It’s that time of year again, time to bid 2011 farewell and look ahead to everything 2012 will bring us. But before we close the door on 2011 I thought I’d look back on the music and that made it special for me.

Top 10 Aussie Albums
1.    Busby Marou – Busby Marou
2.   Let’s Go – David Campbell (a welcome Christmas present – look for the review soon!)
3.    Yearlings – Dead Letter Chorus
4.    I Know This Now – Timothy Nelson and the Infidels
5.    One Thousand Origami Birds – Jack Carty
6.    Home – Adrian Deutsch
7.    Bleeders – The Trouble with Templeton
8.    Blood Thinner – Jordie Lane
9.    Go With the River – Owls of the Swamp
10.    Mighty Big Light – Steve Parkin

Top 10 Aussie Tours
1.    Tony Hadley and Go West @ Belmont 16 Footers
2.    Cyndi Lauper @ State Theatre
3.    Dolly Parton @ Allphones Arena
4.    Jimmy Barnes @ Lizotte’s Kincumber
5.    Joshua Radin @ The Enmore
6.    David Campbell @ West Leagues Club
7.    Eddie Vedder @ Civic Theatre
8.    Cold Chisel @ Newcastle Entertainment Center
9.    Indigo Girls @ State Theatre
10.    Rai Thistlewayte @ Lizotte’s Kincumber

Image source: Billy Alexander @

I’ve only just returned from some well earned time away from the office, so this week’s chart report is coming to you a bit late. I was happy to arrive home to see Reece Mastin’s still hanging on to his spot on the top of the ARIA singles charts with “Good Night.” While the album’s dropped slightly to number three, it’s still an amazing effort over this competitive Christmas period.

Guy Sebastian is also continuing to hold his own. His summery single “Don’t Worry Be Happy” remains steady at number six.

Cold Chisel’s best of is the only other Aussie release sitting in the top 10 albums chart. It’s slipped slightly to the number 10 position, which is probably to be expected since their tour is done and dusted.

Click below for this week’s top ARIA 10 charts.

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I’m probably too old to be falling in love with them, but try as I might I can’t resist the charms of The Never Ever and their brand new single “At Sixes and Sevens.”

This simple but ridiculously catchy slice of power pop is the first track to come from The Never Ever’s forthcoming EP, Breathe. That disc won’t hit record store shelves next April, but until then we’ve got the single to tide us over.

The Never Ever will also launch the “At Sixes and Sevens” for hometown fans on the Rocks Rhythm Boat in Sydney Harbour on February 12. That’s one of the more unusual spots I’ve heard for a single launch so it should be a night to remember.

Melbourne singer-songwriter Lindsay Phillips strips it all back for his latest single “Only You (And The Lord),” the second to come from his forthcoming album Taedium Vitae.

The stripped back arrangement really highlights just how special Lindsay is. With little to distract us we focus on his rich voice and the lyrics he sings. I love the way his resonant voice interplays with the steel guitar.

It’s a real departure from the lush orchestration of the first single “Exile,” and personally I prefer this. There’s something so genuine and true about “Only You (And The Lord).” Colour me impressed.

Image used with permission from Show Off Recordings

Merry Christmas Sounds of Oz readers. I hope that whatever you’re doing for the holidays you’re enjoying it.

I’ve probably been up since the wee small hours, because I’m still a big kid at Christmas. I’m wearing oversized bell earrings and a tacky necklace with flashing lights which is likely to annoy my younger sisters immensely. I’m sure I’m drinking and eating too much, but sometimes that’s the best way to deal with the small children that inevitably come with family get togethers. I’ve also probably been thoroughly spoiled by my husband and parents. They’re good like that.

I’m certainly not working. I wrote this post well in advance so I could take the day off. I think after a busy year of blogging I deserve the rest, don’t you? I’ll leave you with The Bedroom Philosopher’s very unique take on “12 Days of Christmas” which comes from his A Very Beddy Christmas EP. With a vengeful ex-girlfriend sending the “gifts”, it’s far from the usual seasonal fare!

