Our all-time favourite songs by Australian Eurovision artists for AusMusic month
This month, November, is AusMusic Month, which is all about supporting and celebrating Aussie artists, as well as all those who work in the Australian music industry.
Every year in November Triple J hosts AusMusic month. It is a whole month to celebrate Australian music along with a AusMusic T-shirt Day where you wear an Aussie acts t-shirt with pride to show your support for the Australian music industry.
With tours and festivals cancelled or postponed, venues closed, and careers put on hold, Australians in the music industry have been doing it tough in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We at Aussievision would like to honour the fantastic contributions our homegrown heroes have made to the music scene nationally and internationally. So today the Aussievision team shares their all-time favourite (non-Eurovision) songs by Australian Eurovision and Australia Decides artists.
Read on to find out!
Dami Im - 'Gladiator'
Released: 8 August 2014
Kyriakos: ‘Gladiator’ is one of my all-time favourite songs from Dami Im as its so inspiring, uplifting and empowering. It’s infectious pop which I love! It is also Dami’s first official released single which she co-wrote, super glad to now see her now writing her own music and in her own direction like on her new album ‘My Reality’. ‘Gladiator’ is a stepping stone to where she is now as an artist. The music video is stunning, Dami looks incredible as always!!
Guy Sebastian - 'Battle Scars' ft. Lupe Fiasco
Released: 10 August 2012
Hugo: I absolutely love this song with all my heart! Guy’s voice is smooth as ever, and that hook and chorus is so infectious and catchy. Seeing how big this song made it overseas, especially the US gave me so much pride, and this song was certainly on repeat for me as a kid! Just about the perfect song in my eyes.
Kate Miller-Heidke - 'The Last Day On Earth'
Released: 24 July 2009
Ally: One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and also one of the most haunting, in my opinion this is Kate Miller-Heidke at her best. Although not normally my kind of song, I still think this is a beautiful masterpiece and when I think of Kate Miller-Heidke, I think of 'Last Day on Earth'.
Vanessa Amorosi - 'Absolutely Everybody'
Released: 15 November 1999
Steven: The year after its Australian release, and in the wake of Vanessa’s performance at the Sydney Olympic Games, 'Absolutely Everybody' was a big hit across Europe, coinciding with the in-country year of my university language studies.
I distinctly remember jumping around to the sheer joyfulness of the track and its - to my mind at least - message of inclusivity and equality.
Absolutely everyone I knew absolutely loved letting loose to this late 90s pop classic.
Laura: 'Absolutely Everybody' is serotonin in song form for me. When those four synth chords hit at the start of the song, you know you're in for the banger of a lifetime! From the inclusive, relatable lyrics, to THAT powerful high note, this song is phenomenal and uplifting from start to finish. Vanessa Amorosi has talent in spades!
'Absolutely Everybody' is so uplifting and nostalgic to me. It reminds me of the simpler good times of my childhood and it had me bopping around as a 5-year-old when the song was released. It was on the first compilation CD I ever had and I must have driven my parents round the bend with my constant demands for it to be played again and again on long drives. It's difficult to be sad when this song is playing. I'm glad that it was one of my earliest memories of pop music; I have it to thank for my love of dance pop to this day.
Jessica Mauboy - 'Running Back' ft. Flo Rida
Released: 1 October 2008
Josh: A decade before she took the stage to represent Australia at Eurovision, Jess teamed up with Flo Rida for her debut solo single.
The moody tinged R&B mid-tempo track was the perfect vehicle to show what Jess was made of, after she broke off from musical group the Young Divas.
Future San Marino 2021 Eurovision rapper Flo Rida tops off the song with one of my favourite unexpected rap features of the late 2000s. Jess later tops this by managing to grab Snoop Dogg for her sophomore album's lead single!
Jess showed the glimmer of how much of an Australian icon she would grow to be with Running Back.
For people that may have counted her out when she lost out on the crown in Australian Idol, Jessica is having the last laugh sitting on 5 albums being certified Platinum in Australia and 9 top ten hits.
