Finn Wolfhard And Calpurnia’s Favourite Aussie Songs

Fun fact: Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things loves Aussie music. And so do his bandmates in Vancouver four-piece Calpurnia. With the release of their debut EP Scout, each band member – Finn, Malcolm Craig, Ayla Tesler-Mabe, and Jack Anderson – picks out their favourite Aussie tracks from present and past.

‘Crumbling Castle’

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are probably the most prolific band in the world right now. Their seven members ludicrously pumped put five incredible albums in 2017, rivalling the output of Zappa or Buckethead. ‘Crumbling Castle’ – the opening track from Polygondawandaland – is an epic 11-minute piece full of whacked-out time signatures, microtonality, harmonised 12-string guitar leads, chanting, heavenly flutes, and arpeggiated keyboards. It’s heavily influenced by musical elements from the Middle East, prog rock, and psychedelia, but offers its own unique sound. All of this musical madness crumbles shall we say, into an epic doom metal-esque conclusion in 7/2 time. Oh my god I love this band! – Jack

‘Molasses’

Hiatus Kaiyote

No one does soulful, groovy and fresh quite like Hiatus Kaiyote. ‘Molasses’ was the first song I ever heard by them, and by the time the song was done I was utterly floored by the profound, poetic lyrics and flawless musicality. The playfulness of the groove is what stands out most about this track, and ‘Molasses’ is a perfect example of the band’s ability to effortlessly intertwine various styles and atmospheres in a single song. Keep an ear out for that cheeky (and amazing!) chord change at 2:16. – Ayla

‘Into My Arms’

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

‘Into My Arms’ is a soulful song that has beautiful lyrics, singing, and piano arrangements. – Finn

‘Why Won’t They Talk To Me?’

Tame Impala

My drum teacher introduced me to Tame Impala. He taught me the song ‘Elephant’. From there I started listening to the rest of their music and fell in love. They are a psychedelic explosion of sound in a good way. They were the first band I ever saw live. It was at an outdoor venue and people had climbed the trees around to watch. So yeah, they’re pretty cool. We chose the song ‘Why Won’t They Talk To Me?’ because it’s very pretty and we think it’s underplayed. – Malcolm

‘Giant Tortoise’

POND

Jay Watson is a super busy man right now. He drums for Tame Impala, has his own solo project called Gum and, of course, is in POND. All of this musical output could perhaps suggest that he favours quantity over quality, but he always delivers both. POND’s ‘Giant Tortoise’ is a psych tune with reverb and delay-drenched verses reminiscent of something that could come from Dark Side Of The Moon, but the hook explodes into a fuzzy and scuzzy guitar lead and manic drums. It’s a great introduction to a band who offers so much more. – Jack

‘Lights & Music’

Cut Copy

This band is my morning “man, I don’t feel so good. I need a pick me up” band. I put it on when I’m having a dirty day and it works every time. I have a soft spot for electro-pop dance grooves. They kind of remind me New Order. I like this song because it’s one that is kinda underplayed but still super sick. – Malcolm

‘More Than A Woman’

Bee Gees

As I learnt more about various cultural and musical movements that existed throughout the 20th Century, I was rather shocked to discover the rampant anti-disco movement that prevailed for a time at the end of the ‘70s. After all, who could possibly hate the Bee Gees?! ‘More Than a Woman’ was one of the first songs I ever heard by them, and to this day I am still completely enraptured by the lusciously cascading and delicately beautiful string arrangement and harmonies. The percussion hidden a little lower in the mix always gets at least your toes tapping (if not your whole body), and the keys are soft, dreamy and deliciously ’70s sounding. Perfect for a song about discovering a love that’s been hiding in plain sight all along. – Ayla

‘Nameless, Faceless’

Courtney Barnett

I found Courtney Barnett because I am a big fan of Kurt Vile and he recently teamed up with her for Lotta Sea Lice. Her storytelling and sound is really cool. The song is catchy and edgy but also fun. It also has very true and interesting lyrics. What a banger. – Malcolm

‘Long Way To The Top’

AC/DC

This song is an absolute classic and a banger. I’ve known this song since I was a baby and it introduced me to rock music. – Finn

‘Reminiscing’

Little River Band

Little River Band could perhaps be known as Australia’s Steely Dan, and ‘Reminiscing’ cements that. All of the instruments are quite understated, but all play very important roles in the song. Soaring violins and chirpy horns bring subtle crescendos to the song in just the right places. The chorus is as smooth as can be, and when Graeham Goble’s vocals cut through the harmony with the words, “We’ll go dancing in the dark, walking through the park and reminiscing”, it’s bliss. The song doesn’t reflect any of the high tensions in the band at the time, instead it transports you to a sunny day by a Little River. – Jack

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