Ah the Apple Isle, home to a slew of pristine national parks, majestic mountains and vineyard upon vineyard of wineries. But it seems Tasmania hasn’t just been hiding the elusive Tasmanian Devil from the rest of Australia… they’ve also kept secret a pretty swell music scene that reaches from Launceston in the north to Hobart in the south. Join us as we head across the Bass Strait and check out some of the best musos from the birthplace of the Greens and Princess Mary of Denmark.
Oh Tasmania. So beautiful yet oft forgotten by the mainland. The picturesque Apple Isle is a treasure trove of great music, here are 6 choice Tassie bands.
Us mainlanders may not have heard of this Northern Tasmanian* singer/songwriter, but he’s been pretty busy making waves on his home island. He’s been covered on multiple TV networks down there for recording his latest EP in LA, and supported everyone’s favourite golden oldies John Farnham and Olivia Newtown John at a couple of shows on their recent tour. Check out his Matt Corby-esque tune Solitude. If it’s good enough for Sandra Dee, it’s good enough for us.
Describing themselves as “An ocean pop band that play sad Hobartian skuzz pop,” Heart Beach not only accurately describe themselves, but seem to have also created not one, but two new genres of pop music. Every aspect of every Heart Beach song seems to have been carefully selected to convey a certain sense of emptiness and despair that may have something to do with the grey of their native Hobart’s climate, or perhaps it’s just more that they’re masters at what they do. They’re kind of like that band Port O’Brien, but with less reckless joy… in a good way.
Let Hobartians Tiger Choir sweep you away with their incredibly danceable indie-pop-rock. Fun, catchy and with just the right dose of seriousness, this band has made serious waves nationwide, supporting The Drums, Deerhunter, Regurgitator and Holy Fuck! Check out excellent tune All Time, and if you can’t get it out of your head, book a flight to Brisbane to get a load of them at Bigsound 2015. You’re welcome.
Christopher Coleman Collective
What do you get when you cross up to 27 band members and some Damien Rice and Glen Hansard-inspired tunes? The Christopher Coleman Collective, Tassie’s answer to soulful, atmospheric indie folk-rock. Poetic of lyric and varied of musicality, Christopher Coleman and his ever-revolving group of band members create some of the most accomplished and hauntingly beautiful music you’ll hear this year.
If you thought the only psych-rock bands in Australia worth listening to were from sunniers climes like Perth or Queensland, you thought wrong. Say hello to Violet Swells, Hobart’s answer to music to trip to. Sweet harmonies combine with fuzzy guitars to create a sound with all the hallmarks of psych-rock that you know and love, with a little dash of Tassie freshness for good measure. Here Comes Yesterday is a great track to get you started on these guys.
Much like Tasmania itself, Jed Appleton’s music is imbued with a certain melancholy. Sounding far more mature than his years, Jed’s tunes start off like many other folk songs, but once they get going tend to give you a big old punch in the heart-strings. His vocals are raw, and his lyrics are packed with a certain youthful enthusiasm for travel and the world that can only come from one not yet lost in the cynicism of adulthood.
*Ed: Who would have guessed Tassie was big enough to have a North Tassie?