I’m fortunate enough to live only a few hours from the Great Ocean Road. For those who have never been, it’s a stretch of windy highway along Victoria’s beautiful coastline. I travel along the Great Ocean Road a few times a year, and each time, I rediscover my love for beachy, alternative indie music: the type of tunes you can listen to as the wind blows in your hair and the salt-spray of summer breeze caresses your face. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a slow winter-blues jam or an anthem for Christmas road trips – these songs make you want to jump in the car and go for a ride down by the ocean.
Kita Alexander – My Own Way (2015)
Kita Alexander is my dream girl. I’m still not sure whether I want to be her, or be with her – regardless, she’s a) bloody gorgeous, and b) super talented. It’s a match made in heaven. ‘My Own Way’ was her debut single way back last year – a summery indie-pop tune consisting of a catchy hook and a mean guitar jam towards the end. Perfecto.
Goldsmith – Henry VIII (2012)
I’m not sure who this band are and where the hell they’re from, but I found this wonderful song back in 2o13 on triple j unearthed. It’s a mix of folk, pop and psych-rock that fuses together in this wonderfully, somehow nostalgic way. It’s an easy listen that’s bound to get stuck in your noggin.
(P.S. There is no video for this track anywhere, and the only free place I can find it is triple j unearthed. Please click the link and download it form there! You won’t be disappointed).
DIIV – Earthboy (2012)
DIIV are a shoegazing, dream-pop dream-boat full of melodic guitar jam-outs and distorted, eerie vocals. ‘Earthboy’ is one of my favourites – a moody, beachy tune set to be the perfect accompaniment to any night-time drive through the windy back roads. I can’t say too much about this band, let alone this song. It’s brilliant though – but the music does most of the talking. Listen, and expect to leave your body and transport to another dimension of higher consciousness or something (yes, they’re that good!).
Catcall – The World Is Ours (2012)
I adore this song. Catcall is punchy pop at it’s finest – cheerleader-donned music video and a song filled with catchy rhythm guitar. Catcall sounds like the most amazing mix between Cut Copy and Ladyhawke – it’s a pop party not for the faint hearted.
Georgia Fair – Picture Frames (2009)
Remember that BIG M ad from 2009 where the cool, hip young folks went on a road trip? I do. 12 year old me was SO jealous. Fast forward seven whole years, and while I’m not living out my summers as per the attractive actors in the ad – I’m still wishing I was them. This one hits the nail on the head, for sure.
Gotye – Night Drive (2006)
I love Gotye. While ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ was pretty much the song of 2011 – Gotye’s other stuff is true testament to the bloke’s talent. While ‘Eyes Wide Open’ (especially the Yeasayer remix…. bruhhhhh!!!!!!) is one of my faves, ‘Night Drive’ is a close second. This tune is a staple for your back-road, suburban, sleepy coastal town aesthetic. It’s staring out the window, watching the street lights flicker in the side mirror as you drive deeper and deeper into the scrub.
Methyl Ethel – Shadowboxing (2015)
Listen to any Methyl Ethel song and, if you’re like me, you’ll envision some cool surf-brand ad – cloudy day, HUGE waves, surfers, girls donning Roxy wear somewhere near Byron Bay. Just me? Ok… well, regardless, Methyl Ethel are ambient guitar and dreamy melodies. I love this band, goddamnit. They’re the epitome of chill.
Phoenix – Lisztomania (2009)
The French indie-pop legends can do wrong. I listen to ‘Lisztomania’ and I’m instantly transported to visions of endless summer fun and a road trip with my imaginary friends (a la the BIG M ad). I could listen to this song for eternity and never grow tired of it.
Crowded House – Weather With You (1991)
You can’t go down the coast and not listen to this song. It’s a felony to do so. This Crowded House classic is a staple to any good playlist. Think of Crowded House like you think of your fondest childhood memory. It’s definitely the epitome of my childhood (thanks to my parent’s good taste is music) – happy, lazy days by the water with a Zooper Dooper. Good stuff.
Sticky Fingers – Slow (2009)
A relatively unknown, unplayed tune from an early 2009 EP. Not quite sure how I stumbled across this gem, but I’m glad I did. ‘Slow’ is melancholy and a bit bluesy. It’s a pre-reggae inspired STIFI that sounds somewhere between a Corona ad on some Hawaiian beach, and a moody Pete Murray song. Listen to it as the sun sets, or as it rains on one of those stormy summer evenings.