You have until 16/11/2022 to vote in various categories for the 2022 Aria awards. We thought we would lay all the best singles to give you an insight into what’s going down.
Dreams by Jolyon Petch feat Reigan
Every club in the land was singing this track but it is not without its controversy since its nomination. New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based DJ/producer Petch has been in a back and forth she said/he said conversation with vocalist Reigan. As with many producer relationships these days, the vocalist can sometimes feel rightly reduced to the status of secondary partner in the release. Whatever the arrangement between the two, Reigan Derry feels aggrieved and has made her views felt in a very public way.
The legal ramifications of whether Reigan was a featured artist or not should not detract from the fact that this was a fantastic remake of a Fleetwood Mac classic. Reigan nailed the vocals to such a degree that the public believed that it was a Stevie Nicks sample. Combined with Jolyon’s superb arrangement, it was a track that fulfilled every dance floor need.
“I’ve been DJing for so long, and I’m more on the commercial house kind of tip,” Petch told Sean Brown’s The Vibe podcast. “And I just found that the songs on the dance floor that got the biggest response were either the RnB house kind of cross over things, or like an old-school track that may have been a bootleg.”
I Guess I’m In Love by Clinton Kane
The second single from his second EP, Maybe Someday It’ll All Be OK. The multi-instrumentalist will soothe you and embrace you with his powerful vocals. Splitting his time between the UK and Perth, music has always silenced the demons of his creative soul.
“There’s a phase in hurt and pain where you need to just sit down and scream out your feelings. I could never pinpoint what it was that I was feeling growing up, and all I wanted was to listen to a song and be like: ‘This is it. This is exactly what I’m feeling right now.’ My only hope is that I’m able to be that person for anyone who listens to my music so that they don’t feel alone in this world.”
Hurtless by Dean Lewis
Sydney’s very own Dean Lewis followed up his 2019 debut album with the single “Hurtless”, “Falling Up” and “Looks Like Me”, in 2022. His career has seen him recently play in the USA and after the trauma of the pandemic still hot in the memory, the experience has seen a welcome return to form.
“Sometimes there’s a lot of pressure. I guess successful songs, that all boils down to some good timing and some luck, but for me, I’m just focusing on writing the absolute best song I can every time.”
With the success of “Hurtless” defining 2022, the audio-engineer singer songwriter has much to celebrate.
Say Nothing by Flume feat. MAY-A
After spending so much time in Los Angeles in the uber-clichéd world of fakery, drugs and alcohol, Flume came home. Moving to the Northern Rivers (which is why he gets our vote) Flume is living comfortably among the veggie patchies of the life he has made for himself. His real name of course is Harley Streten and the return to Australia paid dividends.
“This song is about feelings of post relationship clarity. We wrote the song midway through 2020 while the pandemic was still pretty new. I was really excited about the initial idea but it was only once I got back to Australia in early 2021 and linked up in the studio with MAY-A that the song really came to life.”
A brilliant song that speaks to his true talent as a producer, Flume is still a giant of the game.
Glimpse of Us by Joji
“Glimpse of Us” was released as the lead single from Joji’s third studio album Smithereens on 10 June 2022 through 88rising and Warner Records. It was written by Joji, Joel Castillo, Alexis Kesselman, Riley McDonough, and producer Connor McDonough. The song became Joji’s most successful hit single to date, having peaked at number one in Australia, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Singapore, while peaking in the top 10 in Canada, Indonesia, Ireland, Norway, the United States and Vietnam.
The song received with widespread acclaim, with critics praising its simplicity, lyrics and Joji’s emotional vocals. Variously described as a “chilling piano ballad”, a plus “splendid and striking” it explored a much more mature sonic territory in contrast to his previous electronic material.
Down Under by Luude feat Colin Hay
Dirty and full of grinding Drum n’ Bass beats, Luude upgraded Men At Work’s Down Under complete with a flute permeating its way through the entire song. Colin Hay’s voice is unmistakable as the song gets a serious reboot for a whole new generation of listeners,
Released by Sydney label Sweat It Out, it placed 65th on last year’s triple j Hottest 100 and more commercial success followed this year. The track peaked at number 10 on the ARIA Singles Chart, while it became Luude’s first UK top 10 entry.
As Luude stated in interviews, “It was honestly just a bit of fun. I was bored in the studio during COVID lockdowns so I just started remixing random songs that you’d probably not usually try, I chucked a snippet online and people just frothed it instantly.” When Colin Hay heard the bootleg, he climbed on board and rerecorded the vocals.
