Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet
I always thought these guys were from the UK but they are actually from the Melbourne area.
Woman - Wolfmother
It may sound like 1970's Led Zeppelin but this grammy winning song debuted in 2005.
My favorite Aussie band is The Cat Empire, mainly because their songs are so eclectic.
Miserere - The Cat Empire
This is one of my all time favorite songs. The trumpet solo is hauntingly beautiful and the lyrics are incredibly uplifting, despite the melancholy melody during the first half of the song. This song embodies the experience of traveling, discovery and being present. It's worth reading all the lyrics but here are two of my favorite lines: "Do you ever look around and find what is yet to be found?" and "Long live living, if living can be this" (something I said daily during my trip around the world!).
Sol y Sombra - The Cat Empire
My obsession with this song can potentially be explained by my Cuban roots because this song can compete with some of the best latin music heard in the streets of Havana or Miami. In fact, the entire album, Two Shoes, was heavily influenced by Cuban music since it was cut at the legendary Egrem Studio in Havana - the site of many famous recordings including the Buena Vista Social Club.
Australia has its fair share of indie bands. Here area few of my favorites:
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards - Tame Impala
This song is cool. But its backstory is quite the opposite. Tame Impala lifted the melody from young Pablito Ruiz, a singer/actor/dancer from Argentina who became famous in 1989 at age 14. Listen to Pablito's song Oceano for a sugary pop version of this tune. Pablito may have been first to market, but Tame Impala wins this contest by a landslide.
Strangers In The Wind - Cut Copy
Although it was released in 2008, this song conjures up some serious 1980's nostalgia. It could easily be the background track to a post break-up montage in some long lost John Hughes film. And just for that, I love it.
Rock It - Little Red
This is a fun little jam, despite the off-key vocals. But watch the music video. I'm pretty sure this was the biggest nerd party of 2010.
Escapee - Architecture in Helsinki
These guys sometimes remind me one of my favorite Boston bands - Passion Pit - Upbeat, catchy, and full of energy.
Lay it Down - The Rubens
I love the lead singer's voice. If you like Kings of Leon, The Black Keys or Jeff Buckley, then give The Rubens a listen.
Moving on to pop music, much of the world is probably familiar with the next few artists as they reached global levels of fame in the 80's, 90's and early 00's.
Beautiful Girl - INXS
No matter how you feel about INXS, no Australian playlist is complete without a tune from this Sydney band. I think this song is beautiful, but I opted NOT to share the seizure-inducing official music video in the box below.
Fall at Your Feet - Crowded House
Our friends danced to this song at their wedding in Boston which happened to be the night before we left on our trip to Australia. While in Australia, this song was always on the radio so I have a lot of good memories associated with this one.
Smoke - Natalie Imbruglia
You might recall Natalie Imbruglia from the late 90's for her huge hit "Torn". And you might be shuddering at the memory of "Torn" because it was played ad nauseam in 1997. Fortunately, some of her other songs never made it to mainstream US radio so we couldn't get sick of them in one month's time. Smoke is one of those songs and I still listen to it today.
Beds are Burning - Midnight Oil
This is a protest song about returning land to native Australians who were forced to move during the 50's & 60's. In the 1980s they began to return to their old country nestled in the Kintore Ranges.
Friday On My Mind - The Easybeats
Australia's greatest pop band from the 60's reached international fame with this hit song.
Khe Sanh - Cold Chisel
Released in 1978, this song is about an Australian Vietnam vet returning home after the war. It's one of the most popular Australian classic rock songs.
Here are a more Aussie songs for your listening pleasure:
Great Southern Land - Icehouse
Love At First Sight - Kylie Minogue
Into My Arms - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Come Let Go - Xavier Rudd
The Lighthouse Song - Josh Pyke
My Happiness - Powderfinger
Land Down Under - Men at Work
Anything by AC/DC
I know this is just a small sample of what Oz has to offer so please share your favorite Australian tunes in the comments section below.