Australian Music Blogs
In what I believe is the absence of a strong list of Australian Music Blogs, I present to you my short but glorious listing of Australian Music Blogs. These are the creme of the crop but the list is by no means exhaustive. These are just the jewels that I’ve come across in my short few years of trawling. Most of them are worth sending your demo to, all of them are worth reading. If you think your blog is worthy of a place in this hallowed list, send an email with your bank details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously though, probably don’t email me.
Established: November, 2010
Genres: Electronic, Indie Rock, Garage Rock
I’ve got a lot of time for All I Do Is Listen. I can’t rightly express why I like it so much but I just do. It could be because founder Thomas Lukaitis has impeccable taste or it could be because he introduced me to one of my favourite Australian EPs in D.D. Dumbo. Whatever the case, this is a pretty cracking blog. The sheer amount of work that’s invested to be posting almost daily across a number of features such as news, videos, interviews and mixtapes is more than I’m willing to invest in anything, ever, including both my dayjob and my marriage. I joke, I joke. But seriously, what about that work ethic, AMIRIGHT!? It’s a Melbourne based outfit and if you wanna stay hip to the game then I recommend you invest right here where the standard fare is garage rock and electrindie. Maybe don’t hit ‘like’ on facebook though, he’s smoking me on social media and I don’t like that one bit, NO SIR.
Established: October, 2009
Genres: Folk, Indie Rock
And Pluck Your Strings is named for the same lyric from The Middle East’s Blood so I don’t think there was ever a point where I didn’t think there might be future gold in the mix. Strong folk sensibilities resonated quite well with me at the time of discovery and I think above all things, I’ve appreciated that author Lachy didn’t change his focus just because “indie-folk” became “uncool”. He’s still sharing features on the gentler of Australia’s musicians that we all secretly crush on while publicly banging on about Royal Headache et al. It doesn’t hurt that he’s studying journalism (surprisingly rare within the world of music blogs) and produces some strong writing, notably in his live reviews.
Established: June, 2012
Circular Key is the home of music by artists and bands exclusively from Sydney. This kind of makes sense as the blog is run by Tim Sharp who hosts The Bridge two nights a week on FBi Radio, a show dedicated exclusively to Sydney music. Want to book a band for your show at GoodGod? This one’s for you. Even more so if you’ve got extreme attention deficit disorder and couldn’t possible tolerate a sonic description any greater than fifty words. Circular Key is short, sharp and rather well curated across almost any and every genre. Additionally, all streaming audio is channeled directly through the soundcloud… cloud so that’s something, or whatever.
Established: July 2011
Author(s): Mike, Tommy + Contributors
Genres: Hip Hop, Indie Rock, Culture
Cool Accidents probably stands alone among these blogs, for a number of reasons. It’s not exclusively a ‘new music’ blog and only dips lightly into the great lakes of Australian unsigned talent. Cool Accidents features a whole bunch international material, including major label talent but we’re cool with that. Gotta get paid right? Gotta get paid. There’s some major league connections behind it and they also generate their own content like their Under The Bridge Sessions or their bi-monthly zine. There’s a whole lot of ‘The first time I heard this artist…’ that you can largely skim through, but amongst that there is some true gold. International talent relative to Australia.
Established: March, 2010
Genres: Ambientstep, Elusiveness, Magic; Electronica
East to West opened its doors on the same day that Sound Doctrine and Life:Aquatic did and has since become one the two premier Australian blogs for independent electronica. It deals exclusively in Australian electronic music which has meant it’s basically the first port of call for any budding “producers” from the Australias. Together with Jared from Life:Aquatic, Holly puts on an irregular show night called Easter Aquarium. She’s also linked with a few smaller print medias and writes a monthly wrap up of Australian music on Berlin blog No Fear of Pop. Finally, East to West is also part of the international blog collective PORTALS so there is much to be gained from making this contact if you’re geographically appropriate. Each post on E2W features a little emotive prose and a sentence or two about the streaming track so if you’re looking for editorial content then this is not for you. If you’re looking for new Australian electronica and genre mashups like ambientstep or dubwave then this is your home.
