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Aussie artists
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Howzat! Archive - December 27th 2017

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TEN OF THE BEST
It’s been another great year for Aussie albums. Here are Howzat!’s 10 faves:

1. ALEX LAHEY – I LOVE YOU LIKE A BROTHER
Super-sharp songwriting showcasing the dilemmas of the millenials. A whip-smart debut with depth.

2. THE HARLOTS – SATELLITE
Howzat! called The Harlots’ debut “the first great album of 2017”. But one lyric proved prescient: “Brace yourself, because nothing’s coming and it’s gonna fuck you when it arrives.” We thought it was going to be big, and then … nothing happened. Sadly, that’s showbiz.

3. HELEN SHANAHAN – EVERY LITTLE STING
Heartbreakingly honest, Helen Shanahan’s debut album is essentially about a woman at war with herself, battling anxiety. Sounds bleak, but it’s actually wonderfully warm and intimate. World-class confessional songwriting.

4. SAND PEBBLES – PLEASURE MAPS
We thought the show was over. But then the Sand Pebbles returned with their first album in six years, a magical mix of the mystical and the mainstream.

5.  CHARLES JENKINS & THE ZHIVAGOS – THE LAST POLAROID
A songwriting masterclass from Melbourne’s finest pop writer. Beautifully nostalgic as well: “And, yeah, I show my age, the rewinding of the cassette, the 90-minute TDK … No electronic devices can entertain like laughing with your lover through the summer rain.”

6. DAN FLYNN – GHOST MELODIES
The artist formerly known as Major Chord put just his name on the cover for the first time, and it was a slight reinvention, embracing some electro sounds. Call it earnest electro folk. And it was compelling.

7. RAISED BY EAGLES – I MUST BE SOMEWHERE
As we said, no gadgets, no studio trickery, just real musicians playing real good songs on real instruments – sounds almost revolutionary in 2017. Raised By Eagles ooze quality.

8. THE HEARTACHE STATE – LAST OF THE BUFFALO
Rock wasn’t dead in 2017, but you had to look for it. Nick Barker’s The Heartache State is a great bar band. Nothing more, nothing less. And that’s a beautiful thing.

9. TIM ROGERS – AN ACTOR REPAIRS
Tim Rogers had a busy year in 2017, writing the title track of The Heartache State’s album as well as a fine book. He also delivered a superb solo album, which will hopefully one day become a stage show.

10. RON S. PENO & THE SUPERSTITIONS – GUIDING LIGHT
More majestic magic from the redoubtable Ron S. Peno, who showed that not only could he revisit the past with Died Pretty, he could live in the now with The Superstitions.

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