Rocking like an Aussie: Our top ten songs of 2011
The “Australian of the Year” awards were presented last night, but today the focus for those musically-inclined is on metaphorical silverware.
The “Triple J Hottest 100” countdown is touted as the “largest public music poll in the world”, and today marks the 22nd instalment of the fan-voted list.
Inclusion in the best ton of songs of the year is highly coveted, and a top ten berth is an indisputable endorsement of a track’s timbre.
LUNA MAGAZINE’S 2011 YEAR IN MUSIC
Best: Highlighting the very best artists of 2011 is a real challenge, as there were a veritable truckload of high-quality releases throughout the year. So, to be general, independent Australian music in particular deserves kudos. Artist upon artist showed that you don’t need big label backing to produce first-class music.
There was an influx of exciting experimental and creative bands that steered clear of commercial over-production and still garnered success. Such home-grown acts made touring their bread and butter, and in the digital age this is a trend which will no doubt continue.
As such, most had the welcome opportunity to attend regular gigs to a variety of local artists for a reasonable price.
Not so good: The ARIA’s. Not as cringe-worthy as the 2010 edition, but still a bit of a shemozzle. In the aftermath of the awards, disgruntled fans vented their anger about glaring omissions and inexplicable winners en masse via social media. The whole thing needs an overhaul pronto, before the event loses all credibility.
Seventeen year old schoolkid Reece Mastin being hailed as “not just a star, but a superstar” en route to his X-Factor win. His debut single “Good night” categorically quashed that notion.
The cancellation of myriad festivals was inarguably the biggest lowlight of 2011. High ticket prices, the unreliability of international acts and the stereotype of certain festival attendees as drug-fuelled and sleazy all contributed to this.
Promoters have a big job this year to restore the confidence of punters in domestic festivals, or Aussies may head offshore to get their big-name live music fix. LMFAO’S “Sexy and I know it” clogging up top spot on our ARIA charts for the best part of two months. Thank god they’re not Australian.
Noteworthy Newcomers: Indie Pop chanteuse Emma Louise and rockabilly revelation Lanie Lane had breakout years. Brisbane-based Louise scooped the Queensland Music Awards, and Lane won hearts everywhere with her cute cowboy boots and twanging guitar.
Australia unearthed a real roots pop prodigy in Bobby Alu. With a laidback sound akin to Jack Johnson and plenty of touring experience, he’ll no doubt continue to expand his fan-base around the country.
LUNA’S Top 10 Australian Songs of 2011 (in no particular order)
1. Matt Corby-Brother
Corby went a long way towards quelling the after-Australian-Idol stigma with this heartfelt offering, showcasing vocals reminiscent of a young Jeff Buckley and confirming his song-writing chops.
2. Adalita-Hot Air
A landmark debut from the Magic Dirt Front woman. Her Patti Smith-esque voice is a standout here.
3. Drapht-Sing it (The life of Riley)
Fellow emcee Illy dubbed this the ‘best local hip hop release’ of the year. Enough said really.
4. Geoffrey O’Connor- Whatever leads me to you
A beautifully melodic 80’s throwback, without the clichés, from the Crayon Fields lead singer.
5. Gotye (Feat. Kimbra)-Somebody that I used to know
An obligatory inclusion in any ‘best of’ list for the year. Inherently simple, relatable, and hugely successful.
6. Lanie Lane-Oh well, that’s what you get falling in love with a cowboy
As mentioned above, 2011 was massive for Lanie Lane. This was the lead single from the album ‘To the horses’; toe-tappingly, hand-clappingly good.
7. Jonti-Firework Spraying Moon
All about sophisticated arrangements, Jonti unexpectedly made the best chill-wave album of 2011, and this is the standout tune.
A song which has to be experienced live to be fully appreciated. Alex Burnett’s voice is phenomenal, as is the crowd reaction to this indie pop anthem.
9. New Navy-Zimbabwe
Supremely clean guitar licks, smooth vocals and afro pop percussion fused together to create a quirky song that’s perfect for summer.
10. Cut Copy-Need you now
The Aussie dance stalwarts delivered a track polished to be oh so shiny, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.
Honourable Mentions: The Grates, Boy and Bear, Jinja Safari, Lost Animal, Dick Diver, Kimbra.
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