Happy Mag’s Staff Picks: Barkaa, Cuco and Rum Jungle

Welcome back to Happy Mag’s Staff Picks, where every week we highlight our favourite new music releases.

Another week comes to pass and to get us through hump day to the weekend, we have got another week’s worth of amazing new music releases to share with you.

Before we clock off early and crack a cold one, wrap your ears around the highly anticipated releases from Barkaa, Cuco and the new EP drops by Rum Jungle and CLAPS. We have got some real treats for you today; so without further ado, let’s get into that sweet sweet music.


Barkaa – Divison

Barkaa the Blak Matriarch of Hip Hop, hits hard with her latest track, ‘Division,’ offering a powerful response to the rejection of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Originally, she hoped ‘Division’ wouldn’t need a public release, but as the national No vote became clear on October 14, Barkaa decided it was time.

Cuco – Hitchhiker

All at once shoegazey and lofi with a little extra alternative pop thrown in for good measure. Cuco knows how to deliver a total mood, and his latest release ‘Hitchhiker’ is an absolute cracker. Shoowop your way through Friday with his gem.

Rum Jungle – Hold Me in The Water

Damn, Rum Jungle know how to lay don an EP. Produced to perfection, the band’s new EP masterfully balances high-energy anthems with emotive ballads, showcasing their versatility and musical depth. From the boundary-pushing ‘Electric Snowman’ to the soul-soothing ‘Make It Ez’, Benny’s vocals shine, inviting a repeat listen.

Haiku Hands – Cool For You

Haiku Hands, the alt-dance trio (Claire Nakazawa, Beatrice Lewis, and Mie Nakazawa), just dropped their new single “Cool For You,” and they’ve paired it with a killer music video directed by Jasmin Tarasin, featuring some seriously awesome performers. The Haiku Hands crew never disappoints with their visuals!

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Fonzoli

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ don’t take their name lightly, fine psych rock at its best. Their sixth album, “FRONZOLI,” is packed with diverse influences, from the gripping ‘Dilemma Us From Evil’ to the infectious ‘Sierra Nevada,’ it’s a testament to their constant evolution. After a year since their last release, the album arrives just in time for their Australian fans ahead of a summer tour with Royal Blood.

Wayside – What does Your soul look Like

Naarm duo Wayside have delivered an alt punk rock banger in ‘What Does Your Soul Look Like’ head bang your way through the arvo with this slice of alternative heaven.

Days Like These – Primadonna

Days Like These, one of Brisbane’s most thrilling emerging alternative rock acts, presents “Primadonna,” loaded with infectious riffs, and a solid dose of alt rock punk goodness that we all love.

Kaiser Chiefs – Felling Alright

It’s been a month of hella hot single drops, and Kaiser Chiefs fit in rightly with their own brand of alt rock goodness. ‘Feeling Alright’ is a prelude to what is going to be an exceptional album – set to land in our hot laps March 2024.

Dua Lipa – Houdini

Dua Lipa keeps bringing it, her latest single is a breath of fresh air, disco, dance perfection, bringing the best of yester years dance hall hits to the present day. Be sure to check out the music video directed by Manu Cossu, featuring Dua perfecting choreography on a vibrant dance stage.

Crystal Fighters – LIGHT+

Nothing screams a coming together for the future like Crystal Fighters. Their 5th album, “LIGHT+,” brings back their signature sound, blending Basque instruments, electronic elements, and infectious hooks. The album, available on glow-in-the-dark vinyl, CD, and DL, is a celebration of life’s inner light that shines through the darkness.

CLAPS – Claps

Lose yourself in this perfect jazzy, genre blurring EP from CLAPS. The Melbourne-based jazz fusion supergroup, unveils four tracks, that explore genres from broken beat to ambient, painting vivid scenes of diverse landscapes. Their music reflects a passion for innovative sonic expression and a restless pursuit of  expansion. Its poetry baby!

Big Skeez – Work Don’t Stop

“Work Don’t Stop” is Big Skeez’s boldly personal release, grounded in reality and celebrating community, whether in Africa or Dharawal Land/Western Sydney. He seamlessly blends Amapiano, Afrobeat, Afro Swing, Rap, and R&B. It’s a one-of-a-kind blend that mirrors his diverse musical journey.