Songs that remind me of Australia

 I’ve found that the longer I’m away from Australia, the more I miss songs that remind me of home. I know that “those songs” be different for everyone, but I’ve compiled a list of my favourites that instantly transport me back to the sun, humidity and evenings spent with friends.

There are songs for every occasion – driving with the windows rolled down on a summer’s day, rainy day tunes, spring cleaning music and the all-important pre-party pump up. A little warning: these aren’t going to be the usual “Land Down Under” etc songs that get thrown out there. Sorry if you’re already disappointed!

I’d love to hear your go-to Aussie tunes! You can listen to the Aussie Expat Playlist that I’ve put together on Spotify, or just read about it (Midnight Oil reference fully intended) and some of my memories below.

Dan Kelly – Summer Wino

In my first year of uni I was a terrible writer for our University’s student publication and music was my thing. We got a copy of Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males’ first album and an opportunity to interview him. I had no clue that he came from Australian muso royalty (see Paul Kelly), and immediately fell in love with his album. Particularly this song and Summer Wino.
I remember interviewing him over the phone, because it was my first interview with a “real” musician and I was totally packing it. He didn’t disappoint. He’d missed his flight to (or maybe from) Melbourne that morning after sleeping in and was talking to me from an airport. I think I just gushed about how great he was the whole time. Embarrassment central.


The Lucksmiths – T-Shirt Weather

If you’ve never heard this song, I feel sorry for you. And I dare you to listen to it and not smile. Like most of The Lucksmiths‘s songs, this one makes me sad that they broke up. To me this is the perfect song to pump on the car stereo with the windows down on a beautiful summer’s day. Breeze in your hair, stupid grin on your face. Love it.


Also, they have a song called The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco, which was obviously written for me. Duh.



Something For Kate – Monsters

Think of this song as my gateway drug to Something for Kate. I was in Year 12 (the last year of high school for all you Americans playing along) when this song came out. And I taped it off the radio (on a humble cassette) and listened to it over and over on my walkman. I’M SO OLD!


These guys have been my hands-down-absolute-don’t-even-talk-to-me-about-anyone-else favourite band ever since. I love all of their albums (except The official Fiction, but let’s not talk about that). Their old stuff is great, their new stuff is fantastic. I’m a total fangirl. Steph is the ultimate rock chic bassist, I could watch Clint drum all day and Paul… well… I can’t put into words how awesome he is.


I interviewed Clint while working for that same university magazine and it’s true when they say don’t meet your idols (or in this case interview them) because you’re just going to look like an idiot in front of them. It was another “phoner”, and my shorthand wasn’t up to scratch back then so I was recording the conversation. I got through the whole interview when Second Brother pipes up on the speakerphone to tell me that my recorder malfunctioned and nothing recorded. So I had to ask all of the questions again. Mortifying!


Peabody – The Weight Just Right

My introduction to Sarah Blasko, who you can hear counting in French on this track. I don’t know why, I just love it. I liked this entire Peabody album – I think it appealed to my sense of thinking I was cool at the time. Who knows?


Silverchair – The Door

You can’t have a playlist like this one without Silverchair, and there were so many songs that I could have chosen, but I made a rule that there was only allowed to be one song from each artist/band. I have a really vivid memory of taking an Ancient History exam in a room right across from the music studios in Year 12. And someone was playing this so I was singing along in my head and not concentrating. Worth it.


Powderfinger – My Happiness

I really wanted to add These Days from the Two Hands movie, but I felt like it was a bit too much of a downer. So instead I chose Powderfinger‘s classic instead. They’re just the quintessential Aussie band of my generation. Nothing less.



You Am I – Soldiers

I bought You Am I‘s Hourly Daily out of the Myer bargain bin on the recommendation of my then-boyfriend who had/has spot-on taste in music. It was an excellent gateway to the band and Tim Rogers’ style of song writing. He’s so underrated for the stuff that he cranks out. A gentleman, an AFL fanatic and a scholar. I tip my hat to you sir.


Grinspoon – Just Ace

A big fat thanks to First Brother for introducing me to so much great music while driving us both to school. At the time I may not have appreciated as much as I should have. Grinspoon‘s Guide to Better Living is just one of those albums that we taped and listened to way too loudly. It was the big single of that year and I can still sing it by heart.



Frenzal Rhomb – Never Had So Much Fun

Another one of those albums that First Brother played so often that I ended up loving it. Meet the Family. A great introduction to punk? Or some kind of punk? I dunno, I’m not cool anymore. Frenzal Rhomb was a total rite of passage when I was a teen. You go to a show, watch Second Brother get caught up in a death circle. Happy days. Also, I know that this song wasn’t on Meet the Family, but I couldn’t add Mr Charisma, now could I? Or could I?



