Steve Kilbey Picks Five Great Australian Albums

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Australian indie legend Steve Kilbey spent some time in the Double J studio this week and when we put him on The Spot, he selected five great Australian albums.

Kilbey, who is frontman of the church, was adamant that this was in no way a definitive list, just his favourite Australian records today. Had he made the list tomorrow, it would likely be different.

Underground Lovers – Leaves Me Blind

“I’m in awe of the Underground Lovers and I think they’ve never achieved the sort of success that they deserve.”

Kilbey calls this “one of the most underrated and amazing albums.”

“They’d just got on a deal with some hip, boutique label and this album came out and blew my pants right off.”

The Go-Betweens – 16 Lovers Lane

“Unbelievably brilliant, I think the whole album was incredible. Normally if you have an album with two singers and two writers, there’s always one that you like better. Not in the case of The Go-Betweens, two equally talented guys, just like Lennon and McCartney kind of writing these songs that somehow fitted in with each other.”

Icehouse – Primitive Man

“An album I loved and loved and loved to bits. At this stage of the game Iva was Icehouse. There was nobody else; it’s virtually an Iva solo album. He wrote this songs about Helen Of Troy, the song’s called ‘Trojan Blue’ which is also the name of a condom, which I thought was a beautiful metaphor to associate her infidelity and her cheapness and her disposability by evoking the name of this condom in the song.

“I would’ve thought it would be really hard for someone to pull off a song about the Trojan War or the Iliad, which is one of my favourite things, but Iva does it with total aplomb and finishes it off with some beautiful oboe playing.”

Tame Impala – Lonerism

"Tame Impala have brought back psychedelic music. Who have reinvented The Beatles and put them through a 2013 filter. I would’ve thought the last word had been written on psychedelic reinvention, I’ve been trying to do it my whole career, and then Tame Impala come along and effortlessly reclaim The Beatles and psychedlia. A mysteriously wonderful song, you just let it sort of wash all over you."

The Triffids – Born Sandy Devotional

"[‘Lonely Stretch’ is] the most quintessential Australian song ever. It is the most incredibly wild, maverick song. Nothing has ever evoked that feeling of being out in the car and suddenly you’re lost, it’s night time and you’re lost in the bush. Everything that goes through your mind, apparitions he starts to see and all the regrets and all the things that got us lost in the bush somewhere outside Perth on this lonely stretch.

"It’s a really frightening song and as the song picks up momentum and churns along, the paranoia and the speed of the car and the blackness of the night – everything increases. Absolutely quintessential. The sound of Australia."

Listen to Steve Kilbey’s selections on The Spot here.