After recent Best Band/Artists lists done by I (Heart Music) for Canada, Take Your Medicine for the UK, and Information Leafblower for the US, I decided to try to compile a list for Australian bands. Part of the motivation was very selfish. I’m new to Australia and by having a bunch of people send in their favourite bands I figured I could be exposed to a bunch of artists really quickly. And it worked. Since I began contacting people to contribute their own Top 20 Australian acts a few weeks ago I’ve bought some CDs by these bands and downloaded a lot more (to be purchased in the new year). That wasn’t the only motivation however. My friend Quinn at From Blown Speakers seemed to think I should do one as well.
So I did. Contributing to this list were the following: The Boudist, Invasion of the Reverb Snatchers, Fat Planet, Brown Cardigan, Lypton Village, as well as Levins at Sydney’s best radio station, FBI. So, that’s five bloggers, two DJs. In addition I asked a number of friends from other online places as well as friends I’ve met at shows in the past few months. All in all there were 18 or 19 people who submitted a list. Between them 118 (!!!) bands were nominated. That is a LOT.
The only stipulations for the nominees were as follows: they had to still be an active band (though they needn’t have released anything in 2005 – this saved the Avalanches for one) and they had to be Australian. Most people submitted a list of 20 bands, some did more, some did less. I then tallied the scores (a first place vote got you 30 points, second place 20, third 19, fourth 18….etc.). If there was a tie (and there were a couple ties in the Top 25), then the band with more votes won. I’ve included some comments from people’s lists as well.
Soooo…I think that’s all you need to know. To the list:
25: Wolf and Cub (listen here)
24: Bit by Bats (listen here)
23: British India (listen here)
22: Pivot (listen here)
They avoid the “sameness” that’s possible of instumental post-rockish bands
21: Big Heavy Stuff (listen here)
Simply put, they rock.
20: The Drones (listen here)
19: Sarah Blasko (listen here)
She won me over with her live performance, which made me listen to the cd, which made me really really like her. I may have a bit of a girl crush on her, but then who doesn’t.
18: Art of Fighting (listen here (wma only))
The most beautiful band in the cosmos… or at least Australia.
17: The Avalanches
16: You Am I
15: New Buffalo
13: The Presets (listen here)
12: The Grates (listen here)
They will do something great to music.
10: Expatriate (listen here)
9: Decoder Ring (listen here)
They’ve put together some pretty darn great recordings.
8: Architecture in Helsinki
Just fun pop.
7: The Mess Hall
Imagine the White Stripes…but murkier and with a kickass drummer.
6: Dirty Three
Such simple instrumentation, such moving music arising out of three people seemingly playing at cross-purposes.
5: Cut Copy (listen here)
Cheesy, dancey, synthy fun. These guys rock – or is it beat?
4: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Because he’s Nick fucking Cave.
3: Bluebottle Kiss (listen here)
They suck you in with pop prettiness and backhand you with some truly vicious guitar.
2: Dappled Cities Fly (listen here)
As indie as it gets down under i.e. Flaming Lips/Pavement.
1: Augie March
What is there to say? It’s Augie March – quite possibly the single most underrated band in the WORLD.
I’m sure a lot of people are happy with this and a lot of others pissed. How are Augie March and Bluebottle Kiss so high without any releases in a while? I don’t know. I just got here. Please leave a comment and argue away. I will try and post a complete list of every other band that got a vote in the next day or two. And I will do this again next year!
I’ve noticed that many people land on this post when searching for the best/top/greatest/etc Australian bands. And since this post was done in 2005 that seems a tad crap. So if you are currently reading this post and would like to see the updated lists just click here.