The indie music scene is sizzling in Australia, with breezy sounds and positive vibes sure to brighten any listener's day
By Chris Lau
I wasn't a really big fan of music until I moved to Australia. There, my love for indie music grew, and I would tune in to Triple J, a youth radio station, on my drive to work every day. (I still do by streaming online!)
I also went to gigs and music festivals, and enjoyed watching budding local bands perform.
Suburban culture is strong in Australia due to the country's huge size and small population. This culture nurtures a lot of talented garage bands and artists, creating a very distinctive suburban sound.
To celebrate the sunny country's influence on me, I've put together a list of mainly Aussie summer tunes, with a few more from elsewhere in the South Pacific region.
It's Nice To Be Alive by Ball Park Music
I have a secret obsession for irony. This joyful song, hailing a fast-moving comet about to crash into Earth, ticks that box. The upbeat guitar chords and cheering vocals are so enjoyable. An apocalyptic moment like this also reflects summer well - it's all about going out of your comfort zone and trying something different - kind of like the last days on Earth, I suppose.
Pedestal by Charlie Lim
This may seem like a cheeky plug, as Charlie is one of my good mates back in Australia. But trust me - I wouldn't recommend uninspiring music to people. Charlie's songs are among some of the most played songs on my iTunes. Perfect for summer, Pedestal gets your head bobbing and feet tapping. His soulful vocals are also something to look out for.
Bloom by The Paper Kites
The five Kites members take acoustic music to another level. Their music is a rich, string-plucking symphony, weaved together by three guitarists and one banjo player. They always manage to convey that sentimental country feeling during gigs - and I know that because I went to almost every single one.
Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra
This single took the world by storm a few months ago. But little do people know that this ultimate break-up song had been viral in Australia long before hitting the international charts. It meant a lot to me because Gotye's show was the last concert I saw before I moved back to Hong Kong.
iYiYi by Cody Simpson
Deemed Australia's version of Justin Bieber, Cody Simpson made his debut with this very first summer single iYiYi. It's so good, I know. I used to hum along when it came up on the radio at the juice bar I worked at.
Young Blood by The Naked and Famous
I insist that this is what young people should listen to, especially in summer. The catchy synth-bass, outstanding bass riff and the lead singer's revitalising vocals describe precisely what being young is about - the positivity, the sense of resilience and a confident attitude.
Catch My Disease by Ben Lee
I know this song is a bit outdated. But, you know what? Try looking up the 2009 flash mob at Bondi beach and you'll see it's still a popular tune.
Endless Summer by The Jezabels
The Jezabels are a typical Aussie indie rock band. Probably influenced by their background - most of the members grew up in the coastal area of Byron Bay - their songs convey a positive vibe that resonates with the radiance of summer.
Speak of the Devil by Hermitude
If you need a true tune to dance to this summer, it's got to be Speak of the Devil. Hermitude has revamped the electronic/DJ genre - which used to be more of a cult thing - into something easy to listen to. Its music video features brilliant jump cuts, with more than 20 energetic dancers, that will surely make you groove along.
Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julius Stone
Summer is also a good time for daydreaming. The soothing vocals and dreamy rhythms on this track send your mind to a drowsy yet meditative state. The puppy-love lyrics lock your thoughts on the right path, making sure it's bubbling with sweet tales of summer love.