Podcasts are the way to go in 2021. Have you noticed? Ironically, lockdowns have paid off for quite a few people, I reckon. The amount of new audio shows that appeared at some point of the quarantine-prone 2020 is mind-blowing. On every- and any topic, really.
Music seems to be a very suitable and ear-friendly object of discussion. So if there’s any New Year’s resolution I’m making this year, it’s to kick off my own audio show. But before I find the courage, I like to assess the competition first.
PART 63 OF “AM I EVER GONNA SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN?” A RANDOM COLLECTION OF UNKNOWINGLY OBVIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SCENE
I’ve chosen six podcasts that present different angles of the music industry Down Under. You’ll find stories about acts, records, venues and music regions, presented by artists themselves, journos or simply music fans. Most of the podcasts are available on Spotify and are pretty new creations. Only one dates back to 2019.
Here they are, for your listening pleasure, ordered by my preferences and gut feeling.
1. Introducing with Tim Blackwell
Podcast start: November 2020
Most recent episode: 3 January 2021
Podcast type: conversations with musos
Number of episodes: 6 (1 season as of 5 January 2021)
New episode added: every Sunday
Host: Tim Blackwell – a Sydney-based music journo from Nova (Aussie radio station)
Aussie acts on the show: Tyne James-Organ, Haiku Hands, Peking Duk, The Delta Riggs, DMA’S (Matt Mason)
Episode length: between 24 – 58 mins
Description: This one is currently at the top of my list, for various reasons. Firstly, it’s super authentic and cosy (if a podcast can be that). It really feels like you’re sitting with the host and his guests in the same room. Secondly, Tim’s idea is to chat with his fave bands – not necessarily the most famous ones – that he’s come to know over the years as a radio broadcaster. Hence, this is where the podcast’s name comes from. Next, aside from it being informative and all, I absolutely love the vibe of the chats. I LMAO-ed listening to the episode with The Delta Riggs – they have way too many funny stories for just one convo. And lastly, what I really appreciate is that every act interviewed is asked at the end about their suggestions for future guests on the show. That way musos recommend their fave local bands that are frequently fairly unknown to wider audiences.
2. Too Much of Not Enough: A Silverchair Podcast
Podcast start: May 2020
Most recent episode: 20 November 2020
Podcast type: recap of Silverchair’s albums
Number of episodes: 13 (1 season as of 5 January 2021)
New episode added: fortnightly on Saturdays
Host: Daniel Hedger
Aussie acts on the show: Silverchair, of course!
Episode length: between 21 mins – 2 hrs
Description: “Can you believe there’s never been a podcast about Silverchair? I couldn’t, so I made one”, says the host on the show’s Buzzsprout’s page. And thank God he did. This show is everything a die-hard Silverchair fan can possibly think of. But it’s not only a breakdown of the albums, strictly speaking. There are also awesome convos with people directly linked to the Aussie band, like their drummer – Ben Gillies – or producer of three of their albums – Nick Launay. Plus, you’ll hear from other Silverchair fans, amongst them Billy Martin – the guitar player from the American band Good Charlotte. As a sucker for everything grunge- and 90’s-related myself, I reckon this is one of the most comprehensive podcasts dedicated to a band in the virtual space these days.
Edit from Dec 2021: A new awesome podcast about the legend that is Daniel Johns appeared on Spotify this October-December. Check it out below:
3. Inside the Big Day Out
Podcast duration: September – October 2019
Most recent episode: 29 October 2019
Podcast type: stories about the history and legacy of the Big Day Out Festival
Number of episodes: 5 (only 1 season as of 5 January 2021)
New episode added: N/A (series finished, all episodes published)
Host: Gemma Pike – one of the J group’s music journos (Double J & triple J)
Aussie acts on the show: too many to mention
Episode length: between 27 – 34 mins
Link to the podcast (below is only a link to their playlist on Spotify)
Description: I already mentioned this podcast in 2019 when it was still in progress. But it kicks ass, so it makes my list again. Big Day Out was (still is?) the biggest and bestest Aussie music festival of all times. (Sorry to all the amazing events happening Down Under after 2014 when Big Day Out was held for the last time.) It’s a classic example of a rowdy “from zero to hero” festival story. Plus, the international angle speaks for it, too. Big Day Out had its own leg in NZ and heaps of big overseas headliners graced its stages over the years. Apart from that, it was a spring-board for some Aussie acts that are now considered legends. Gemma Pike goes above and beyond with the facts, interviews and historic footage so that you can fully immerse yourself in the experience. Even if you never had a chance to attend it. A must-listen for music festival geeks.