Augie March – The Hole in Your Roof


This one is Triple J‘s fault. I bought Augie March‘s Sunset Studies after hearing them on the radio. Probably not this song, but it’s a great song and it reminds me of a friend’s Mum. I remember calling her after school one day and hearing this album in the background. Aunty Mary instantly went up about 10 cool notches in my book after that.

Aussie | Expat | Aussie Expat in US | expat life | music | songs | Australian bands | Aussie music | songs from home
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I could go on, but it’s just getting boring for you at this point. What songs remind you of home? And what specific memories do they evoke?

Linking up with The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

55 thoughts on “Songs that remind me of Australia

  1. As soon as I saw the title “Songs that remind me of Australia” on the linky I thought “that will be Kat!”. But you had me confused there for a bit because you’ve changed your bloggy clothes. Now I need to go and work out how many of these songs I actually know when I play them. I’m starting with Grinspoon …

    1. Hahahahaha “That bloody Kat!”. I’ve been busy learning WordPress and making things slightly more complicated than they have to be.
      Goodluck if you’re starting with Grinspoon… they might be a bit much for the morning!

  2. Hee hee. I got a bit confused with the bloggy makeoever mid-week but I’m up with the system now. I fell in love with Powderfinger when I first came on holiday down under and I’ve seen them a few times in London but never in Australia. This is a great list with lots of new songs to listen to, I need to get in with the cool kids and get on to Spotify!

    1. I wanted something more modern and prettier. I’m not sure if I achieved that but I’m working on it. All my links to blogs past broke though. *sigh* Technology and I are not friends.
      Aww Powderfinger are just the bestest right? Yeah! Hurry up and Spotify with the rest of us “cool kids”… I only got it so I could music while running.

  3. Not particularly Australian but they are Australian, I love Jones Jr (Never Be Lonely) and Thundermentals (Got Love) and Hilltop Hoods (1955) and Illy’s Catch 22…They’d be the Aussies I’d listen to….

  4. Not heard of almost any of these songs! I know what I will be using my data hotpsot on later! I feel you though about how songs remind you of home.

    1. Yeah I tend to have a slightly obscure taste in music it seems. Most people don’t know what I’m talking about 😉

  5. It’s amazing how songs can bring you back. I just downloaded some nursery rhymes for my toddler that I hadn’t heard in a while, and I felt like I was back at my grandmother’s house!

  6. Haha, funny thing about music, the ability it has to transport you. I spent about 5 years as a Brit in the US, when I was feeling homesick I’s slap on some Oasis or Bluetones. But I think it’s as much to do with reminding you about growing up and the friends your going have an awesome time catching up with when you return!

    1. Oasis will do it! And you’re totally right, music’s a massive part of growing up and reminding you of those ‘good times’.

  7. So fun! I love seeing what kind of music other people are into. I personally like almost over genre, from country to rock to rap. Texas country always reminds me of home. <3
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. You have an eclectic taste, that makes it easy to go out and enjoy the music wherever you are! I went to a fair last year and heard some Texas country and loved it!

    1. We can’t all be Aussie music connoisseurs! You’d give me a run for my money on US music I’m sure. Glad that you have your own “homesick” song 🙂

  8. Great and unique article! We are from Australia, but didn’t know a lot of songs hahaha. ( well i must stay we live in Australia for 5 years now ; ) ) We listen more to the popular Australian road trip music 🙂

    1. Oh yay, I hope you’re having a great time in Australia! Sorry, I grew up on Triple J radio, which means that no one’s heard of the songs that I love.

  9. That’s a great idea putting together all these songs. I think honestly the only artist I know here is Silverchair and I remember my Aussie friend had a Powderfinger CD but I never heard it. It’s cool how listening to music can bring you back to a time and place.

  10. I do have a few of these CDs at home, and have a Aussie spotify list as well!! I have sent off to some co-workers a few of the TISM songs, but they are just like WTF!!! I have seen Cut Copy in Oakland a couple of years ago, love them!

        1. Please, no judgements here. I was waiting for a barrage of “this is the worst” so I won’t throw stones in glass houses 😉

          1. Thanks so much! It is nice to see that we have such a selection of Oz music in there, however I keep searching and searching for Gerling, but alas they are not in there.

    1. Homebake! It was always right around my birthday and I’d always ask for a ticket as a present. I miss Homebake.

  11. What a great list of songs! It’s so exciting that by hearing those songs, we feel like visiting those places again. It brings us all the wonderful memories that we have spent there!

    1. I’ve got a song that reminds me of Europe as well, but I have NO IDEA what it’s called or who it’s by. So I just have to hang out near a radio and hope that it comes on one day.

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