brilliance to narrow down. So here are ten of AAA Backstage’s favourites that have forced us to sing, dance around the office, and/or rave about what Australian artists have to offer.  

‘Chandelier’ – Sia

Sure, Sia has spent the past chapter of her career in America dishing out songs for all of the pop powerhouses, but we’re still claiming the intriguing songstress as one of our own.  ‘Chandelier’ is pure, unabashed pop music, and with Sia’s soaring vocals and just the right amount of lyrical darkness (“Sun is up, I’m a mess / Gotta get out now, gotta run from this / Here comes the shame”), it’s a tune that’s going to be blasting from countless stereos all year long.

‘Delete’ – DMA’s

“DMA’s demonstrate their main strength with songs like ‘The Plan’ and ‘Delete’, both of which strike a deeper poignancy: the key to writing a memorable pop song… Just like Britpop bands like Oasis wrote wonderfully listenable pop tunes with little depth but plenty of resonance, so too does DMA’s fit into this category” (Jessica Darnell, DMA’s live review). The previously unknown DMA’s burst onto the scene with their debut single ‘Delete’, and the obvious Britpop flavour alongside honest songwriting helped the slow-burner to become a favourite on first listen.

 ‘Don’t Lean On Me’ – The Amity Affliction

Sometimes all you need to get your feelings out is a little bit of screaming, and The Amity Affliction helps with that just fine. With its opening pensive piano opening up into a Warped-ready mosh-fest, and Arhen Stringer’s memorable chorus built to please the most pop-loving of fans, ‘Don’t Lean On Me’ is catchy enough to please the masses, but will still allow you to scream those feelings out.

‘Germland (Of Julien Charbonneau)’ – Mosman Alder

“Brisbane sextet Mosman Alder released their 2012 debut EP ‘Burn Bright’ to rave reviews, and for good reason. The accomplished debut saw a pop/rock sound that was brooding, dynamic, and atmospheric, with earnest stories and luscious instrumental soundscapes” (Ally Cole, Six of Brisbane’s Countless Best). ‘Germland’, the first taste of the outfit’s new material, is equally as stunning as past efforts, providing yet another piece of proof that these guys are Brisbane musical royalty.

‘House of Cards’ – Holy Holy

“’House of Cards’ sees Carroll’s smooth and powerful voice asking questions such as, ‘Will we be on the right side of history?’ with support from intricate guitar harmonies, ambient vocal soundscapes, and metronomic percussion” (Ally Cole, The Pacific EP review). Holy Holy are quickly gaining momentum in the national scene, and songs like ‘House of Cards’ prove exactly why.

‘Ramona’ – Velociraptor 

“Ramona, I told you I can’t sit next to you in the cinema when you’re texting other guys.” Can’t you just relate?! The latest offering from the Brisbane (currently) ten* piece is nothing groundbreaking, but its simple, honest, and fun style of garage rock is what makes it so charming. And if you make it through the track without dancing along, I’ll start questioning if you have a soul.

* Number subject to change.

‘Return To (feat. Tom Snowdon)’ - #1 Dads

When not fulfilling his role as one half of Big Scary, multi-instrumentalist/producer Tom Iansek makes stunning sounds as #1 Dads. With vocal help from Lowlakes singer Tom Snowdon, ‘Return To’ is the beautiful, piano-led taste of Iansek’s upcoming LP ‘About Face’. And if this track is anything to go by, the album is going to be a real tear-jerker.

‘Something I Said (feat. Thom Crawford)’ – Thundamentals

‘Something I Said’ is probably the catchiest slice of Aussie hip-hop currently on your radio. It’s a definite turn towards the commercial, but with Thom Crawford’s smooth chorus vocals, upbeat hip hop grooves, and humorous lyrical life lessons (“When Billy has a bitch about Susie to Milly, it says more about Billy than Susie… can you see how silly?”), there’s no denying that Thundamentals have delivered something thoroughly entertaining.

‘Something Like Avalanches’ - Sleepmakeswaves

‘Something Like Avalanches’ is yet another piece of proof that you don’t always need lyrics to trigger an emotional impact. A cut of their latest LP ‘Love of Cartography’, Sleepmakeswaves have crafted an absolute stunner of a work that, honestly, really is something like avalanches. Rolling percussion, intricate guitar lines, and huge crescendos make for a track that truly does take you along for the ride.

‘Talk Is Cheap’ – Chet Faker 

‘Talk Is Cheap’, the first cut of Chet’s acclaimed 2014 debut ‘Built on glass’ showcases exactly why Australia (and the world) fell in love with him in the first place. A continuation of the sound that brought him listeners in the first place, soulful vocals, R&B inspired production, and sax-led instrumentals combine to create a fantastic slow jam that has left audiences swooning.

What have you been loving this year? Leave a comment and let us know!

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