The War on Drugs - “A Deeper Understanding”
Part of me says the War on Drugs are this generation’s Dire Straits, at least for the indie hipster set, but the other part can’t resist their widescreen Springsteen backed by Spiritualized approach, and this might be Adam Granduciel’s best set of songs yet.

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile - “Lotta Sea Lice”
While her partner Jen Cloher took her turn in the spotlight, Barnett teamed up with Philadelphian stoner Kurt Vile for this loose but enjoyable collaboration of Crazy Horse-style jams. Tellingly, its best song was a cover of Cloher’s "Fear Is Like a Forest".

Spiral Stairs - “Doris and the Daggers”
Former Pavement and Preston School of Industry guitarist Spiral Stairs, aka Scott Kannberg, took a minor right turn into slightly off-centre singer-songwriter pop. Bonus track: a 7” single dedicated to his time living in Brisbane called "Pig City".

Cable Ties - “Cable Ties”
Melbourne three-piece whose debut sounds exactly like what would happen if you were to cross Eddy Current Suppression Ring with Sleater-Kinney, marked by the guitar pyrotechnics and bolshie vocals of Jenny McKechnie.

Screamfeeder - “Pop Guilt”
No guilt here. Screamfeeder’s album was another comeback story – their first album since 2005’s “Take You Apart” – and it might be their best, notable for a more even split between songwriters Tim Steward and Kellie Lloyd.

With an honourable mention to…

Sabrina Lawrie - “Hush the Mountain”
With the necessary disclaimer that this long-awaited debut appeared on my own label, it would nonetheless feel remiss not to mention that it’s a brilliantly textured, deeply layered album by a genuine auteur.

Pig City Records

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