I was getting dressed to go to a wedding this weekend and was shocked that I was wearing my winter jacket to the ceremony. That jacket was an omen. Time for me to start planning a sunny visit for the middle of winter, I wasn’t going to last until April. I started imagining myself on a beach with a beer and a book and it brought be back to a time in my life when I did just that. It was beer, the beach and books for an entire year in Australia with my best friend.

I loved my time there for obvious reasons, but after the sights, it was the sounds that left an impression with me. Australia has a great music scene and an even better outlet with Triple J Radio. If you are into listening to streamed radio, Triple J Radio has a great selection of shows that play songs for fans of all styles and their Hottest 100 of the year are always right on track.

I thought a great way to start our venture into the months that bring days filled with 14 hours of darkness and sleeping in 3 layers of clothing, was a list of some of my favourite bands from the Land Down Under. The Aussies are getting ready for heat waves of 40 degrees as we speak, so why not live vicariously through them on this frigid Monday morning.

Angus and Julia Stone are a brother and sister duo from the Northern Beaches of Sydney and their album Down The Way was released earlier this year. I would hate to be the middle child of this family because these two siblings must have taken all the talent their parents had to offer. Their vocals on this album are haunting and melodies are mesmerizing.

Big Jet Plane – Angus and Julia Stone
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Architecture in Helsinki is a band that formed in the suburbs of Melbourne in 2000. This army of musicians use instruments and arrangement to their full potential to create music that is whimsical and creative but catchy at the same time. Their 2003 release In Case We Die was groundbreaking for me when I heard it and I am looking forward to a new album from them with a possible 2010 release date.

Heart it Races – Architecture in Helsinki
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I heard British India while I was listening to Triple J and loved their garage rock sound. This quartet formed in Melbourne where they all went to high school together and shared a love of classic rock. Their newest album Avalanche fell a little short for me, but Vanilla was a definite stand out.

Vanilla – British India
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Although An Horse are Australian, I heard about them here in Ontario. My friend Whitey saw them open for Tegan and Sara and told me they were a must on my iPod. I happily obliged and was impressed with this Brisbane duo right off the bat. Singer Kate Cooper’s voice is distinct and endearing while she sings about scenarios we can all relate to. Their 2009 release Rearrange Beds is a great listen, starting with the catchy opening of Camp Out and ending with the somberness of Listen.

Camp Out – An Horse
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Hungry Kid Of Hungary are neither starving nor from Eastern Europe, but they are gaining a lot of buzz with their debut LP Escapades. These friends from Brisbane have finally signed to a major label and you can hear the time and effort that was put into this album. It’s polished, yet their brand of surf-pop still has that youthful edge that has your toe tappin’ and head bobbing.

Coming Around – Hungry Kids of Hungary
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The Naked and Famous are from New Zealand, but I love that country and I love this song. Same hemisphere is close enough.

Young Blood – The Naked & Famous
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Let me know what you think of these Wonders from Down Under and make sure to come back every Monday for more toe tappin’ jams!

* If you are a member or manager of the above bands and you would like your track removed, please contact us and we will swiftly oblige. Fans – new or old – please support these bands by using your coffee money to buy their records.