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...
Sidney Phillips (QLD)
Be Like U
There are few artists that have stumped us as much as Sidney Phillips has in our endeavours to describe her. The fast-rising Brisbane (Meanjin) rapper fuses gritty underground hip-hop with ultra-bright hyperpop, moody emo and cruisy indie flavours, making for a downright addictive sound that we’re certain will capture the mainstream in no time. Be Like U is a great example of why Phillips deserves that breakthrough: the beat is pretty and twee – driven by a simmering pad synth, chiptune blips and muted percussion – and the bars she delivers over it are emotive and enthralling. It feels like a natural progression of the Soundcloud emo-rap wave that boomed in the latter half of the 2010s, infused with the glittery glitch that PC Music (RIP) made iconic. Be Like U is the first song to follow on from Phillips’ fourth album, I’m So Tired Of Being Staunchly, which arrived back in March. We can’t wait to hear what else she’s got up her sleeves.
The great drum’n’bass resurgence of the 2020s is officially underway, and West Melbourne (Naarm) stalwart PANIA has added some hectic fuel to the fire with Burna Fone. Inspired both by her local scene and her rich love for UK genres like jungle and garage, it comes as PANIA’s third offering for the year – she dropped the two-track P Pack back in January (comprising the single P Stands 4 Playa and the freestyle 2sides), and followed it up with All Mine in May. Burna Fone was produced by Toddla T (best known for his work with the likes of Stormzy, Headie One, Burna Boy and Skepta), who PANIA wrote it with during a recent writing trip to London. “I went into the studio knowing I wanted to make something different and fun,” she says of the journey, “and to bridge the gap between Melbourne and the UK. Burna Fone was what we came out with.”
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Dylan Atlantis (NSW)
Dylan Atlantis is another artist whose music simply commands your attention, tapping into some powerfully inventive corners of her psyche. The Western Sydney artist blends soulful R&B with smoke-soaked indie-rock to craft a sound that is at once heady and sobering – a transcendent clash of colours that feels primed for the late-night spots at a camping festival like Falls or Splendour In The Grass. Satisfy is the sixth track on her latest EP, VIOLET, which arrived independently last month on the back of the singles Good Luck, Look At The Stars, Lost And Found and Zoo (the lattermost featuring All Black Alby). The second-best way to hear it is loud through quality headphones, lying down with the lights off so that you can truly sink into Atlantis’ rich, honeyed vocals and deeply textured instrumental. The best way, of course, is live in concert – we’re manifesting a national tour announcement ASAP.
Jesse’s Overalls (SA)
It really seems like all the best pop-punk and indie-rock is coming out of Adelaide (Kaurna) right now, and Jessie’s Overalls are just further proof of that. They’ll immediately strike a chord with fans of Teenage Joans, TOWNS or Mum Friends, and their latest jam, SOJU, will add a shimmery blast of buoyancy to a playlist stacked with them. It’s tailor-made for singalongs with mates – even lyrics about being overcome with anxiety feel bright and summery when they’re sung by Immy Mansfield. We’re pretty sure this chorus is going to be stuck in our heads for weeks. “My sweet dreams / Slowly reacting, chemically reacting / Over by the sea / By the beach / Soju on Henley.” This is the fourth song Jessie’s Overalls have released, and their first for 2023: last year they came out swinging with Durry Lane in January, then Growing Up in July, and finally Bottom’s Up in November... Hopefully we’re not waiting another 7.5 months for their next tune!
After she first hit the scene last December with the single About You, Perth (Boorloo) singer-songwriter LadyLilac – aka Mads – has stopped us in our tracks with her sweet and lowkey debut EP, Toast Baby. Carried by acoustic guitars, atmospheric synthwork and super crisp percussion, the instrumentals allow Mads’ sizzly and scintillating vocals to shine. We’ve picked the first track on the record, Foolish, to welcome you to the world of LadyLilac. It’s chill and approachable, but kicks in with a hooky groove and hint of tang when the beat picks up – it’s the perfect song to set the scene for what Mads explores across the other four tracks on Toast Baby, and if we’d have to guess, we’d say the record itself sets the scene for an illustrious career ahead.