Underground Lovers, Ella Thompson, Forest Claudette & More Dish On Their Record Store Day Picks

18 April 2023 | 11:30 am | Mary Varvaris

Aussie artists celebrate their favourite albums in their vinyl collections in the lead-up to Record Store Day 2023 this Saturday.

L,R: Underground Lovers, Forest Claudette, Joff Bush, Ella Thompson

L,R: Underground Lovers, Forest Claudette, Joff Bush, Ella Thompson (Source: Supplied)

Record Store Day 2023 returns for its sweet 16th birthday this Saturday, 22 April, with limited edition vinyl releases, in-stores, activations and activities happening across Australian indie record stores from 8 am nationally. 

Ahead of the big day, The Music sat down with many of the artists from the local release list to unearth their favourite record in their collection and tell us why it’s so great. 

Forest Claudette 

Record pick: Songs In A Minor by Alicia Keys

It’s funny to me how the things that I love about this record have changed over time. Or maybe it’s more the way that I look at music in general since I’ve started releasing myself. 

My first memories of Songs In A Minor are much more tied to places and the feelings that bubbled to the surface at the time, but I was just a kid and could only relate to my incredibly limited range of experiences. 

The details of songs like Fallin’, Rock Wit’ You, Goodbye and A Woman’s Worth were lost on me, simplified and saved to my recollect as “love songs”. When I listen to these works now, I have the context of my encounters with love, heartbreak and relationships in general that give this album new depths. I can better appreciate the power, impact and intention behind A Woman’s Worth. Although I believe it is important to hold the context of the 2000s when listening to it. 

Other than that, I can’t really wrap my mind around the incredible vocal performances that are littered throughout. Like, outside of the lyricism, you can feel every word, and I believe her. It all comes with a realness that is hard to capture, in my opinion. And the vocal harmonies, are you joking? 

Forest Claudette's RSD release: The Year Of February, 12" vinyl

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Ella Thompson

Record pick: Moving Along by Renée Geyer 

I have chosen Moving Along by Renée Geyer as one of my favourite records from my collection. I will always come back to this record as being one of the most influential bodies of work for me as a musician. 

Renée paved the way for soul music in Australia, and this record goes down in the history books. Containing hits such as Be There In The Morning, Heading In The Right Direction and Stares And Whispers, this record was produced in 1977 by Frank Wilson, who produced records for Motown greats including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes.

As a child, I had a lot of big feelings and connected with the power and pain in soul music. I was only about ten years old when I first became hooked on Renée’s music, I learned so much about the history of soul music through the music she covered. 

Renée gave me singing lessons when I was 15 years old and took me on my first national tour at 16. These experiences made me grow up fast and will never be forgotten. Earlier this year, we lost Renée, may her life and music always be remembered and respected. 

Ella Thompson's RSD release: 7" Vinyl, A Side: Cool Down My Heart, B Side: Lost

Underground Lovers

Record pick: Palimpsest by Essendon Airport

Fresh out of high school, Vince and I saw Essendon Airport at a Melbourne University Union Night. We bought the vinyl of Palimpsest the next day and were blown away by its incredible punk, funk, and art-rock fusion. It was like nothing we had ever heard before.

The collection of minimalist progressions locked us into a zone that was hard to shake. We were hooked! Soaring saxophone melodies, hypnotic drum patterns, flanged-out funk guitars, and irresistible synth lines, all etched into our musical minds. Palimpsest was cool, intelligent, subversive, humorous, uplifting, and inspiring. It informed our own approach to music (and the music industry). It made us want to start a band, which we did. 

Long live Essendon Airport!

Underground Lovers' RSD Release: Cold Feeling - White and clear vinyl editions

Joff Bush (Bluey)

Record Pick: Voodoo by D’Angelo

D’Angelo’s Voodoo is an album that feels like it belongs on vinyl. It has this sort of '70s-style live-in-the-studio production sound that is just delicious. Its genius-level talent performing through the warm sound of vintage equipment is an aesthetic that really shines through on vinyl. 

Mid-2000s Brisbane seemed to have a lot of jam bands heavily influenced by Voodoo. Maybe because it’s the sort of album that musicians can imagine themselves playing on - contrary to a lot of the ‘slick’ controlled production that was all over the airwaves at the time. It always transports me back to when I first heard it and started playing in clubs and bars as a teenager.

