This post contains several Youtube videos of the music discussed here. Read this at your leisure so you might partake of the fantastic wonder that is killer music.
In my final two years of college (or, “uni”) I reached a sort of musical utopia. After years of loving and listening to a wide variety of music, I discovered my type. Musicians such as The Smiths, Pixies, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, The Beatles, and more, must always be loved. They are a given. Then there are “current” bands that I love but do not place in my list, a compilation of 3 to 5 current bands or musicians I would consider, dare I say it, “favorites.” For roughly four years the following artists have made up The List.
1. Iron & Wine
2. Bon Iver
3. The Strokes
4. Johnny Flynn
In the five months I’ve spent in Australia, my list has been challenged by several Melbourne artists and a couple from Sydney. Current artists (not Australian) including The Weepies, Margot & the Nuclear So-and-Sos, The Lumineers, Devotchka, Young the Giant, Benjamin Franics Lefttwich, and Sea Wolf, make it difficult to pick and choose. But the following Australian musicians convinced me to open my heart, pick and choose, change The List, and write a blog devoted to them.
1. Tom Tuena
I already wrote a bit about Tom in my post on the Unshackled festival. It’s definitely worth your time to go to iTunes & purchase his album “The River.” They’re all gems, but my favorite song from the album is “Over Under Through.” The first song that got my attention here is “Walking Your Way.” Crossing my fingers I get to see another show before I leave Australia! See Tom play “Together” in this video from the Melting Pot.
2. Al Parkinson
Like Tom, Al is a Melbourne-based singer and song writer. Her voice is deep, positively captivating, and she exhibits such a relaxed vibe. Listen to “Story Song” or “At Night” and try to tell me your first thought isn’t Ella Fitzgerald. The first song I heard from Al was “The One that Got Away,” which is on the video I’ve linked here.
3. Jinja Safari
A Sydney-based band, Jinja Safari is said by many to be influenced by afro-pop and island sounds. I sadly discovered them one day after their tour concluded, so I’m not sure I have a great chance to seeing them live while I’m here. From the first time I heard a mere clip of their song “Peter Pan” I was hooked. The chorus from “Moonchild” is a dream, but it’s “Mud” (song I like waking up to in the morning) I want to introduce here.
Now you can see why the list must change, expand, or implode from sheer musical greatness pressing down from all sides. After some thought I am removing Bon Iver & The Strokes; while my love for them has not altered, I feel they fit into a different place. The three Australian musicians I’ve listed above have together changed my view of music to something I’m pretty excited about and I hope you take some time to hear from them, too. Here I present to you, now new & improved…The List.