Established: March, 2010
Genres: Electronic, Minimal
I don’t really know what to say about Life: Aquatic since admittedly I’m not a regular reader. I read E2W and in my uninformed way I’ve pigeonholed the two of them together, despite the likelihood that they’re writing about very different artists. Maybe. I don’t know, read them both, play spot the difference, maybe they’re wildly dissimilar. Yep, look, I’ve just listened to the last few tracks that Life:Aquatic posted and I’m wrong, it’s a different sound, though probably still the same market. I’d love to see a zen diagram of their respective readerships because it would be interesting and because zen diagrams remind me of mastercard and mastercard reminds me of money and I love money. Jared runs a record label through Life:Aquatic the specifics of which I won’t pretend to know, but alongside Holly at E2W he has his finger in many of Sydney’s pies, putting on shows under Easter Aquarium moniker. Life Aquatic Blog has sadly shutdown which is a damn shame.
Me And All My Friends
Established: February 2009
Genres: Indie Rock, Rock, Electronic
There’s a real need for blogs that post exclusively Australian content. There’s a real need for blogs such as Me And All My Friends. While not writing exclusively Australian artists, it’s about as close to it as one can be be before it becomes so. Me And All My Friends delivers some domestic gems and is really consistently identifies strong Australian outfits before they’ve ‘made it’. There’s no overarching genre, no recurrent theme other than Australian, so if you’ve got a hankering for good local talent of all sorts and orders, look no further. This blog has it down.
Established: October, 2006
Genres: Folk, Indie Rock,
Oceans Never Listen is one of the oldest dogs in the yard (admittedly it’s a yard populated mostly by puppies) and for me that commands some degree of respect, even if it’s creator Wayne were a terrible writer (he’s not). It’s very, very limited in the way it addresses domestic artists so it’s probably a dead end if you’re ready to kick your musical career into motion. The big thing, the real big thing about Oceans Never Listen is that the dude goes to a stupid amount of live shows, and reviews them every one. If you’re wondering what other folks thought of that show at the Enmore, the Opera House, the Metro, wherever, Oceans Never Listen. There’s reviews of so, so many international artists’ Sydney shows on this long lived site and there’s probably plenty more to come.
Author(s): Troy + a bunch of writers
Genres: Electronic, Hip-Hop, Young People
This online store is my favourite source of sweaters. Sure, there’s not a lot to choose from (the line only runs two deep) but they’re BOTH great sweaters. One of them is black with a picture on it and the other one is black with a picture on it but it’s a different picture. Also the editor is a DJ I think.
Established: September (?), 2006
Author(s): Jonny and Mike
Genres: Indie Rock, Rock, Lo-Fi, Lots
Some say snarky, I call it incisive. Actually sometimes I call it snarky but Polaroids of Androids is a dangerous combination of informed and aggressive so unless you want to be put in your place you best accept their reviews verbatim. It’s not even the authors themselves that will step forward with responses but their readership who like that of M&N, are highly active and engage heavily with the often controversial content that POA puts forward. If you’re sick of saccharine, glowing reviews of every single rubbish EP released by an Australian artist then you will love POA. Probably the most brutal review I’ve ever read was their succinct deconstruction of Silverchair’s Young Modern. Though the rewards are great, submit your music for their perusal at your own risk, it’s a perilous thing. Superbly written reviews though. Not too flowery, not too wordsy, just witty and opinionated. It’s impressive what they’ve built given that there only appears to be a pair of contributers (officially listed, anyway) in Mike and Johnny (more so since Johnny also puts work into the time sink that is Brown Cardigan)
Established: February, 2012
Author(s): Tom & Huw + many writers
At the pointy end of The Ripe you’ll Tom and Huw who are each direct relations to semi/very successful Australian musicians and lovely dudes to boot.Their credentials don’t end nor even start there however, with The Ripe pulling its own substantial weight as a stand alone entity. There are Plenty of writers underneath the two bigwigs and amongst that contingent they find the man hours to throw well curated parties, make excellent playlists, film their own sessions (skydiving, even!?) and have their own Ripe Mixes. They’re an interesting space in that there’s a clear onus on the sites expansion and growth and to their credit they’ve been very successful being probably the fastest growing online music platforms in the country right now. Put it down to good writing, good curation, good content or good shows but more likely it’s success by connection. Connection to who? Come on fellas, you know who
Established: May, 2008
Author(s): NZ: Richard, Shea, Tim – SYD: Max, Gervin
Genres: Electronic, “Rap”, Indie Rock
This one is strictly not just an Australian blog but I wouldn’t want quality excluded on the basis of a technicality, so here it is. Rose Quartz has contributors from Auckland as well as Sydney, with Triple J’s Max Lavergne among the Sydney chaps. Their readership is sizeable and they’re almost exclusively a features blog so if the world needs to hear your music, send it here. Way cooler dudes than me out there fist pumping to this thing so you need not just take my word on it.
