Five New Australian Music Albums + EPs

Rebecca Varidel
11th Mar 2023

Down Love (pictured) follows the 2021 release of When Love Comes by songsmith and story seamstress Danika. Danika has never been one to shy away from speaking hard truths with her voice and guitar, facing honesty head-on and Danika sees music as a wonderful way to document life in all its ups and downs and lessons learned. Out yesterday, this collection of five works builds on a mix of experimental folk and alternative and atmospheric production techniques bringing life to the pent up feelings and frustrations often kept behind closed doors. Danika is definitely one to keep an eye (ear) on.

Different Streets follows on from the release of the emphatic single Plastic Eyes in January by Sydney group The Tambourine Girls unveiling a stunning new collection of material in their third full-length record. For The Tambourine Girls, the process marked their final collaboration with the late Nick Weaver - not just a treasured member of the group, but a loved member of the wider Australian music community. Fusing together a gorgeous blend of sonic influences that highlight the diverse threads of musicianship within the band, Different Streets marks not only a return to form for the band, but the start of an exciting new chapter for The Tambourine Girls moving forward into 2023. Throughout the album, the listener gets to know The Tambourine Girls that extra bit better - refusing to play within genre guidelines, the band brings together riffs, melodies and hooks that could feel as comfortable on an album by The Cure, as they would records by The Band and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

Lightning in a Clear Blue Sky is the first studio album in 10 years and his fourth solo album from legendary Cold Chisel, Catfish and Tex, Don and Charlie singer/songwriter Don Walker. Lightning in a Clear Blue Sky will be released on Friday, 5 May with an accompanying East Coast Australian tour commencing in the same month. Recorded in Victoria over two days in early 2022, Lightning in a Clear Blue Sky features long-time bandmates and creative collaborators Garrett Costigan on pedal steel; Michael Vidale on bass; Hamish Stuart on drums and the late, great guitarist Roydon Payne, to whom Walker has dedicated the album. They were joined on backing vocals by the Harmonettes, Amanda Roff, Erica Dunn and Brigitte Hart. A solo effort as deep as the ocean and as dark as the night, with big bright flashes of musical lightning. It’s wondrous and tragic. It’s melancholic. It’s reflective. It’s dirty and bluesy and blue. Honest as a bee sting.

Sanctuary Point by Sydney electronic pop duo Mel Blue was inspired by a writing trip on the coast of Australia, each song has an air of excitement and the feeling that anything is possible. Danceable beats coalesce with swirling synth lines, and floating vocals to create the perfect soundtrack to a late-night dance party or a summery coastline drive. The hypnotic debut album Sanctuary Point, is out now on Nettwerk where over the course of 15 songs, Oscar Sharah and Luke Gerber capture the euphoric energy that led to their musical journey.

Finding Light At just 22 years of age, Blake O’Connor has become a prevalent name in Australian country music; celebrated for his captivating voice and astute songwriting. O'Connor has released his highly anticipated sophomore album, Finding LightM/i>. Since taking out the title of Toyota Star Maker in 2019, O’Connor has gone from strength to strength. His debut album, Everything I Feel followed; reaching #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Albums chart and garnering a Golden Guitar Award for New Talent of the Year. Finding Light is more than a reflection on the singer-songwriter’s journey since then – it was his therapy. “After the last few years of the unknown, I found myself finding light through song!” he exclaims.