Five artists on their favourite Australian album of the past 15 years


This week’s ARIA Awards don’t simply rejoice the vitality of Australian music, in addition they present us the best way ahead.

Requested to call their favorite Australian album of the previous 15 years, a various choice of our most dear artists opted to look forward, specializing in younger abilities, hidden voices, and performers who’ve added their musical items to our collective voice.

If these diversified albums are any indication, we’re in good fingers.

Thelma Plum

Gordon Koang – Unity (2020)

A blind South Sudanese musician pressured by battle to flee his homeland in 2012, Gordon Koang got here to Australia as an asylum seeker. For Indigenous singer-songwriter Thelma Plum, his 2019 album Unity, launched the 12 months Koang was granted everlasting residency right here, was an uplifting expertise. Each the rhythms and lyrics bestow religion within the music.

“I first noticed Gordon Koang play at Massive Sound in 2019 and everybody there was speaking about him. He was wonderful. I listened to no matter was on Spotify after which purchased Unity on vinyl. I acquired it in 2020 and it was very a lot my soundtrack for darkish instances. I nonetheless adore it. It has been on excessive rotation since 2020 and it doesn’t seem like that may cease. However my dancing has completely, undoubtedly not improved.

Thelma Plum’s pick: Gordon Koang’s 2019 album Unity.

Thelma Plum’s decide: Gordon Koang’s 2019 album Unity.Credit score:Scott McNaughton

“Gordon was my introduction [to East African music] and he’s unimaginable. There are devices you find out about which can be so good. As quickly because the rhythm hits on the primary tune, Asylum Seeker, it’s simply on. “It’s inspiring as a result of I can’t play like that and it’s very totally different from my music. He’s simply an unimaginable musician alone, however it’s also possible to really feel he’s had this distinctive life exterior music.

“It’s an optimistic file, regardless of the circumstances he’s endured. He has an angel’s outlook and I’d like to make a tune with him – he clearly evokes plenty of musicians. His voice sends chills down the backbone. I don’t understand how else to explain it. Australia is such a 4/4 nation in terms of rhythm and Gordon is certainly altering that up. I do know the songs nicely, however they’re nonetheless a thriller to me. It’s a masterpiece.”

Flum was chuffed that the woman at a Manly record store approved of his Pnau purchase.

Flum was happy that the lady at a Manly file retailer authorised of his Pnau buy. Credit score:Katie Kaars


Pnau – Pnau (2007)

Digital music maven Harley Streten, who as Flume took his bed room beats from Sydney’s Northern Seashores to the world, selected the self-titled breakthrough album from Pnau, the dance music duo of Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes (Sam Littlemore joined in 2016). It’s an album of gilded grooves and celebratory peaks.

“This file got here into my life after I was absorbing so much. It had a phenomenal mixture of pop music and digital music – it was fairly influential for me to listen to that. For me, digital music had been Aphex Twin or Autechre or the Prodigy, however I hadn’t heard dance music that was attention-grabbing and had the steadiness to really feel like pop.

Flume’s pick: Pnau’s self-titled breakthrough album of 2007.

Flume’s decide: Pnau’s self-titled breakthrough album of 2007.Credit score:Katie Kaars

“I stumbled throughout it via the tune Embrace, which was the soundtrack to my life on the time. I used to be a teen on the bus listening on my headphones and going via many phases. I keep in mind getting the CD from Mall Music at Warringah Mall and the woman on the counter mentioned, ‘This can be a actually good one’, and I used to be so completely satisfied that the woman at Mall Music authorised of me getting it.

“This album undoubtedly influenced my profession. I’ve met them a number of instances on the ARIAs, however I hadn’t realised till you requested that it’s the Australian album which means essentially the most to me. The entire fusion of pop and electronics was an inspiration. I think about Pete has some actually good concepts, perhaps random ones, and Nick does plenty of manufacturing and ties it collectively. I’ve an experimental aspect to my music mind, but additionally a fairly rigorous, organised aspect. In a duo, you are able to do the yin and yang factor.”


Katie Dey – Mydata (2020)

Tender, craving bed room electronica marked by glitchy manufacturing that swings between the attractive and the abrasive, makes Katie Dey a favorite of Montaigne. The pop polymath and Australian Eurovision entrant felt a kinship with the underground musician, which they’ve pursued via admiration and collaboration.

“Katie’s extremely underrated, however after I hearken to the manufacturing and lyrics, it’s simply highly effective. I discovered her in 2020 via a playlist, however I didn’t know she was Australian. At instances, I’ll hearken to an album and if it resonates I’ll get the sensation that I’d get together with the one who made it, or that we had comparable struggles, and I undoubtedly felt that along with her music and Mydata particularly. We’re web associates now and he or she ended up doing a remix for me of my tune with David Byrne, which was very good.

Montaigne’s pick: Katie Dey’s 2020 album Mydata.

Montaigne’s decide: Katie Dey’s 2020 album Mydata.

