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Australian Guitar’s Fresh Frets: Vol. 10

Good Thanks. Credit: Lazy Bones
(Image credit: Lazy Bones)

GOOD THANKS

THEY ARE A Novocastrian pop-punk quartet hellbent on getting fists raised and vocal cords wrung – a mission they never fail to accomplish with four-chord belters as honest as they are anthemic.

YOU’LL DIG THEM IF YOU LIKE Alex Lahey, Tigers Jaw and Teenage Joans.

YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT ‘Yes Sir’, a catchy and cathartic middle finger to crusty old dudes in the scene that try to rob young female artists of their agency. Dropped back in April, it marks somewhat of comeback for Good Thanks; 2018 saw the band come out swinging with a four-track EP, Two Bottles In, and they followed it up a year later with the explosive single ‘Be Like Them’. But like most up-and-coming bands lacking the privilege to power on without shows, Good Thanks were knocked out of action by the pandemic. So, as the Australian touring scene roars back to life, so too have Good Thanks – and we couldn’t be more stoked about it.


South Summit. Credit: Sara Haleem

(Image credit: Sara Haleem)

SOUTH SUMMIT

THEY ARE Five of the bright stars in Perth’s ever-burgeoning indie-rock scene, galvanised by a shared love of classic alt-rock and reggae fusion, with their sights set on dominating the national summer festival circuit. Their tonal palette is something to marvel at: shimmery, atmospheric twangs bend into scorching rock’n’roll solos, while passages of wah-flourished noodling and honeyed bass build the pillars of songs soon to be considered timeless.

YOU’LL DIG THEM IF YOU LIKE Lime Cordiale, King Stingray and Spacey Jane.

YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT Their soaring new single ‘Tired Of Waiting’, sure to become a staple in car stereos all around the nation. Its kaleidoscopic soundscape is instantly bewitching, with ultra-bright, melodic strumming slicked over with a subtle, yet striking warble that explodes into an overdriven onslaught of emotion in the chorus. Also make sure to check out the Merlin’s EP from last January, drenched in character and colour with more than its fair share of earwormish moments.


Racing Birds. Credit: Tim Ashton

(Image credit: Tim Ashton)

RACING BIRDS

THEY ARE An alt-country duo – soulful singer Jeremy Strother and fret-belting bluesman Bobbie Lee Stamper – based out of Sydney, recording on laptops and embracing the shaken-up scene of the modern day, but evoking the rose-tinted analogue heyday of Southern California circa the late 1960s.

YOU’LL DIG THEM IF YOU LIKE Jason Isbell, Blood Oranges and The Black Keys.

YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT Their tantalisingly twangy and loveably loose debut, Lonesome Blue. Its homely sound can traced down to its genesis, with Stamper saying he and Strother minted it on “a couple guitars, a laptop and whatever we could find around the garage to bang on”. It was recorded in that very garage, too – “you could see daylight coming in through cracks in the walls, there were possums walking around in the rafters at night, and it was either boiling hot or freezing cold depending on the weather,” Stamper says, but the pair “used that DIY feeling to give the record a bit of edge and energy”.


Sophie May. Credit: Sophie May

(Image credit: Sophie May)

SOPHIE MAY

SHE IS A Melbourne-native songster that stole the hearts of thousands before her first song even dropped. It was on TikTok that May fast became a star, sharing short clips of her captivating demos – rough and off-the-cuff, yet simultaneously sounding like she’d spent years perfecting them – that reel listeners in with an ultra-sharp hook and leave them begging for more en masse. We’re predicting an explosion into the mainstream before the year’s end.

YOU’LL DIG HER IF YOU LIKE Angie McMahon, Gracie Abrams and Holly Humberstone.

YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT Both tracks on May’s debut double A-side, ‘With The Band’ and ‘Bruises & Scratches’, which hone in on her smoky and soulful, yet notably restrained tenor and the gravelly twang of her Mustang to paint striking and cerebral soundscapes carrying bitterly heartfelt narratives. Beautifully produced and raw, yet dripping with character, May enthrals without so much as a beat to keep time with. We can’t wait to see where she heads from here.


Suzi. Credit: Ruby Boland

(Image credit: Ruby Boland)

SUZI

SHE IS The best reason to be on TikTok (aside from that one account with the dog that balances things on his head). Hailing from the heart of the Mornington Peninsula, Suzi wears her soul on her sleeve, wields a captivating strum and sings like her life depends on it. Her songs are raw, honest and emotive, twining flecks of folk and indie around a strong pillar of scorching, sun-kissed Australiana.

YOU’LL DIG HER IF YOU LIKE Camp Cope, Ruby Fields and The Hard Aches.

YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT Her punchy and powerful new single, ‘Everyone I’ve Met Hates Me’, which couples soul-baring (and brutally relatable) lyrics with sharp, hooky instrumentation and crisp production that beckons repeat listens. And while it’s unequivocally poignant on record, it’s the kind of song that truly roars to life onstage – which is why we recommend heading to one of the six shows that Suzi has booked along the east coast between now and mid-June.

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Ellie Robinson
Ellie Robinson

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Their bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (on which they also serve as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Their go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, they only picked up after they’d joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped them see the light…

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