And since we’re talking about Gemma Pike and Double J – check out her other podcast, The J Files.
4. Wide Open Road: The West Australian Music Podcast
Podcast start: October 2020
Most recent episode: 26 October 2020
Podcast type: everything about the music biz from WA (Western Australia)
Number of episodes: 8 (1 season as of 5 January 2021)
New episode added: unknown (all existing episodes published on the same day)
Host: Em Burrows – a musician, radio presenter and WAM (West Australia Music) employee in one person
Aussie acts on the show: Kučka, Grace Barbé, Hoodoo Gurus, Superego, Tame Impala
Episode length: between 23 – 58 mins
Description: I continue to be fascinated with music from one of the most secluded places in Australia, Perth and Co. This show is solely devoted to Western Australia, so I dig every moment of it. From interviews with artist managers, through chats with composers and music journalists, to convos with musos from the region, it really is a Wide Open Road to explore. Highly recommended if you’re into a deeper dive, especially beyond the realms of Melbourne and Sydney.
5. Sony Music Presents: Time To Talk with Sean Sennett
Podcast start: September 2020
Most recent episode: 7 December 2020
Podcast type: conversations with influential Aussies
Number of episodes: 8 (1 season as of 5 January 2021)
New episode added: irregular
Host: Sean Sennett – a Brisbane-based singer/songwriter
Aussie acts on the show: Daryl Braithwaite, Josh Pyke, Ruel, Midnight Oil, Brad Cox, Amy Shark
Episode length: between 28 mins – 1 hr
Description: A muso talking to (but not limited to) other musos. Either in person or online. In their homes or workspaces. Exploring various music-related topics, sometimes in profound ways. As per the host himself, it’s a “conversational deep-dive” into the lives of influential people who “have shaped our culture”. A more serious approach but fascinating nevertheless. Need I say more?
6. 180 Degrees
Podcast start: June 2020
Most recent episode: 13 September 2020
Podcast type: stories around exceptional albums
Number of episodes: 7 (1 season with 6 episodes and a bonus one as of 5 January 2021)
New episode added: every Monday
Host: Mikey Cahill – a freelance journo, presenter, content creator and DJ
Aussie acts on the show: The Teskey Brothers
Episode length: between 23 mins – 1 hr
Description: I have also mentioned this podcast in one of the previous posts, but it defo deserves more attention. It’s sponsored by the Mushroom Group – the largest independent music and entertainment company from Down Under (and New Zealand). And it vows to be dedicated to telling stories about remarkable albums. The first season focused on Run Home Slow. Thanks to insightful interviews and event recounts, it turned out that recording The Teskey Brothers’ highly-acclaimed second album wasn’t such a walk in the park after all. I’m particularly stoked about the sincerity of the stories told by everyone involved in the process: the band, their manager, producers and friends. It’s one of those honest podcasts that make a real effort to bring the listeners the “behind the scenes” bits and pieces about their faves. I’m super keen to find out what the next record and act to dissect will be.
In case you still need more series to listen to on your morning and afternoon work/home commutes, there are heaps more podcasts about Aussie music out there, catering to very different tastes.
And if this year decides to be even slightly effing nicer to me, I might finally be able to redirect my energy to creating my very own one in 2021. So stay tuned!
Edit from Dec 2021: I actually have launched a podcast this year. It’s called Silly Talks and you can find it here:
Cover image – Too Much of Not Enough: A Silverchair Podcast’s FB page
Get social with Silly McWiggles here:
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