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Best Australian Bands

Australia is home to some amazing indie artists. I compiled this list of my favorites, which happen to be mostly bands that have a psychedelic edge to them. I’m not sure why Australians love psychedelic music so much but I’m not complaining as it’s my favorite genre. It could be the warm sunny weather and party atmosphere or Australians’ love for psychedelic drugs. Most of you have probably heard of Tame Impala but hopefully you’ll discover some new bands from this list that you’ll enjoy. 

Tame Impala- Created in 2007, this psychedelic pop project is run by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. They began as a lo-fi psychedelic rock band and over the years expanded their sound to a more synth pop and electronica style, gaining enormous commercial success world wide. Definitely my favorite group from Australia, Tame Impala has loads of great content and highly structured and fine-tuned psychedelic pop songs.

Julia Jacklin- Julia began creating music in 2013. She writes and sings emotionally driven songs with deep and heartfelt lyrics. She blends indie pop with indie folk to create a wonderful sound. She has the unique ability to give you goosebumps with the power of her voice and serious nature of her lyrics.

Marlon Williams- He has a powerful singing voice and style that resembles old time rock and roll artists like Elvis. He blends country and folk and adds a hint of gothic. I highly recommend this Australian artist no matter what music you are into, as he has a timeless classic sound with a dark modern edge.

Courtney Barnett- One of my favorite “talky” folk artists, similar to Kurt Vile. She is a master of her unique style of blending complex poetry with folk music, hardly ever singing her songs but rolling her long sentences together to create a mash of spoken word genius. She uses loads of humor and satire to create a wonderful quintessential Australian sound.

Pond- Formed in 2008, this psychedelic rock band blends trippy 60’s style rock with electronica and synth pop. Similar to Tame Impala, their style has evolved from a garage rock style to a more polished synth-driven sound.

Babe Rainbow- One of my favorite Australian bands, Babe Rainbow has a complete 60’s style psychedelic sound. They sing about surfing, sun, freedom, love and everything hippy and really bring to mind California 60’s surf rock. Their instrumentals are very polished, structured and layered and create a unique Australian sound that I really enjoy.

Bananagun- This young and emerging psychedelic group blends musical elements from around the world, including Africa, Latin America and the Pacific Islands. I’m very excited to see where they go in the future. They have a very layered and complex sound that is highly unique to their experience and to Australia.

Flyying Colours- This psychedelic band from Melbourne has a great mellow, calming shoegaze style. They rely heavily on effects and layers of sound combined with subdued vocals. A great example of Australian psychedelic rock and shoegaze with a hint of 80’s New Age.

Sunbeam Sound Machine- This Australian psychedelic pop project is led by multi-instrumentalist Nick Sowersby. He blends elements of psychedelic rock, with effect-heavy guitars, dream pop with trippy soundscapes and electro pop with a steady beat.

Moses Gunn Collective- This Australian psychedelic pop group from Brisbane mixes modern electro pop with classic psychedelic rock. They have a unique sound that relies on a trippy, strange slide guitar, background harmonies and plenty of psychedelic effects.

The Murlocs- This 60’s inspired psychedelic rock band has a great sound that mixes blues and garage rock. I prefer their earlier work as it is more raw and has more of a 60’s sound to it. Definitely another great Australian psychedelic rock band that is worth checking out.

Dope Lemon- This solo project is run by Australian singer/songwriter Angus Stone. He plays really chill, drug-inspired groovy music with a steady beat and slick guitar work. He has a slight jazz sound with a lot of layered percussion that makes you want to dance and chill on the couch at the same time.

Written by Adam

By Adam

I am a musician and writer. I love discovering new indie artists and music and writing about my findings.

5 replies on “Best Australian Bands”

I’ve heard of some of these bands but haven’t listened to any of them. My current favorite Australian band is probably Tonight Alive, which sounds more like Paramore than Paramore does these days. I also have a lot of Icehouse and a few other Australian artists still in my collection.

I remember back in high school we had an Australian exchange student who was giving a presentation to the class about Australia and she listed several Australian bands who were popular at the time (INXS, Men at Work) and I mentioned Divinyls, which seemed to please her quite a bit. This was before they had their big hit in the US with “I Touch Myself” so they weren’t very well known yet.

Back in the 70s the biggest bands were Skyhooks (weird, with social commentary), Sherbet (pretty boys) and ACDC (hard rock from the kids who beat you up for your lunch money at school.)
Then in the 80s, Hunters and Collectors (strange, later romantic) and Painters And Dockers and This Is Serious Mum AKA TISM. Who were basically from the Australian of some alternate universe.

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