Underground Playlists are back and better than ever, thanks to the legends at Mountain Goat Beer. In fact, we’ve decided to pick out our favourite tracks each week and share them with you, so you can get to know the best of the bunch and keep your finger on the pulse. Here are this week's top picks for our Underground Playlists...
Awake On My Eyes
Naarm/Melbourne quintet Franjapan have been absolutely crushing it lately, and their fourth EP, Learning Futures, is no exception to the trend. The five-track effort is stuffed with some of their sharpest songwriting yet, building on last year’s Live release with tighter and more dynamic production, and some hooks that we’re pretty sure have now been permanently etched in our frontal lobes. All five songs are worth checking out, but we’re particularly entranced by Awake On My Eyes. It starts off with a cruisy, chilled-out acoustic guitar part and wistful singing that evokes a sunny morning road-trip to the beach, before progressively building into a bright and buoyant indie-rock anthem.
Siobhan Cotchin (WA)
It was just over three years ago that we first heard from Boorloo/Perth-based luminary Siobhan Cotchin, but it really feels like she’s been floating around for a lot longer. Her talents have fittingly grown to reflect that – and we’re still obsessed with her debut single Tear Myself Apart – with her white-hot second EP, Miss Reckless, showing us a bold and defiant new side of her artistry. The sequel to last year’s Highways And Heartbreaks is more daring and ambitious, slicking Cotchin’s regular southern-fried sound with a glossy coat of hard-rocking snark. The title track is a perfect example, contrasting heartfelt verses with a roaring chorus.
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A Swift Farewell (NSW)
FWMH (featuring Cassie Jade)
A Swift Farewell cannonballed into 2023 with their emotive debut single, Sorry, back in February. Throwing us right back to the early ‘00s golden age of pop-punk, they had us hooked from the get-go… But then they went ahead and one-upped themselves with Salt in April, adding an extra wallop of colour and angst to their sound. FWMH (which stands for Fucked With My Head) only takes us further down the rabbithole, bringing back the emotional punch of Sorry but retaining the biting angst of Salt. And with the addition of TERRA frontwoman Cassie Jade and her mind-melting vocals… Goddamn. We need A Swift Farewell to drop a full-length album ASAP, and then immediately thereafter tour it with TERRA.
Miss My Baby
Last August saw FELIVAND (aka Felicity Vanderveen) stun listeners globally with her enchanting debut album, Ties. The Meanjin/Brisbane songstress has now chased it up with Miss My Baby, a silky and soulful indie-pop number that feels at once minimalistic and stacked with character. Punchy and dry percussion is contrasted by sticky, reverb-slathered guitars, over which Vanderveen sings with a honeyed twinge of nostalgia. Her colourful harmonies leave us floating and feeling the same sense of romantic paralysis she channels in her lyrics. It’s quintessential FELIVAND, and it has us dying to see what else she has tucked up her sleeve.
Kaurna/Adelaide indie-punks Placement first hit our radars in 2021 with their head-turning singles Lost Sun, Harder and Disintegrate. The five-piece outfit blend melody and messiness in beautiful ways, making the rough sound sweet and vice versa. And now they’re back with New Disease, another short-and-sweet blast of DIY deliciousness that’s punchy and poignant in equal measures. The band themselves say they’re “influenced by performance art”, which is palpable: the verses feel like poetry readings, smoky and assured, while the backing instrumental channels scuzzy weeknight house shows. This is one to crank up loud and lose yourself in.