5) Rain on the Humming Wire – The Panics. The Panics lead singer Jae Laffer has the amazing talent to tell a story in every one of his tracks, and this is ever present on Rain on the Humming Wire. The fourth album by the now mature band, was recorded in upstate New York and contains a substantial amount of electronica compared to previous albums. Nonetheless it still easily identifiable as The Panics and songs “Majesty” (which made My Top 20 Songs for 2011), “Creatures” and “Endless Road” all thoroughly enjoyable listens with the characteristic deep and thought provoking lyrics. It was well worth the three year wait.
4) Company – Bluejuice. The Sydney based larrakins released their third studio album, which maintains their up beat, fast paced, jocular type of indie rock. Boasting a handful of songs which are destined to be summer anthems and festival hits such as the already popular “Act Yr Age”, heart racing “Can’t Keep Up”, and electrifying “You Haven’t Changed”. However the boys have matured and there are also a couple of slower, well layered ballads such as my favourite of the album “Aspen, New York”, and the somewhat jazz inspired “The Recession”. Overall it was a great mix of exciting indie rock and mature songwriting.
3) Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs – Ball Park Music. It must be the Queensland weather because Brisbane keeps pumping out great bands of which Ball Park Music are at the forefront of. Happiness and Surrouding Suburbs was a great indie rock album that was fun, lyrically witty, and excellent when performed live. I saw them supporting Boy and Bear at the Enmore and it was great to see a band who still seemed to enjoy performing each song with the same gusto as if it was their first gig. They managed to have the sarcastic songs such as “iFly”, a humorous look at alcohol and relationships, but maintain credibility with the poignant apocalyptic song “It’s Nice To Be Alive”. It was a diverse album with lots of sounds that just left you feeling grateful and satisfied.
2) Prisoner – The Jezabels. Having waited what seemed like a lifetime for the Jezabels to release a full length album, I am happy to say I was not disappointed. It had everything that their previous EPs had plus more. Lead singer Hayley Mary sounded more angelic, drummer Nik Kaloper’s beats became meteoric, Heather Shannon’s keyboarding even more tuneful and guitarist Sam Lockwood rifts catchier than ever. The end product was awesome, an album you could listen to over and over, and find a different favourite song each time. There was the witty “Rosebud”, already popular “Endless Summer”, and six minutes of heaven in “Long Highway”, that made it so clear to me why these guys were selling out their European shows. In short it was brilliant.
1) Moonfire – Boy and Bear. So if you have seen my Top 20 Aussie Songs of 2011 article, you would know that Boy and Bear rated highly. The very fact that they won 5 ARIA awards, would suggest they would appear somewhere, and they have at number 1. I doubt this raises any eyebrows, as the band has produced a cracking debut full length album in Moonfire that had satisfied the critics, the fans and me. The album has everything from folk ballads, eloquent melodies to the more upbeat rockier numbers like Golden Jubilee. I won’t go on too much more as you can check out album my review here.