I’ve only just caught up with what down at the ARIAs last night. I have a Wednesday night date at the local RSL with the members of my trivia team Fusion, so I caught it on the DVR today.

Overall I enjoyed this year’s ceremony a lot more than last year’s. It was a joy to watch Neil Finn and Paul Kelly performing together, to be reminded of how good young things like Five Seconds of Summer and Sheppard are in the live arena, and to see Molly Meldrum and Countdown take their rightful place in the Hall of Fame. Chet Faker’s performance was also spellbindingly good. I like to think those squealing 5SOS and 1D fans in the front learned a few things watching this man play. Ditto Dan Sultan.

But I have to wonder, why do we insist on fawning over the international celebrities? Why do we hype up Katy Perry presenting an award, and give One Direction a plum spot on the running time? I’m probably more of a 1D fan than a woman in her mid-thirties should be, but it still felt a little odd to me. A show like last night reinforced yet again that Australia has such a rich, diverse array of talent. So why don’t organisers focus on that? It’s not like the addition of these big-name stars seemed to do much for the ratings after all.


The Madden Brothers might have brought Justice Crew’s record-breaking run to an end, but Sia’s given us a reason to smile this week. Her sixth studio album 1000 Forms of Fear has hit number one on debut. This album’s gone one better than her last, We Are Born, which peaked at number two. Her smash single “Chandelier” is also still selling well. It’s at number five.

Sia’s one of four Aussie acts sitting in the ARIA top five this week. Last week’s number one and two, 5 Seconds of Summer and Hillsong’s No Other Name, are at four and five respectively, edged out by the debut of Adelaide-born rapper Allday’s debut LP Startup Cult.

The McClymonts’ fourth album Here’s To You & I is their third to hit the top ten. It’s debuted at number eight this week, just ahead of Chet Faker’s Built on Glass which slipped two to land at number nine.

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I ordinarily try to write about the ARIA charts whenever an Aussie act’s on top. However, other work commitments have seen me missing a few of the weeks during Justice Crew’s impressive reign. It’d be remiss of me to not publish an article now though, as their song “Que Sera” has broken the record for the most number of weeks an Aussie act’s spent at the top of the ARIA Singles Chart. With nine weeks, they’ve gone one better than Austen Tayshus’ “Australiana,” Savage Garden’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply,” and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” They’re still a few weeks away from equalling the overall record 13 weeks that Coolio spent on top with “Gangsta’s Paradise,” but very close to eclipsing the pre-ARIA record of 10 weeks that Daddy Cool’s “Eagle Rock” spent at number one in 1971.

Justice Crew have got some stiff competition in the form of fellow Aussie Sia, who’s having a comeback with “Chandelier.” After it appeared to be on the downslide, the song’s jumped six spots to land at number two.

Aussies are also seeing joy on the album charts, with 5 Seconds of Summer landing the number one spot with their self-titled album on debut. This album’s already spawned six top 20 hits, including the number one “She Looks so Perfect,” so its dominance was probably inevitable, but it’s still a real victory for the boys. They managed to head off the might of the Hillsong Church, who sit at number two in their first week with No Other Name.

Like Sia, Chet Faker’s also back on the upswing. His former number one album Built on Glass is back in the top ten for the first time since May. Clearly his current national tour is paying dividends!

And as if that wasn’t enough local love in the charts, 360’s also making his presence felt with his album Utopia. It sits at number eight this week.

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Justice Crew have achieved their best chart success to date this week, after “Que Sera” clocked up a third consecutive week at number one.

As I predicted, Sia reaped the benefits of her conversation-starting performance on Ellen. Her current smash “Chandelier” jumped five places, from number ten to number five this week.

Sheppard’s “Geronimo” flagged a little this week, dropping three places to land at number six. Iggy Azalea was back in the top ten this week with “Fancy.” The song climbed two positions to sit at number nine.

In the albums charts our local talents were clustered down the bottom of the top ten. Chet Faker’s Built on Glass climbed three to be our best Aussie performer at number seven. This week’s most improved must go to Rufus though, who climbed from number 50 to number eight with Atlas. INXS have fallen four places, but 41 weeks after its release they won’t complain about sitting at number nine with The Very Best.

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It’s a little belated after a busy week, but I couldn’t resist tipping my proverbial hat to Justice Crew, who’ve clocked up their second week at the top of the ARIA singles charts with “Que Sera.” The achievement matches their previous record of two weeks at number one with “Boom Boom.” Could this song go one better?

Sheppard prove there’s still life in “Geronimo,” with the song moving up one position to number three this week.

Sia rounds out the top ten with “Chandelier.” Will her performance on Ellen that’s got everyone talking this week send it back up the charts?

