Who should you listen to
- If you’ve never heard it before, Aussie surf rock is the genre you didn’t know was missing from your playlist.
- While Netherland once gave the world legendary bands like AC/DC or Tame Impala, these modern bands prove that the Australian music scene is still up to snuff.
- Blending garage rock, pop and punk elements into a sound that encapsulates Aussie surf culture, this new wave of Aussie surf rock is just what you need this summer.
I don’t know about you Apple Music or Tidal people, but for (normal) people who choose to listen to their music on Spotify, you’ll understand exactly what I’m going to say. It seems that sometimes the algorithm is out and every song that plays on the radio you listen to is an assault on your ears.
Other times the algorithm is like Steph Curry from the three-point line: it just can’t miss and every song that plays is a banger. Well I recently had one of those great Spotify weeks and it opened my eyes to a whole new world, a world I didn’t even know I needed in my life, the world of surf rock modern Australian.
I’ve only been listening to Aussie surf rock bands all week and I think it’s starting to piss off my co-workers, but I don’t care.
It won’t be long before I’m living in a van, sporting a long dirty blonde mane and drinking excessive amounts of Coopers Dark Ale (my favorite of the Aussie beer offerings). Hell, I might even get one this arvo, mate! Oh no, it’s already starting…
Seriously, Australia isn’t just a place for marsupials and prawns on the barbie, they also have one of the strongest modern music scenes in the world that’s constantly churning out amazing new bands.
We could talk about classic heavy metal bands like AC/DC or modern psychedelic rock bands like Tame Impala, all from Land Down Under.
However, today we’re going to focus exclusively on Australia’s thriving surf rock scene and some of the best bands carrying the torch in the genre. In addition, I will even give you song titles to listen to from each of these groups!
5 Aussie surf rock bands to add to your summer playlist
Spacey Jane were formed in 2016 and have found their place within Perth’s highly respected music scene (which was also the birthplace of global sensation Tame Impala). The band’s founding members were Caleb Harper and Kieran Lama, who played together in a band called Sicchino during their high school days in Geraldton, Western Australia.
Ashton Hardman-Le Cornu and Amelia Murray were later added to the group and the name was devised when the four were out for a night out with a friend of theirs named Jane, obviously.
The band released their debut single “Still Running” in 2017 followed by their debut EP No way to treat an animal that same year. According to the band members, their musical influences include The Strokes, Pixies and early works by Kings of Leon.
The band’s first studio album Sunlight was incredibly well received by critics and, in my opinion, doesn’t have a single song skipped throughout. Their music is sometimes honest and melancholy, and other times makes you want to dance or take a sunny walk across the country.
- Feed the family
- in weightlessness
- good mourning
Skegss is probably the epitome of Australian surf rock. They’re a bunch of blond, long-haired Aussies who wear retro clothes and do awesome, laid-back, yet energetic surf rock that makes you want to jump on a beach or catch some waves.
Toby Cregan, the bassist, is known as Toby Two String. Jonny Lani, the drummer, is called Johnny Layback. And Ben Reed, lead singer and guitarist, took on the nickname Ben Ben Bograil.
Reed and Lani had known each other since childhood, reconnected in 2014 and started playing shows for a hundred bucks and a few free beers from the venue bar.
Things changed when they released their debut single “LSD” in 2014 and the song became a smash hit across Australia. But it wasn’t until 2018 that they released their first studio album. my own mess, which was also well received by critics. Their music makes you feel like you’re sitting in the back of a van and watching the waves crash while sipping a warm, sandy beer.
- In the clouds
- New York California
- my own mess
In my opinion, Dune Rats could win the award for best name of any of the bands on this list. The name of the band embodies the whole surf rock vibe: a little grimy and dirty and sandy and cool in every way.
They’re also another group of blonde, tattooed, long-haired guys who look like they’ve just stepped off the beach and onto the stage.
The group originally started as BC duo Michael Marks and Danny Beus. Eventually they added Brett Jansch as bassist and the band was complete.
In 2014, the band released their self-titled debut studio album through their own label. The label name? Ratbag Records. The album was an instant hit, so much so that their second album The kids will know it’s bullshit debuted at number one on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart. The sound of Dune Rats is a bit more punk rock. So if you like head shots be sure to check them out.
- Terry too hard
- scott green
- demolition derby
- If my bong could talk
- Stupid is also stupid
Although they didn’t take home my favorite name on this list, Hockey Dad comes in second for their wonderfully weird name. The duo of drummer Billy Flemming and guitarist Zach Stephenson, both from New South Wales, formed in 2013. However, they were playing together in a band called Abstract Classic long before Hockey Dad was formed.
I think we can all agree that Hockey Dad is a far preferable name to Abstract Classic. Fleming and Stephenson have known each other since they were three and four years old and they met while playing football in their neighborhood.
The name of the group comes from an episode of The simpsons in which Bart and Millhouse are briefly shown playing a video game called “Hockey Dad”. The band members have stated that their music was mostly inspired by the garage rock movement of the 1960s.
However, Fleming has also stated that his brother’s collection of 1990s punk rock also served as a major inspiration for the band’s musical style. The two-member band brings a ton of sound and their music has an undeniable vibrancy and energy.
- I need a woman
- In this state
- Soft release
- I want to be everyone
The Terrys were formed in a shared mobile home in Gerringong, New South Wales when Jacob Finch, Lukas Anderson and Ben Salvo started teaching each other how to jam.
According to the band members, their practice sessions resulted in numerous noise complaints from their owner, especially when they added two more members: brothers Cameron and Trent Cooper.
They released their debut single “Video Games” in June 2020, making them the newest group on this list, and they quickly garnered a loyal group of fans who like to call themselves “Terrydactyls.”
The group has only grown in popularity throughout 2021 with their two new singles which have garnered a ton of attention from the Australian media.
- our paradise
- Melbourne Bitterz
- Ned Sanchez
- Never go home