6 Tracks by Australian Artists That Should be on Your Travel Playlist
6 Amazing Australian Tracks for your Travel Playlist
The talent that comes from Australia’s incredible music scene is not to be snuffed at. From rock legends AC/DC, alternative artists like Gotye, chilled indie pop duos Angus & Julia Stone and killer dance trio Pnau, it’s clear the music coming out of the country is as diverse as the land itself.
Australian music is raw, unapologetic, and tests the creative boundaries of what defines it. When it comes to psychedelic and alternative rock, Australian bands particularly lead the way. In fact, Australian psyche rock music helped make the genre explode all over again – just like it did around the world back in the 60s.
Whilst I am exploring Australia, which I do at every opportunity, I find there’s nothing better than listening to local artists whose music was inspired by the culture and life lived in Australia itself.
No matter whether it’s a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, a hike through the Blue Mountains or watching the majestic sunrise at Uluru, there will be the perfect Aussie track for that very travel moment.
In this article I thought I’d share a handful of tracks on my adventure playlists in the hope that you’ll fall in love with Aussie music too.
Here are just 6 tracks produced by Australian artists which I believe deserve a place on your travel playlist. That’s whether you’re travelling Australia, intending to visit Australia or just want your imagination to transport you!
‘Solitude is Bliss’ by Tame Impala
Irrefutability at the forefront of the Australian psychedelic rock revolution is the Perth-formed band Tame Impala.
This Aussie band’s music has accompanied me on many trips including my first solo travel adventures across the world. I find them one of the most thought-provoking modern day psychedelic rock artists of all time. Their otherworldly sound makes perfect listening on a bus or train as you mentallly detach yourself from the world rushing past.
Although my favourite album is Lonerism, one track that particularly connects with me comes from their first album Innerspeaker.
‘Solitude is Bliss’ is the first track by Tame Impala that really summed up how I felt about solo travelling and being alone. It was like a sudden click moment – a rush of excitement that someone vocalised so perfectly how I felt about solitude. The lyrics especially resonated with me and I played it again and again, pouring over phrases such as “you will never come close to how I feel” and “space around me where my soul can breathe”.
If you’re an avid solo traveller and you’re into rock music, then this should definitely be a consideration for your travel playlist.
‘Foreign Land’ by Eskimo Joe
One of my most recent musical discoveries since moving to Australia has been the alternative modern rock band Eskimo Joe. Hailing from Western Australia, the band formed in ‘97 and to this day are still going strong (that’s 24 years!).
‘Foreign Land’ is a killer opening track from the band’s fourth album ‘Inshalla’. Starting with wailing Arabic sounds and ceremonial-like drums, wailing riffs and gruff vocals boldly emerge, adding even more depth to an already weighty rock anthem.
For me, the lyrics revolve around the emotions and learning experiences evoked by a different way of life in a foreign place. As an expat, blending in quickly to your new surroundings is a necessity but it’s also overwhelming and a real emotional challenge.
“This Is A Foreign Land
So Try To Understand That
Do You Understand?”
‘Going North’ by Missy Higgins
Chilled and vocal-driven, this folk track is stripped back and truly whimsical, ideal for those purposely getting lost in a new place-type moments, or even to enhance a hike out in nature.
Although describing Missy’s experience of going back home to her rural town near Broome to lock herself away and produce an album, the lyrics resonate with anyone who travels to a foreign place for self growth and discovery. Sometimes you need an entirely different setting in order to kick-start those creative juices and get back in touch with your authentic self once more.
Also inspired by the wide open landscapes around Western Australia, this song epitomises freedom and the relaxed nature of country living, enhanced by the tracks’ simple guitars and banjos.
“So goodbye for a while I’m off to explore
Every boundary and every door”
‘Faces’ by Holy Holy
There’s not a person I’ve met who doesn’t like Holy Holy’s catchy indie pop. Their music suits all moods – it has accompanied my high points in life and also picked me up in low times thanks to their lyrics that just seem to resonate with you when you need it the most.
Their track ‘Faces’ is probably one of their most electronic expressions, offering a much denser sound than normal. The beat grows, getting more and more fast-paced and slightly overwhelming, which makes sense when you understand the meaning behind the song.
Based on lead singer Tim’s experiences as a social worker in refugee settlements, he relays the shocking number of children being separated from their parents and difficulties they experienced trying to find home in a place where they were unwanted. He explained that Faces is a “snapshot of what it is to be alive at the moment, all these different lives interacting”.
You really get a sense of the busyness and chaos of these different lives in both separate and entwined, reflected in the swelling sounds and lyrical repetition.
“Ages and ages and ages and ages
Valleys are made by the creeping of glaciers // Faces of races and strangers and wasters
Beautiful hatred composed into phrases”
‘In the Eve’ by Stonefield
Another track that truly embodies travel as a form of escapism, learning and self discovery is ‘In the Eve’ by the badass rock sisters of Stonefield.
The four sisters hail from a rural town in Victoria and were picked up by Triple J Unearthed, the national radio station prized for bringing new talent to the limelight.
As always with Stonefield’s songs, the guitars are heavy and sludgy, (though less so in this track than many songs in their albums). However their sweet vocals and talent for songwriting cuts through and lifts this track in particular, making it a really empowering female rock anthem to motivate and inspire your travels.
“Take another trip to see
What the day will bring
In the eve you’ll open up
To what the world can be”
‘Follow the Sun’ by Xavier Rudd
Opening with the soothing warbling of magpies which is one the most quintessential Australian sounds of nature, you just know that this track is going to connect you with the outdoors and melt your worries away, just like taking a walk in the Bush.
In fact, most of Xavier’s music has recurring imagery of open spaces and natural elements, transporting you to the beauty of, and forging a connection to the native land.
In ‘Follow the Sun’ Xavier’s soothing voice beckons you to follow the light, to head in the direction of love, leaving the societal structure and rigidness of everyday life behind. Instead, start afresh with new intentions under a ‘brand new moon, a brand new sun’. This track really is tonic for the soul.
Spirit Bird is another stunning track by Xavier well worth putting onto your playlist. Centered around the beauty of the aboriginal spirit, this song is not only filled with beautiful and vivid imagery, it’s also haunting and deeply emotional.
“When you feel this crazy society
Headin’ to the strand
Take a straw to the nearest waters
And remember your place
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you’ve came
So which way is the wind blowin’
And what does your heart say?”
Tamara is a solo travel advocate hailing from the UK but currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. When she’s not discovering new music, going to gigs, hiking or travelling Australia in her van, she’ll be writing for her solo travel blog Travelling Tam.
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