INXS are the best of the Aussies on the albums charts. Their Very Best Of has also had a resurgence this week, rising from number nine to five.

Harrison Craig’s also up the up with L.O.V.E. It moves up one spot to claim number six.

Chet Faker’s holding steady with Built on Glass at number ten.

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Justice Crew have stormed to the top of the charts with the debut of their latest single “Que Sera.” This is their second number one, following “Boom Boom” in August 2012.

One of the other local acts to top the charts this year, Sheppard, are still going gangbusters with “Geronimo,” which sits at number four seven weeks after its release.

Also in its seventh week, global smash Iggy Azalea has moved up two places to sit at number seven with “Fancy.”

Sia’s also showing her staying power with “Chandelier,” which is at number nine two months after its first chart appearance.

We’re also seeing some impressive debuts on the albums charts. Thundamentals have debuted at number three with So We Can Remember, the third album from the hip hop group from the Blue Mountains and their first to grace the top 50.

Byron Bay hardcore act In Hearts Wake will also be happy with the number five debut of their sophomore album Earthwalker. This is their first top ten appearance after Divination peaked at number 27.

The Mothers’ Day rush has helped Harrison Craig hold steady at number seven with L.O.V.E. INXSThe Very Best and Chet Faker’s Built on Glass round out the top 10.

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For the second week running we’ve got a pair of Aussies sitting on the top of the charts. Both Sheppard and Chet Faker have continued to dominate the singles and albums charts respectively. With their third week at number one, Sheppard’s “Geronimo” becomes the first song since Guy Sebastian’s “Battle Scars” to enjoy a multi-week run at the top of the singles charts. Chet Faker’s also breaking records. Built on Glass is the first Aussie album to enjoy consecutive weeks at number once since the Sapphires soundtrack reigned in August 2012.

But that’s not the only good news. We’re enjoying a real purple patch, with four singles and six albums sitting in the top 10. All but one album in the top five is a local release too!

Sia is breathing down Sheppard’s neck with her song “Chandelier,” which holds steady at number two this week. Jessica Mauboy and Peking Duk have both fallen a little this week, but they’re still selling well to appear in the top ten. “Never Be the Same” has slipped one spot to land at number seven this week, while “High” has dropped three spots to land at number eight.

Somehow I don’t think Jess will be too disappointed though, as her latest album Beautiful has zoomed from number 17 to number four this week. This is the first time the album’s been in the top 10 since October 2013. She’s just behind INXS, whose The Very Best has dropped to number three this week.

Harrison Craig’s proved he’s got real staying power with L.O.V.E., which sits at number five again. I expect it to linger around a little longer too as we head towards Mother’s Day.

The final two Aussie entries in the albums charts come from Russell Morris and Dan Sultan. Van Diemen’s Land and Blackbird are at number seven and eight respectively.

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The incomparable Chet Faker is preparing to release Built on Glass, his first full-length album and the follow-up to his gold-selling and critically acclaimed EP Thinking in Textures.

The lead single “Talk is Cheap,” sets the tone, an ambient number with a soulful core which effortlessly melds soul, house, and electro influences.

Built on Glass will be released by Future Classic & Opulent on April 11. Preorder it and you’ll instantly receive “Talk is Cheap” and “Melt,” featuring Kilo Kish, to tide you over until the album’s release.

How good is RocKwiz this year? I must admit, the show used to be something I caught now and again. However when Spicks and Specks ended, it became compulsory viewing to satisfy my music trivia cravings. While I love yelling out the answers to the questions at my television set, the highlight for me is always those duets at the end. You just never know quite what you’re going to get, and it’s so often magical. One of my favourites in recent weeks was the coming together of Chet Faker and Saskwatch frontwoman Nkechi Anele for David Essex’s “Rock On”. If this doesn’t get you grooving, nothing will!

Chet Faker’s been quite the jetsetter over the last couple of months. He toured Europe with The Temper Trap and played big international festivals South by Southwest and The Great Escape. But these were just the warm up shows for his forthcoming Australian tour to celebrate the release of his new single “Love and Feeling.”

The track is the latest to come from Chet’s album Thinking in Textures, which has earned critical acclaim in the UK, the US, and his native Australia.

Chet will kick off his Australian tour with a slot at Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass before hitting the country’s best clubs.

27-29 July 2012 – Splendour in the Grass Festival, Byron Bay
3 August 2012 – The Bakery, Perth
4 August 2012 – Mojos, Fremantle
16 August 2012 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
17 August 2012 – Trinity Bar, Canberra
24 August 2012 – Cats @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide
7 September 2012 – Revolt, Melbourne
14 September 2012 – Up Late @ GOMA, Brisbane