Canadian singer-songwriter David Myles is bringing his acoustic folk music to Australia for the first time later this month. He’ll play sets at the Woodford Folk Festival and sideshows in Victoria and New South Wales to promote the release of his new album, Into the Sun.

The disc is actually David’s sixth record, which makes me wonder why it’s taken him so long to get to our shores. And it seems he shares the sentiment!

“I’ve always wanted to tour Australia, and this new album has given me the perfect opportunity,” he said in a press release. “I understand Australian audiences are broad in their tastes, knowledgeable and appreciative of different styles and influences, and I can’t wait to play these songs live – and enjoy a hot Aussie Christmas!”

Tickets are on sale now for the following shows.

27 December 2011 – 1st January 2012 – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford
5 January 2012 – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne
6 January 2012 – The Basement, Sydney
7 January 2012 – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla
8 January 2012 – The Vault, Windsor

Image used with permission from Revolutions per Minute

“I Wrote a Novel” is one of my favourite tracks from The Trouble with Templeton’s debut album Bleeders, so I’m thrilled to see it’s also the disc’s latest single.

Its release is accompanied with this music video which is every bit as whimsical as I hoped it’d be. Remarkably the clip was shot in just one take on one camera. They just don’t make them like this anymore.

Again The Trouble with Templeton worked with his brother Josh on the clip, just as he did on the “Bleeders” video. I think they’ve done a great job, don’t you?

The Trouble with Templeton will play at the Peats Ridge Blues and Roots Festival over the New Year, so if you’re there make sure you head on down to the Chai Tent and check him out!

Joe Robinson hasn’t let the grass grow under him since winning the Australia’s Got Talent title in 2008. The guitar virtuoso left Australia for America’s musical heartland, Nashville, and toured throughout the United States and Europe.

While Stateside, Joe recorded his new album which will hit stores early next year. The release sees Joe showcasing his guitar, vocal, and songwriting skills with a full band for the first time. We’ll get a taste of the tracks on the new recording when Joe comes home this month. He’ll play shows at the Woodford Folk and Thredbo Blues Festivals, along with a handful of sideshows along the East Coast.

Tickets are available from the venues for the following shows.

27 December 2011 – 1 January 2012 – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford
3 January 2012 – Gold Coast Arts Centre, Surfers Paradise
4 January 2012 – Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
5 January 2012 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle
6 January 2012 – The Vault, Windsor
7 January 2012 – The Basement, Sydney
8 January 2012 – Lizotte’s, Central Coast
9 January 2012 – Brass Monkey, Cronulla
11 January 2012 – Bennett’s Lane, Melbourne
12 January 2012 – Albion Hotel, Albury
13-15 January 2012 – Thredbo Blues Festival, Thredbo

Image used with permission from AUM

N’fa Jones really impressed me when he burst onto our music scene with his hip hop act 1200 Techniques way back in 1997. The band fizzled out in 2005, but now N’fa’s back with a new swag of songs.

N’fa’s new single is “Wayooy,” a fun summer groove which features Roots Manuva and M-Phazes. You can download the track for free by entering your e-mail address into the widget above. I’m guessing that’ll add your details to N’fa’s e-mail list, which is a great way to stay in the loop with his music.

“Wayooy” comes from N’fa’s brand new EP Babylondon, which is scheduled to hit stores next March. It’s wonderful to have him back!

I always thought that the best rock songs came out of unrequited love, lust, or a healthy dose of angst. However for Skypilot it seems key historical events work just as well.

The Brisbane band says their new single “Harold (You Sold Your Brother Down)” is about the relationship between King Harold Godwinson and his brother Tostig during the Battle of Hastings. These events happened way back in 1066, yet somehow the band has managed to interpret them in a fresh, modern way. The rich vocals are haunting, and I love the way they build to a haunting crescendo. It’s the kind of song I can imagine hearing in a big stadium, which may indicate where these guys are headed.

“Harold (You Sold Your Brother Down)” is our first taste of Skypilot’s forthcoming EP, which will hit stores in January.

Image used with permission from Paper Street Records