The 10 Best Songs from Perth

In the Pines (the music festival put on each year by RTR FM) is arguably the biggest day on the Perth musical calendar. This weekend it celebrates its 20th birthday with an old-school line up featuring many bands who’ll be reforming just for the show. I thought I’d take it as an opportunity to revisit Perth’s recent musical history too – so here are the 10 most awesome songs this city has produced in the last two decades …

Jebediah – Harpoon (1998)

Here’s where it all started for me and many others. This was the song that really cemented Jebediah’s position as the most influential Perth band of the 90’s. At least, that’s how I remember it.

Sleepy Jackson – Good Dancers (2001)

Luke Steele, who’d go on to greater success with Empire of the Sun, brought together his love of lush production and catchy melodies with this track – mixing it with just enough of his trademark quirkiness to create a true pop masterpiece.

Tucker B’s – Bish Bosh II: The Bosh Bosh (2002)

I used to write a lot of loud, obnoxious rock songs. At least four of them were just blatant attempts to plagiarise this track’s incredible opening riff.

Fourth Floor Collapse – Sun (2003)

Fourth Floor Collapse never quite made it big like a lot of people were expecting. Their singer had a voice to die for and he loved to wring every bit of emotion out of it that he could, but unfortunately that was all too much for the average punter. It makes sense then that this unusually bright and sunny sounding track should be their most well-known.

Snowman – You Are a Casino (2006)

A divine piece of high-energy psychosis from one of my all-time favourite Perth acts.

The Panics – Don’t Fight It (2007)

Rock and pop is often designed to get the listener to do something – dance the night away, fight the establishment, proposition the teacher they’re hot for … but sometimes it just makes you want to curl up and not do anything again forever. And that’s okay too.

Bank Holidays – Like a Piano (2007)

Lush strings and one of the finest female voices in Perth pop history combining to form pure musical bliss.

Mile End – Rumblefish (2008)

This is the original, slightly more lo-fi version of the song I’ve raved about twice before already.

Sugar Army – Tongues in Cheeks (2009)

Right from the intro, with its short a cappella teaser and accelerating drumbeat, you know this is going to be something special. This is also the best music video of the lot, and perhaps the best video created for any local band.

Emperors – Favourite Colours (2010)

It’s a bit funny that the latest song in this list may be the one that sounds most like it’s from the 90’s, but who cares when the songwriting is this flawless?

All right, now it’s your turn. I know that at least a few of you reading this are afficionados of the Perth music scene. So, what are your own favourite tracks?

Or if you’re an out-of-towner (which is incredibly likely, seeing as half my readership is from the USA now) what songs would you use to introduce me to your own local music scene?

And hey, before you go, here’s some more writing featuring Tucker B’s and Snowman, Jebediah and Sleepy Jackson, Emperors and Mile End.

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