Top 10 modern Aussie songs

By AG Staff 24 January 2014
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The best Aussies songs since 1990

We’ve given you the top classic Australian songs, and now, here’s the list of the best modern Aussie tunes.

1. Island Home – Christina Anu

Written and originally performed by Neil Murray with his Warumpi Band in 1986, the song received more commercial success in 1995 when covered by Christine Anu. Although often associated with the ‘island home’ of Australia, Murray writes on his website that the song came into his head while travelling on a bus, born from a longing to return to the home he had visited of singer George Rrurrambu, at Elcho Island.


2. My Happiness – Powderfinger

No modern Aussie song list is complete without Powderfinger. Lead singer/songwriter Bernard Fanning has said the song was inspired by the loneliness felt while touring.


3. Dumb Things – Paul Kelly

Even just the opening chords get you grooving. Dumb Things is an example of Kelly’s ‘character-based’ songs, this was the fourth single from Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls. It has appeared in several films and TV shows.


4. Treaty – Yothu Yindi

Treaty was written by indigenous Australian band Yothu Yindi in collaboration with Paul Kelly to raise awareness of the Australian Government’s lapsed promise to enter a treaty with Indigenous Australians by 1990. 


 5. Born to Survive – Troy Cassar-Daley

The song by country music heavy-weight Cassar-Daley describes a stoic outlook, born of the tough outback Australian life. 


6. Prisoner of Society – The Living End

The rock anthem of the late 90s, Prisoner of Society struck a chord with Generation X in Australia and kept it at the top of the charts.


7. Amazing – Alex Lloyd

This rock ballad was met with success in Australia and New Zealand, and was Sydney-born Lloyd’s first to enter the UK charts. He performed Amazing at the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami fundraising concert outside the Sydney Opera House.


8. Zebra – John Butler Trio

A catchy song of opposites, Zebra urges us Aussies to think about our actions: “I could be ignorant or I could be informed; I could lead my life man or I could be led.” da-da da-da-da, da-da da-da…


9. Born to Try – Delta Goodrem

Winning several awards, the piano-based song featured on Goodrem’s hugely successful debut album Innocent Eyes, which according to the ARIA chart sales was the highest-selling album in Australia from 2000-2009.


10. Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet

Band member Chris Cester has reportedly cited Motown hits for the inspiration behind the sound of the song, which won Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2003. This song will get any Australian Day party rocking.