Years later, I’m still appreciating all its mysterious little details and interesting structural decisions. Each listen, I'm discovering nuances, both lyrically and musically, that keep it fresh and repeatable. 

The songs are deceptively simple and undeniably human. Then there’s the groove - It’s like a magic trick. Clearly, this is a band of wizards.

Probably the most famous single from it, How Does It Feel? is one of my favourite power ballads - right up there with Purple Rain. When D’Angelo sings, "How does it feel?" I find myself replying like an out-of-tune backup singer: "pretty goooooood".

Joff Bush's RSD Release: Bluey Dance Mode! (Zoetrope picture disc) - LP Vinyl

Finn Rees, Close Counters

Record pick: Arthur Verocai by Arthur Verocai

This album has got to be one of the greatest ever made, regardless of genre. It’s one of our favourites because it’s such an eclectic yet pure piece of music, with bits of funk, psychedelic, samba, and bossa nova employed to create this beautiful 29-minute journey.

The mood transmitted through the arrangements leaves you in a calm and curious state, every little string swell and flute line shows such care in the recording, and it’s such a good reminder of the power of dynamics in music and the fusion of orchestral and groove-based music. 

Many great beat makers (MF DOOM, Ludacris & Common, Action Bronson etc.) have sampled this record because of its abundance of drum breaks, intricate textures and instrumentation, and I’m sure many more have drawn inspiration from its lush musicality, but nothing hits like the original, especially on vinyl.

Close Counters' RSD Release: Soulacosta II Sampler EP - 12" Vinyl

Penny Ikinger 

Record pick: Distemper by The New Christs

Released in 1989, Distemper by The New Christs is a classic Australian rock album. Everything about it - the singing, the songwriting, the playing, the definitive style of their sound, put this album in a whole other class. The New Christs were led by Rob Younger (Radio Birdman) on vocals and songwriting duties, with the brilliant Charlie Owen on guitar, Jim Dickson on bass and Nick Fisher on drums, with a guest appearance by Louis Tillett (piano, organ), on this album. 

I would go and see as many New Christs live shows as possible, and I still do. They have consistently delivered some incredible albums over the span of their career, and this one has definitely withstood the test of time. I have so many happy memories of that era and the Sydney rock scene back then when it was in its heyday. The New Christs were and continue to be astounding, always delivering top-quality recordings and live shows that pack a punch. It's easy to be swept away by their brilliance, and Distemper is one such example.

Penny Ikinger's RSD Release: Travels and Travails - Format TBA

Hugo Basclain

Record Pick: Good Thing by Leon Bridges

I’ve got a bunch of favourite records, but the one that always stands out to me from the start to finish is Leon Bridges' album Good Thing

I don’t know what he put in that album, but it is pure magic. Every time I listen to it, I get lost. The accentuated imperfections created by the record player just add to the nostalgia and emotion in the record. This is just one of those albums that’s a ten out of ten for me.

Hugo Basclain's RSD Release: Nostalgia Is A Liar - 12" White Vinyl

Record Store Day is held from 8 am, Saturday, 22 April 2023, all across Australia. 

Check out the complete list of events happening via the Record Store Day Australia website, and support your local indie record store when Record Store Day 2023 rolls into your town this weekend. 



Ball Park Music 
It's Nice To Be Alive - 7" Vinyl

Bluey Dance Mode! (Zoetrope Picture Disc) - LP Vinyl

Close Counters
Soulacosta II Sampler EP - 12" Vinyl -  Sampler Album

Confidence Man
Re-Tilt EP - Vinyl EO

Ella Thompson 
A Side ‘Cool Down My Heart’ - B Side ‘Lost’ - 7" Vinyl

Forest Claudette
The Year Of February - 12" Vinyl

Gum / Ambrose Kenny-Smith 
Minor Setback -  7" Vinyl

Hugo Basclain
Nostalgia Is A Liar - 12" White Vinyl

Ocean Alley
Chiaroscuro - 2 LP 12" Translucent Orange Vinyl

Peking Duk 
7” Vinyl Single
Side A - ‘Spend It’ feat. Circa Waves
Side B - 'I Want You' feat. Darren Hayes

Penny Ikinger 
Travels and Travails - Format TBA

Polish Club 
Nye_2020_megamix.Exe - Transparent Pink LP

Underground Lovers
Cold Feeling (1999) - White And Clear Vinyl Editions

All But The Sun - Bone LP