Let’s hope that this version doesn’t get smashed for the copyright infringement of the original, as it too lends heavily from the Kookaburra Song.
On My Knees by RÜFÜS DU SOL
The Australian raised group were at it again at the back end of 2021 when they released the third song titles On My Knees from their album Surrender. A heavy driven affair, the song was perhaps the most experimental hit to date.
The trio went all out and pinned their talents to a sound deeply embedded in the clubs and closer to the underground than they have ever been before. Tyrone Linqvist’s melancholic and ethereal vocals sensationally empower the song to travel to the farthest reaches of desire.
“For this song we had a lot of fun writing something that was darker, driving and a little more edgy,” says the band’s James Hunt on the single. “It’s definitely one of the most banging tracks on the record (album).”
Far from being on their knees, the single showed that in their world of edgy, electronic grooves they are pretty untouchable.
Thousand Miles by The Kid LAROI
The Australian rapper from South Sydney is the hottest property in today’s fickle market. Originally from the Redfern/Waterloo area, The Kid Laroi’s precocious talent impressed the Australian underground hip-hop scene and he soon came to the attention of American rappers Lil Skies, and Juice WRLD..
In early January 2019, Laroi toured with Juice WRLD during his Australian tour. Then came gigs with Denzel Curry’s Sydney concert and from that moment he never looked back. Relocating to the US, his music has always had more of a connection with that country than his native one but that has never stopped him from being an enormous success in his homeland.
The Kid Laroi wrote the brooding Thousand Miles as a warning to his girlfriend after he first met her telling her she should keep her distance. In Australia, it debuted at number four on the ARIA Singles Chart, making it LAROI’s fifth top-ten entry. It mirrored that success in the USA entering the Billboard Hot 100 at number 15, becoming his fourth top-20 hit and highest debut as a solo artist.
The Kid LAROI is as real as it gets and drops his own truths throughout his songs. “I mean the one thing that I always preach, and I always tell the people around me, or even kids that’s younger than me, is to manifest everything and speak s**t into existence. Even though it sounds weird, but everything, and anybody who knows me can vouch for me on this, everything that’s happened, I’ve spoken into existence. I’ve thought about it, I worked towards it, and it happened. I just was able to pay off our house for my mom in Los Angeles. I moved to Los Angeles. I wanted to do that ever since I was younger. And all of these things that I dreamt of when I was younger is starting to finally come true.”
Cloudy Day by Tones and I
One of our favourite artists here at Aussie Sounds, who is unapologetic about her relationship with celebrity and her love of music will go far in the Aria Awards with Cloudy Day. Released on 10 June 2021 through Bad Batch Records, distributed by Sony Music in Australia and New Zealand and globally by Elektra Records as the third single from her debut studio album, Welcome to the Madhouse.
Discussing the song’s origins, Tones and I said that after her friend Ben Tournier (aka “T”) died in January 2021, she was struggling to complete her album. She was then called into then-Sony Music Australia CEO Denis Handlin’s office who shared with her a saying from his late mother “On a cloudy day, look up into the sky and find the sun”. Tones said, “I knew I wanted to use that as a lyric and the next time I went into the studio I wrote ‘Cloudy Day”.
Dropping a big euphoric pop beat, she unleashed a carefree and positive energy that was more than just a little contagious.
Clarity by Vance Joy
Released on 8 April 2022 through Liberation Music, Clarity was the third single from Joy’s third studio album, In Our Own Sweet Time. According to a press release, Joy wrote it over Zoom with Joel Little shortly after a Halloween party
An upbeat, feel-good sound that is perfect to listen to when you’re chilling with friends, or even just in your own company, the single clearly resonated to a global audience. Speaking on the track in a recent interview, “It’s very upbeat and poppy. Dan Wilson says if there is a song you might be a bit shy about because it feels poppy or makes you feel uncomfortable because it’s saying something really directly that’s probably the single. I got that feeling from ‘Clarity.’ When we finished the song Joel said he could imagine the feel of the production – when he sent it back to me, with the full production, it just exploded. I didn’t see that coming. The original voice memo was me doing mouth trumpet. He even sampled my weak mouth trumpet in the original demo, then that got replaced with the real thing.”
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Jay B McCauley is a renowned award-winning music journalist, broadcaster and record producer. He has written for some of the biggest platforms in the game and runs his own label Vagrant Soundz.