1. BOY & BEAR
Big Man (Universal)
Demure, bittersweet and beautiful, Big Man has some of the most memorable lines Dave Hosking has yet written, including this one: “I fell in this position, I’ll still teach my kids pride, because failure’s a part of it all. And if failure don’t hurt, then failure don’t work.”
The Woods (Liberation)
Aching and bombastic, but also sweet and heavy, this burst of melody and atmosphere that will make you shiver. Triumphant and beautiful stuff.
3. THE RUBENS
Don’t Ever Want to be Found (Ivy League)
A gutsy blend of Cream and Hendrix-style psychedelia and a dirty garage rock sensibility. Singer Elliott Margin toys with the listener, dropping notes in lazy around the beat while the lead guitar squirrels around a spacious and memorable riff.
4. DZ DEATHRAYS
Cops Capacity (I Oh You)
The Deathrays explode and contract in their feral minimalist fashion, gunning the lead guitar and slapping the drums, hoisting up a wall of sound then cutting it off unceremoniously, all twitchy, screamo and irritable.
5. KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZZARD WIZARD
Deat Beat (Flightless)
Mangy, loose, electric garage rock from a band with enough members to form their own country. Go the Gizzard.
6. JUAN ALBAN
A lovely preview, a milky thread of sadness in the vein of Damien Rice that swells with stoic courage in the chorus.
7. ANGUS STONE
Bird On The Buffalo (EMI)
A West Coast desert rambler, a hazy, peyote cowboy shuffle under endless blood orange skies. The rhythm slaps, the electric guitar spirals and Angus sings like Dylan, relaxed and reborn.
8. THE CHEMIST
Spray Paint Or Praise (Create/Control)
Raising the ghost of Amy Winehouse, Spray Paint Or Praise has a sensual, grimy core; a slinking, degraded swing that is littered with Spaghetti Western guitar parts, drunken bass and shimmering organ notes.
8. NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE
Pascal Cavalier (Stop Start/Remote Control)
With a wet slap of drums on the downbeat and some unashamed eighties synth chord hopping, plus a killer new soul vocal by singer Zach Hamilton-Reeves, this is one impressive single.
Child (Filth Collins Remix) (EMI)
Melbourne rapper 360 gets a spine-rippling dubstep makeover by Sydney producer Filth Collins – the track has booming beats and stadium-scale waves of warped robotic noise that fuse together in epic and joyful explosions.
Alone When I’m With You (Pop Frenzy)
A superb and violent blast of noise from local four-piece Songs. The vocals sit deep under a sub-atomic hum of guitar and a splattering slap of drums; a blaring, girlish rebel call causing waves under the blanket of noise.