Community radio music directors often have an encyclopedic knowledge of local music and an insatiable thirst to keep their ears ahead of the curve. So in this Tone Deaf series, the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) invites music directors to highlight new Aussie tunes that you might have missed.
In this edition, Cam Durnsford from PBS FM in Melbourne contributes a selection of tracks currently making their way to community radio through Amrap’s music distribution service ‘AirIt’.
Check out Cam’s selections below, and if you’re a musician you can apply here to have your music distributed for free to community radio on Amrap’s AirIt.
Time For Dreams – ‘The Stranger’
Time For Dreams have been stunning Melbourne audiences live for more than five years now, so their debut LP In Time has long been on the wantlist of many. Lead single ‘The Stranger’ captures Time For Dreams’ MO perfectly: dubby basslines, tons of delay, ethereal vocals and intricate arrangements that take you to another place. Well worth the wait.
Kaiit – ‘Natural Woman’
As someone who’s always had a soft spot for 90s RNB and Badu-ish neo-soul, this ticks a lot of boxes for me. Kaiit has been on a very rapid rise since she played PBS’ Momentum back in April, and I can’t see that slowing down any time soon. Here she riffs on the Aretha classic and flips it to make it her own, and entirely relevant to the here and now.
Beaches – ‘Void’
Beaches make a welcome return after a fairly lengthy hiatus with more of the arty guitar-driven psych we love them for. ‘Void’ chugs along on a motorik rhythm, building ever so slightly until they really put the foot down for the last eight. Their imminent third album Second of Spring – a double LP, no less – means we’ll be hearing a lot more of them soon.
The Harpoons – ‘Do You Want My Love’
Well if it feels as good as this sounds – yes Harpoons, I do. I could listen to this all day.
Jen Cloher – ‘Forgot Myself’
The first single from Jen Cloher’s forthcoming self-titled record is a brutally honest look at life in the spotlight, but also totally relatable for anyone who’s ever lived through the anguish of a long-distance relationship. I’d be reluctant to point out this is clearly a lot more complicated when your significant other is on the other side of the world becoming a superstar, if Cloher herself wasn’t so forthright about it.
Sensible J – ‘Fire Sign’ ft. Remi and Sampa the Great
Sensible J steps out from behind the kit with his first single under his own name, with the reigning king and queen of local rap on the assist. There’s no doubt Justin Smith is the real deal on the boards, having worked alongside on Remi on his breakthrough debut Raw x Infinity and last year’s Divas and Demons. Turns out he’s pretty handy on the bass too having played in Remi’s live band that time THE FUNK arrived to the Melbourne Community Cup.
phile – ‘Marauder’
One of the great perks of my job is having music from artists I’ve never heard before land right on my lap. Imagine my delight when I opened my voluminous inbox one day recently to discover an EP of the precise variety of dark, gothy techno that I dig from Sydney duo phile. At first ‘Marauder’ seems to be all about the bassline, but on closer inspection it is the strings that absolutely slay you.