Best Tracks of 2017

Angharad Drake

“Ghost”, the debut album by Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Angharad Drake, brought some of the best melodies you could hear last year – especially if you’re into open-minded folkers like Laura Marling, Lisa Hannigan or Fiona Apple. “Baby” is the magnificent opening track, arranged in that elegant, mostly acoustic manner that never wears out.

Angharad Drake on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.


Kirsty Tickle doesn’t like to waste time. “Hands” is the Sydney musician’s debut single and it’s already spectacular. She grips you with her whispery singing just a few second into the song and holds tight until the very end – which also doesn’t come too late. This career should blossom quickly.

Exhibitionist on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, www.

Felix Lush

“I hope this lasts forever”, goes the mantra of Felix Lush’s first new song since his 2016 EP called “State of Mind“, and this naivety embraces the song’s synthpop sound as well. For the lyrics, Lush simply felt it’s important to tell his girlfriend what he feels.

Felix Lush on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Genesis Owusu

Music rarely gets more intense than on Genesis Owusu’s “Sideways”, a phenomenal single released last October and without doubt one of last year’s global highlights. The young Canberra-based rapper and singer takes no notice of genre demarcations and hence his reckless, ingenious mixture.

Genesis Owusu on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.

Golden Vessel
“Tell The-Girl”

Somehow it’s hard to imagine a year-end list for Australia without this Brisbane-based producer and just like he appeared here in 2016 with OK Badlands. Now he’s back again with this time with Emerson Leif on the vocals. If you ever need to illustrate what’s “flow” in music, here’s your golden candidate.

Golden Vessel on SoundcloudFacebookTwitter.


Brisbane dream pop talent Hatchie gave us one of the most addictive choruses of the last year, but “Try” as a whole is a great take on radio-friendly shoegaze. Add all that nostalgia in the video and here’s retromania in its essence – and in all of its beauty. Hopefully Hatchie will at least try to deliver a full-length this year.

Hatchie on Facebook, Twitter, www.

Heaps Good Friends
“Let’s Hug Longer”

“Someone light the wick of my firework!” goes the chorus of this 3-minute hymn to hugs, especially those hugs that are just good, not “confusingly good”, those when you’re just sharing some love, not too much love, just like Emma, Nick and Dam give us here some music sweetness, but not too much sweetness.

Heaps Good Friends on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.

Julia Jacklin

Singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin will be a special guest of Calexico at their North American tour this summer, and you can be sure she’ll have all the eyes and ears of the audience even alone on stage. While she promises new songs for this occasion, we’re still keeping last year’s “Eastwick” on repeat.

Julia Jacklin on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Kardajala Kirridarra
“Ngurra” (Rain Song)

Representing the Malinja community from the Northern Territory, Kardajala Kirridarra (Sandhill Women) teamed up with the producer Beatrice Lewis for their self-titled album to remind us about female creators of the past and bring their legacy to the 21st century – in the entourage of ambient textures and electronic beats.

Kardajala Kirridarra on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Mere Women
“Big Skies”

This dark eponymous single from Mere Women’s new album “Big Skies” is a perfect example of the addictiveness of their version of post-punk. Direct and even furious with Amy Wilson’s downward vocal delivery, it’s also perceptive and multi-layered (just spend one listen focusing on drums). Powerful and clever.

Mere Women on Facebook.

“Foul Play” feat. Billy Fox

It tells you a lot both about Mookhi and about the times we live in that “Foul Play” was allegedly “produced on a plane” and inspired by “sleep deprivation and that sense of dislocation from anything rational”. Up in the air, the Sydney-based artist created one of the best soundtracks of 2017, and when she landed Billy Fox boosted it further with his airy vocals.

Mookhi on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

“Pure Luck” feat. Freya Staer

Over 4 million views on YouTube are, for once, more than deserved, if just for the warm production this track got from Ninajirachi. But it’s Freya Staer’s effortless vocals that make “Pure Luck” such a pure pleasure. And think it’s “just two friends mucking around with musical ideas in my bedroom this time last year,” writes the artist. Well, keep on mucking then.

Ninajirachi on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.


This Brisbane-based alt-pop group has been among our favourite Australian acts forever, and almost three years after their 2015 debut single “Good Logic” their music remains as fresh as and intriguing, but more self-confident and serious? Enjoy the songwriting, magnificent vocals and what might be the best sound production of 2017.

OK Badlands on SoundcloudTwitterFacebook.

“A Quality of Mercy”

There’s been a couple of great debut albums last year in Australia, and Romy Vager Group’s “A Quality Of Mercy” is certainly at the top of the list. Combining guitar-based pre-punk songwriting with the right amount of hooks, the Melbourne newcomers delivered 8 honest tracks and the eponymous single is just one of several highlights.

RVG on Facebook.

“Cotton Bones”

Joshua Gibbs’s “Cotton Bones” is one of those songs you fall in love with from the first second – the moment you feel its aura you know there’s something special coming. And each following bar brings new colours, new textures, new layers, new experiences. As someone rightly put it under this track, “continue making music, please”.

Setec on Facebook, Soundcloud.

Shady Nasty

This song evolves from a bit creepy ballad at start up to an all-out post-rock catharsis in the final bars, though contrary to most post-rock songs it ends much too soon rather than much too late. And Kevin Stathis’s haunting vocals add just the right amount of drama. Be sure to check out the Sydney trio’s entire self-titled EP this song is beautifully closing.

Shady Nasty on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Bandcamp.

Stella Donnelly
“Boys Will Be Boys”

Let her speak: “It is my attempt at making sense of society’s tendency to blame the victims of sexual assault and rape and make excuses for the perpetrators. It was also my way of dealing with certain events that were occurring in my life at the time. (…) A song is just a song but at the very least I hope it will open up difficult yet important conversations between family members, friends, government bodies, organisations and most importantly, boys and men.”

Stella Donnelly on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud.

“Fully Fledged”

Vilde is Thomas Savage, a Melbourne-born, Stockholm-based singer-songwriter, whose music – in a similar vein to Alt-J for example – puts as much experiment and exploaration as it’s possible in works that preserve the standard song structure and usually don’t last more than 4-5 minutes. “Fully Fledged”, released in June, showcases his signature multi-layered vocals and haunting falsettos.

Vilde on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud.

Winston Surfshirt
“Same Same”

A couple of years after this eclectic Sydney-based band started, Winston Surfshirt finally released their first album “Sponge Cake” last year and it happened to be one of the best recent debuts probably not only in the Australian scene. You can start with “Same Same”, but there’s plenty more great songs of the same quality on the LP.

Winston Surfshirt on Facebook, Soundcloud, www.

Yon Yonson
“This Evening”

Sydney trio’s fourth album “Yes No Sorry” showed their version of indie pop in a whole new variety of colours and moods, from more risky “Pattern Recognition” to immediate singles like “Berlin” and “Call it Something I Ate”. Somewhere in between, “This Evening” is the song to play as the last one on any given day.

Yon Yonson on Facebook.