Josh Vanzetti lists his top ten favourite Australian songs of all time

Josh Vanzetti counts Powderfinger and Kingswood on his list of all-time favourite Australian songs that “have no business going as hard as they do.” 

It’d be tough for any musician to list their all-time favourite songs, but the feat is especially difficult for Josh Vanzetti, who’d be hard pressed not to select picks from his own catalogue. 

The Canberra artist released his latest EP All Over Me earlier this month, and with a five-strong tracklist spanning acoustic pop to synth-laden atmospherics, Josh would be forgiven for citing his own material among the all-time best.

Josh Vanzetti single 'All Over Me'

But he’s done just that. Below, Josh stopped by Happy Mag for a run-through of his top 10 all-time favourite Australian songs, spanning nostalgic icons like Crowded House to pop stars like Natalie Imbruglia

Catch the musician’s full list below, and scroll down to listen to his new EP All Over Me

These are the songs that have had the most impact in my life, the ear worms that would be constantly on rotation, and the tunes that had absolutely no business going as hard as they do. My name is Josh Vanzetti, and these are my top 10 Australian songs of all time.

Honourable Mentions: 

CycloneSticky Fingers: A beautiful acoustic guitar ballad with a chorus that is sure to get stuck in your head.

Khe SanhCold Chisel: There’s a reason why it’s a classic. You try and stop yourself from yelling “The last plane out of Sydney’s almost gone!”

DriftGreat Gable: Getting my dad into newer Australian music was definitely one of my goals as a music loving family. This is one of those songs that was always on repeat for those long sporting trips. Also heavily inspired one of the songs off my new EP.

CreepinKingswood: God that bass tone! This is probably my number 11 pick. This entire song just has this empathetic level of groove in it. Definitely a song more people need to know about.

10. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards – Tame Impala

Tame Impala has made such a big impact on how I listen to music so he had to have at least one song here. This is the song that got me into a lot of psychedelic rock and I have no regrets about that. 

The bass line is slick, the building synths up until the final moments on the tune are soothing yet powerful, and Kevin Parker’s spacey vocals just makes you feel like you’re floating. This is just one massive vibe, like the entire album it comes from too.

9. Happy Sad – Ocean Alley

Ok I promise not all of the songs are in this style, there will be a bit of variation. Listening to their breakthrough album “Chiaroscuro” for the first time, I immediately got attached to bigger hits like “Confidence” and “Knees”. 

But overtime this song has just rolled past both of those to be by far my favorite song by the band. The smooth guitars, the soft pianos and the thunderous drums all build up into this final section of pure rock bliss. Screaming out “Everybody needs someone to hate” and the end of the song is a personal pass time favorite.

8. Better Be Home Soon – Crowded House

Another one of those songs that has stood the test of time for a reason. Play someone “Better Be Home Soon” and they’ll be entertained for an hour. Give them a guitar, teach them how to play it, and they’ll be entertained for at least a week.

I listened to this song a lot as a kid, and luckily overplay never affected me with this song because it deserves all the love it gets. Make sure to put this in your set list the next time you go out for karaoke night.

7. The Deepest Of Sighs, The Frankest Of Shadows – Gang Of Youths

Something I love about Gang Of Youths, is that they write their music with an element of epicness. A lot of their music are these grand

, powerful presentations of their musicianship. All the members of Gang Of Youths are extremely talented, all bringing their own flavor to their sound.

Whilst there were many songs that could have landed in this position, “The Deepest Of Sighs, The Frankest Of Shadows” is still to me their most impressive showing for all the reasons mentioned that make them great.

(Baby I Got You) On My Mind – Powderfinger

One of these days I need to make myself a playlist of songs to drum to, because this would likely be up near the top. It’s just such a fun song from front to back. 

This is my mum’s favorite band so no surprises why this song also ended up being a song I wouldn’t stop listening to in my early life to the present day. Bernard Fanning has such a unique voice that can take any song and give it life, and there’s no better example of that than this song.

5. Cherub – Ball Park Music

I’ve adored this song from day one. The somber acoustic guitar with the layers of vocals slowly stacking more and more on top of each other. Genuinely, if this was just the first 3 and a half minutes, it probably would’ve still made this list. 

But the last two minutes are truly something special. The distortion overpowering any of that somberness previously within the song, getting thicker and thicker until it reaches one final chord, and it all fades away. 

This song is a mountainous journey with the ending symbolizing reaching the summit of your journey. Also Ball Park Music delivered the greatest live performance of any song I’ve ever heard.

4. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

This is my guilty pleasure and I don’t care. This is my favorite pop song of all time, and the most boppy bop I have heard. Even though this is a cover (yes I only just found out about this recently, don’t bother with the original, it ain’t worth it), she completely makes this her own. 

Take me back to the days of playing Singstar 90’s on the family PlayStation 2, and just singing this song on a constant loop. Come to think about it, I probably drove my parents absolutely crazy constantly playing this song.

3. Frontier Psychiatrist – The Avalanches

This is quite possibly the most out there, strangest song I have ever heard, and I love every single second of it. This has to be one of the most quotable songs to ever be released. 

“That boy needs therapy!”, “He was white as a sheep” and “A man with a golden eyeball” are just a few examples. Also, the way that they were able to Frankenstein this song and many other songs from their debut album is nothing short of genius. 

The sample list looks like a reference list from a science major. Any time I listen to this song, it just gives me the biggest smile on my face. Something I can’t quite say for the next song

2. Brother – Matt Corby

I have to clarify first, I won’t be talking about the studio recording, although that in itself is great. I will simply be talking about the acoustic versions of this song. Just him and the guitar. 

Because honestly, that is all you need to get the most out of the absolutely gut wrenching song. Every single lyric in this song gives you a punch to the stomach. But the reason this is even here in the first place, Matt Corby himself.

If I was to make a Mount Rushmore for male vocalists, it would consist of Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Jeff Buckley and Matt Corby. You can hear every little bit of emotion he puts into his singing and writing. 

The final minute of the song is probably my favorite vocal performance of all time. For his best version of the song, listen to his triple J like a version performance.

1. One Crowded Hour – Augie March

Just pure perfection in one song. The lyrics are melodramatic but it earns its melodrama for a beautiful electric guitar passage, to the introduction of drums and piano, then sweeping string passages until you have eventually reached the final chorus where everything molds together to create a masterpiece of a song. 

Although it isn’t the most technically impressive song, or the most lyrically poetic song, everything it does is perfect. One of the most impactful songs of my life and my favorite Australian song of all time.