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MIXTAPE: Henry Wagons’ Aussie Faves

Aug 1, 2016

MIXTAPE: Henry Wagons' Aussie Faves

Welcome, and thanks for letting me be a musical Dr, Frankenstein. What a fun surgery it was making this beautiful monster virtual cassette!

Please sit in a comfortable recliner, gently raise the footrest, grab the nearest scruffy dog with a slanted smile, and pop it on your lap. Have someone close bring you a whiskey cocktail and dig in.

Here are some of my favourite new tunes from my home turf of Australia and its surrounds. All the songs are still fresh to surface, having come out over the past year or so. I have these tracks echoing through my hallways at home or dampened by the soft passenger door in my tour van or rattling the speaker cones in the studio when I do my show Tower of Song on Double J Radio. I really hope you enjoy my little pick of the ripe and sumptuous fruit from the underside of the globe.

Marlon Williams (NZ) — "Strange Things"
We open proceedings with a prodigious talent. A good man but, in his music, an evil choirboy! This tune is beautiful and very weird, which is one of my favourite combinations. The stuff of inspirational nightmares.

Leah Senior — "The City Is a Stream"
A lilting melody that can potently hypnotise. Her writing and her vocal can evoke the most potent lullaby that can send you into a powerful Snow White-like sleep that only a kiss can wake.

The Murlocs — "Young Blindness"
This tune creates a boogie-driven psychedelic vortex I like to descend into and come out dressed in a silver cowboy spacesuit.

Jess Ribeiro — "Kill It Yourself"
There is a great sense of nonchalant danger in this tune. There is something about Jess’s voice that makes me want to obey … even when she is telling me to kill something.

Alison McCallum — "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby Standing in the Shadows"*
I recently stumbled onto Alison McCallum’s classic work as a ball-tearing vocalist back in the '60s and '70s. Her music was re-issued to digital for the first time only this year, and my balls were suitably torn. I’m a mess. 

Chris Altmann — "Good Morning Mr. Coffee"
Chris is a prodigious Americana songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, with a inbuilt swing and sublime playing empathy. He played everything on this caffeine-fueled number. I listen and imagine a world in which there are several of Chris, and I think it would be a better place.

Eagle & the Wolf — "Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost"
A great new rugged duo poking their heads over the burning horizon and offering you a drink. Their music video for this song is probably the wettest I’ve seen since the closing scenes of Nelly’s “Hot in Here.”

Melody Pool — "Love, She Loves Me"
This is an incredible and brutal expression of anger and frustration at the ways of love. A reminder that the world of romance can take casualties. Some truly excellent cursing … F-bombs in the perfect places.

Nadia Reid (NZ) — "Call the Days"
Another incredible talent from, as we Australians say, “across the ditch” in New Zealand. A voice to melt the shepherd's heart, and a subtle drone of strings to herd all the animals in the field.

Ben Mason — "Suburban Cowboy"*
This is an amazing deconstruction of the whole inner-city, balcony-dwelling, vintage-shopping, moustache-waxing, typewriter-tapping, urban alt-country scene. Being guilty of elements of the phenomena at times, I know he is completely right about it all … and I love it.

Gena Rose Bruce — "Good Thing"
The title says it all: It’s a good thing. Gena has a voice that sucks you in and perfectly places you atop the swell of the welcome guitar jangle.

Robert Forster — "Let Me Imagine You"
Always a mastermind at obtuse charm, Robert Forster sits you down across from him at the dinner table and starts pulling faces and slaps you across the nose with his witticism (and Twitticism!). A man still atop the songwriting tree post-Go Betweens.

* Not available on Spotify

Photo credit: Taylor Wong

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MIXTAPE: Henry Wagons' Aussie Faves
MIXTAPE: Henry Wagons' Aussie Faves