21 home-grown hits for when you're sick of the Aussie BBQ playlist

Australian artists are crazy-talented salt-of-the-earth types; fact. Introducing the alternative Aussie playlist (as written by one YHA employee. Not biased at all, though):


Gold - Chet Faker

Call him Nick or call him Chet, just don’t call him late to the Top 20 list. The warped intro makes you feel like you’re listening underwater, and the lyrical rhythym of the chorus makes you dance like your Mum at the Saturday night Bowlo cover show before you even realise you’re boogying. Still, it’s chill enough to disco nap to between lunch courses.

Throw Your Arms Around Me – Hunters and Collectors

You’d think after the couple hundred times this has been covered by Australian Idol contestants that the general public would have paid a little more attention to the lyrics – but the simple vocals and dat chorus make it too easy to belt it out. No Aussie appreciation list is complete without H&C, and we’re serious about delivering a complete list. So, there.


How To Make Gravy – Paul Kelly

Who else could pen the unofficial national anthem with lyrics like Just add flour, salt, a little red wine and don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang? Paul Kelly is the ultimate storyteller. Go listen and tell us it doesn’t feel like listening to your Uncle who can’t make Chrissie celebrations this year.

My Happiness – Powderfinger

A couple of versus and a chorus is all it takes to paint a heart-warming and heartbreaking picture of a long-distance relationship that’s bathed in love and hope. One of the few radio favourites we don’t mind if we hear on rotation – Powderfinger have encapsulated an emotion here. And it’s pretty beautiful.

Fall At Your Feet – Crowded House

You’re filled with emotion and heartache and you don’t even know why. What’s gone wrong? Why is the other person in so much pain? How can we fix it!? A welcome step away from some of the more upbeat Crowded House stuff, this guy is always welcome in a chill sesh of any shape.

Pirouette – Lisa Mitchell

You may remember this lass from Australian Idol (pretty sure she covered Throw Your Arms Around Me), and this song from a Bondi Rescue ad circa-2010. This piece transports the listener into a music box, a ballerina slowly spinning to a honey-sweet tune. Pure bliss.

Confide In Me - Kylie Minogue

This song always reminded the writer of the Be Prepared scene in the Lion King, which isn’t the sole reason it features on this list, but it sure does act as corroborating evidence. Dramatic and moody and miles away from any locomotives, Kylie sauntered and slithered into a matured, sexy sound – certified banger.

Beautiful Girl - INXS

Hutchence’s subtle, intelligent lyricism earns pretty much every one of their songs a spot on this list; but that twinkly intro makes you feel like you’re floating in an opalescent bubble. The sweet, simple melody shies away from the grungy sex appeal of Beautiful Girl’s peers; and certifies it the perfect Summer afternoon addition.

The Horses – Daryl Braithwaite

Everyone has a Horses story.

The writer was recently at a camping music festival, and their campsite overlooked the road which wild horses habitually ran along of a late afternoon. It was the last day of the festival, the atmosphere was electric, and a phenomenally in-tune collaborative rendition of the chorus chimed across the entire campsite. Spontaneously. Gloriously. Don’t talk to us about it being a cover.

Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden

To be young and in love in the 90s. This tune is the stuff of Romeo & Juliet-proportioned dreams, and was only further solidified by its inclusion in one of the first Singstar editions. Listen and try not to daydream about your Year 7 crush.

Torn – Natalie Imbruliga

Inherently vunerable, raw and real – it’s laughable how many primary school aged girls would have been listening to this anthem on their Walkmans on the way to school, thinking about homework and packed lunches. 

Flame Trees – Cold Chisel

A slow, sombre story which will inevitably be met with triumphant passion on any dancefloor or pub it’s played in.  The characteristic Australian simplicity – ‘just holdin’ hands’ – makes this song so relatable for any listener, and the vocals catching a'flame at the crux of the song burns the chorus into memory.

Cry In Shame – Johnny Diesel and the Injectors

So, firstly, it’s not “cryin’ shame” – plot twist, we know. Secondly, this is a break up song that doesn’t wallow – and that is so very welcome on this playlist! The strong and sexy delivery of the lyrics and the overall grunge factor make this a crowd fave – especially if it comes on in the car, and you’re all alone.

Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye 

Some call him a one-hit wonder, but we’re pretty keen on the rest of his stuff, too. This golden one, however, caused the world to tilt a little further on its axis as the entire population came together as one to scream in anguish, ‘but you didn’t need to cuuuuuut me offfffff!’.

Burn For You – John Farnham

Remember how My Happiness was a hopeful tale of long distance love? Think that again, but this time audibly downtrodden. Downtrodden, but gorgeous. Simple lyrics yet again – but a deep message. Listen alone first, kids – you’ll respect it a lot more.

The Devil’s Tears- Angus and Julia Stone

Chateau is fun to sashay your shoulders to, but if you want a true display of artistry – look no further than this game-changing storybook piece. The lyrics weave into the beginnings of a well-loved fairytale, with such grace and nuance that the listener wants to hurl themselves into the most heartbreaking situation possible – just to feel as Angus and Julia feel. So. Bloody. Good.

La Mar – The Beautiful Girls

A song that simultaneously sounds like the ebb and flow of soft waves on shell-speckles sand and that feeling you get when watching dust motes saunter in light beams through a dirty bedroom window. Turn this on when you need a little reminder that this world is golden, and all is well.

Chemical Heart – Grinspoon

90s kids brought a love for this one with them from childhood. The drawling lyrics make it super easy to sing along to, again without a slither of comprehension of the subject matter. Who needs understanding when you’ve memorised the lyrics to the Law & Order: Criminal Intent promo song? Not us.

Breathe Me - Sia

Before Dance Moms and wigs, a delicate and haunting tune adorned our MySpace profiles and playlists burned onto blank CDs. Open and honest, this quiet song is one to really listen to.

So Beautiful – Pete Murray

Look, this one is just in here for the sass factor. So Australian in it’s opening verse that you feel like you’re sitting on a green plastic outdoor chair, and so conversational that it seems as though Murray is venting to you over a beer or two. The classic Aussie break up song, perhaps?

Say It - Flume

We needed to add a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ for when the sun sets and the vibes get dancey. A move away from super electro-stuff, Flume delivered with this viscous beat and killer pre-chorus. Dance around like you’ve got a hula hoop ‘round your hips.

Enjoy yourself here?

You’re only human. We have our very own Spotify playlist, if you fancy listening to some brilliantly curated homegrown toonz.

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