Established: March, 2010
Genres: Folk, Indie-Pop, Garage
Referred to by many as “the anus of the music industry” Sound Doctrine is more than just an important part of an analogy involving the human body, it’s an online music blog. There are no interviews, because noone reads interviews unless the interviewee is ready to dish dirty on another artist, or they themselves are the interviewee. Obviously this isn’t exactly true, but it’s the thought process behind my decisions so at some point in the future I’ll be interviewing myself and you’ll gobble it up because I’ll know the perfect questions to elicit just the right answers. Otherwise we’re talking about a pretty straight down the line music blog with not too many frills outside of a cliched “theme”. That’s not to say that the design isn’t pretty as hell though, because look at it. I mean just look at it. It’s very heavily Sydney focused but the amount of Australian content that’s generated could be improved upon. It’s almost exclusively artist features which, due to the author’s fine taste, tend to be pretty on the money. For the uninformed and the simple, you are currently reading Sound Doctrine. RIGHT. NOW.
Established: July, 2012
Genres: Garage Rock + Punk + Mixed
Run by lone wolf Ryan Saar, SoundlySounds is one of the more readable Australian music blogs which, in this sea of misspelt, semi illiterate, typo heavy playlisting, is an absolute life raft. Punk / garage rock / jangly stuff seems to be the bread and butter but there’re producers and oddities that prevent the blog from becoming themed around one sound. The strength of SoundlySounds is that the dude just writes about tunes. No live reviews, no mixtapes, live sessions or interviews- just jams. My kinda guy. There are no attempts to overreach, he’s just good at what he does, and what he does is write about tunes in a chillbro way. There’s no social media drive or aggressive fanbase pushes unlike some other blogs I know / run. All that said there’re minus points for being a part of the Vice blogging network but then if I judged everyone thus we’d probably be waving goodbye to half this list. I guess another issue is that despite putting down some fullblown legal paperwork I haven’t yet been able to trademark the word ‘Sound’ in reference to anything within the music industry. When that day comes, Sound Alliance, Soundly Sounds, Soundcloud, Sound Lab, Sound Summit, Sound Australia, Sound Lounge, Sneaky Sound System and Ministry of Sound… watch your backs.
Established May, 2010
Genres: Folk, Acoustic, Singer-songwriter
Timber & Steel have become Australia’s premier information hub for all things folk or acoustic in Australia in a pretty short space of time. One of the obvious reasons for this is that they have so many contributers. Through sheer weight of numbers they’re able to cover everything that happens in the Australian folk scene. There’s international features as well as domestic, tour announcements, interviews, album reviews and so forth, so if you want a comprehensive wrap up you’ll have it. The only criticism that I have is that the bar for entry may be a little too low with some occasionally sub-par artists sneaking in but in the end it probably does more good than harm, providing the platform and so on. Scrap what I said before, one more criticism, the design needs a total rework, but really, as long as the content stays strong they’ll keep growing in stature. In conclusion, regular posts, lots of folk, good value.
Author(s): Matt, Melissa + Contributors
Co-created by Home & Hosed guy Dom Alessio is 2006, Who The Hell (I think) is the number one Australian blog for artists to hit up if they want pure exposure. There’s quite a large readership and the reviews are generally pretty positive, though maybe not as blindly glowing as some of the other blogs out and about. I did once see an amazingly scathing review of Tigertown but when I returned the next day it had been removed, probably under editorial advisement. Luckily I took a screenshot while in my reader so you can still read Alex Watts’ nicely worded summation. Where Polaroids of Androids and Mess & Noise might have larger readerships, Who The Hell is a straight-down-the-line blog. It doesn’t have music news stories, fashion tips, forums or any frills, it’s just artist after artist. Sadly Who The Hell have slowed down a little in recent days but then maybe that has something to do with the time of year. There’s good coverage from multiple cities and good opportunity to discover new talent.