Killing Heidi - 'Mascara'
Released: 10 November 1999
Guy: 'Mascara' is an energised rock stomper with loads of the Killing Heidi trademark twists and turns, where Ella brilliantly turns the dial from softer melodic vocals to full belting rock and back again. It’s crammed with hooks and it never fails to pump me up.
It was a great period for Aussie music and I remember Killing Heidi bursting into the scene with the ‘Reflector’ album, topping the charts and cleaning up at the ARIA Awards the following year.
Montaigne - 'Because I Love You'
Released: 3 June 2016
Cooper: This song is a perfect indie-pop banger! Like many other songs by Montaigne, ‘Because I Love You’ has such an original sound with a sprinkle of quirk. The infectious production mixed with killer lyrics makes this track that perfect Triple J hit song played on rotation. Montaigne makes every song her own and that’s why they work so damn well, ‘Because I Love You’ is just one example of that.
Killing Heidi - 'Weir'
Released: 5 October 1999
Mark: It gives me such joy that this little rock song, written by a couple of teenage siblings from country Victoria, is now firmly ensconced in the annals of Australian music history.
It’s got all the ingredients of a classic.
Addressed to an “old friend” who later becomes “lover”, ‘Weir’s’ tender verses are laden with a youthful nostalgia (reminiscent of Tina Arena’s ‘Wasn’t It Good?’)
That pre-chorus, asking “Will you?”, is the perfect invitation for the listener to join in what is an explosive and anthemic chorus. Therein lies the Killing Heidi secret sauce: the dynamic juxtaposition of soft and hard, loud and soft.
Then there are Ella’s vocals, their power and versatility perhaps best captured in the bridge by her hypnotic vocalising.
Also, 12-year-old me didn’t know what a weir was when the song dropped in 1999, so mark it down as educational too.
Emma: Killing Heidi's first single 'Weir' brings back so many memories for me. I fell in love with it after seeing the video played on ABC's Rage and instantly loved the light and shade between Ella's soft sweet verses and shouty chorus. I loved belting it out in the car when it came on the radio and it did - usually multiple times a day! It was great to see a young Aussie band do so well and go on to have the career that they did, particularly Ella. A song I still enjoy listening to today!
Olivia Newton-John - 'Xanadu' (with Electric Light Orchestra)
Released: 6 June 1980
Liv: Always have a soft spot for Olivia Newton-John (especially considering we share names and my middle initials are NJ) - Xanadu is such an atmospheric and special song. A lot of contemporary artists try to replicate those iconic 80s sounds in today's hits - but they're nothing quite like the original.
Fleur: From that opening note, you knew that this song was magic- pun intended.
In 1980 I had no idea what Eurovision was but I sure knew about Olivia Newton-John and roller skating. Xanadu is pretty much the 6 degrees of Eurovision rolled into one movie. Plus, as a bonus you get ELO.
So it’s not the greatest movie ever but the soundtrack is fantastic - except for a couple of songs (you know which ones). 'Xanadu' the song has always been one of my favourites and I’m still like a 5 year old kid when I hear it. In 2018 we ‘Dare(d) to dream’ but Xanadu taught us not to give up on our dreams.
And yes, I’m an ELO fan too.
Mark Vincent - 'Compass'
Released: 19 April 2010
Ford: Australia's operatic talents are wildly under-appreciated in this country, but one of the standouts from the pack who has come to household recognition has been Mark Vincent. 'Compass' as a song was one of Mark's first forays into his own original operatic music, and made a beautiful impact on the Australian music scene, showing that there was more musical talent in the country than just pop and country.
Here are some honourable mentions from the rest of the team that didn't make the selected 10 songs:
Kate Miller-Heidke - 'Ride This Feeling' (Craig)
Montaigne - 'Love Might Be Found (Volcano)' (Tim)
Did your favourite Aussie artist make the list? Let us know your favourite song on our socials.
Check out our previous Aussievision Picks article "Our favourite (non-Eurovision) songs by Eurovision artists".