“Katie has lived plenty of her life on the web. It’s not a secure house, in that you just encounter plenty of hostile issues, however for those who really feel marginalised or have area of interest pursuits the web will be the house you don’t have within the bodily world. That relationship with the digital world resonates with me. After I hearken to the lyrics, plenty of it’s acknowledging the bodily actuality of our lives. We will join with the digital, however we are able to’t ignore the bodily, and he or she explores that tough relationship poetically and viscerally.

“I really like the wonder and the vitality. It’s like anime, which is so dramatic and overwrought and swings wildly between making an attempt to convey a way of magnificence and strangeness. I like Katie as a result of she’s actually totally different to me. She bares instincts I deeply admire, however I couldn’t write like her. Her voice is totally different to mine, her thoughts is totally different to mine – however I like to witness it. I’ve a lot respect for her aesthetic instincts and her understanding of her feelings. It galvanises me to attempt to be singular myself.”

Ziggy Ramo

Miiesha – Nyaaringu (2020)

Singer-songwriter Miiesha emerged seemingly absolutely shaped from the tiny Queensland Aboriginal neighborhood of Woorabinda, with a 2020 debut album that floored Indigenous rapper and activist Ziggy Ramo. Nyaaringu appears like the subsequent step ahead for R&B and soul music, revealing an important new Australian voice.

“It absolutely bypassed any vital thought and simply moved me emotionally. I wished to make music within the first place as a result of being moved by a chunk of artwork is a particular factor, and I had that precise feeling listening to Miiesha for the primary time. This file felt so totally different to every part else that was occurring. It’s an on the spot basic for me. I wouldn’t change a single factor.

Ziggy Ramo’s pick: Miiesha’s 2020 album Nyaaringu.

Ziggy Ramo’s decide: Miiesha’s 2020 album Nyaaringu.Credit score:Georgia Wallace

“What I liked a lot is that it’s very formidable – with the idea of listening to her grandmother’s voice all through it – and really private. The ideas are so massive, however on the identical time it feels such as you’re simply speaking with Miiesha. It pulled me in to the extent of me begging her to pattern one in every of her songs, Tjitji, an interlude she wrote for her child sister. She was gracious sufficient to let me do it and that’s the impact this album had on me – it made me wish to create. I can’t be extra complimentary.

“It’s vital to have her perspective as a younger Indigenous girl, particularly one with expertise falling out of each pocket she has. I get hope from artists like Miiesha making a file like this at such an early age. It appears like a privilege to produce other songwriters and storytellers from our neighborhood discovering a path that our pioneers like Uncle Archie [Roach] made doable. Nobody can change him, however this file provides so many hyperlinks to the chain.”

Urthboy says Sampa the Great is “on another level”.

Urthboy says Sampa the Nice is “on one other stage”.


Sampa the Nice – As Above, So Under (2022)

A veteran hip-hop MC and producer, in addition to a co-founder of the influential Sydney hip-hop label Elefant Traks, Tim Levinson, aka Urthboy, doesn’t hesitate to single out the eclectic and acclaimed second studio album from the Zambian-Australian singer and rapper Sampa the Nice. An achieved and daring mash-up of hip-hop, soul, African rhythms and Australian realities.

Urthboy’s pick: Sampa the Great’s 2022 album As Above, So Below.

Urthboy’s decide: Sampa the Nice’s 2022 album As Above, So Under.Credit score:Rick Clifford

“It’s simply an unimaginable file. It seemed like and regarded like, the fruits of all her years as an artist. She’s created music that’s significant and impactful, with depth and ambition and originality. Plenty of rising artists have all this pleasure in the beginning of their profession, however then they plateau and change into commercially viable. However this album appears like the complete realisation of her imaginative and prescient as an artist. It appears like a bullseye challenge, from the best way she writes songs, to the individuals she works, to the aesthetic imaginative and prescient and executing on that.


“It’s not only a hip-hop file – it incorporates plenty of her Zambian roots. She’s give you one thing so authentic and recent. I’m impressed by it. She hasn’t shied away from how strongly she feels concerning the absence of black voices within the music trade, even saying it instantly when accepting ARIA Awards and whatnot. Everyone knows that artists are accustomed to being made to really feel appreciative for something, we are able to’t ask for an excessive amount of, not to mention cope with problems with social justice and visibility. However Sampa’s staunchly caught to her weapons to speak about that.

“As a rapper, when this stuff come up I can admire all the weather, however the factor I’ll sit with is the rapping, the rhymes, the bars, the phrases. And she or he’s loopy with it, simply unimaginable. I’m a fan and considerably of a peer as a result of she’s simply on one other stage. I’m not shut. I really like the actual fact I will be concerned in music and contribute so much, however when push involves shove I’m a labourer and he or she’s a high artist.”

The ARIA Awards display on 9 on November 24 from 7.30pm.

A cultural information to going out and loving your metropolis. Signal as much as our Tradition Repair publication right here.

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