Here are the best Aussie pop lyrics of the last decade
There’s no denying Australia is home to some of the most talented modern day songwriters. Artists who know how to capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of fans, gifting them with nuggets of inspiration and advice when its needed most. From Conrad Sewell to Sia, our homegrown talent is spreading their wings globally.
If you’re in need of your next Instagram caption, or just that little bit of inspiration to get through the rest of today, here are the best Aussie pop lyrics of the last decade!
Conrad Sewell – ‘Healing Hands’
“You were there for me when I was falling apart and I let you down, it left a mark on your heart”
Pop songwriting wunderkind Conrad Sewell strikes to the crux of human desire and regrets on ‘Healing Hands’. Featured on his 2018 2-track EP Ghosts & Heartbreaks. It’s a brutally honest musing on what it means to wish for a due-over – ‘Healing Hands’ showcases an immense level of self-reflection, articulated in a way only a seriously gifted song-writer could pull off. It’s intimate sharing of begging for forgiveness and growth after a particularly gruelling period in Sewell’s life.
“I was drunk a lot. And I was a party boy. And I have a bit of a reputation of it in the industry and outside the industry […] It is something I personally battle with and struggle with” a personal struggle that influenced the track’s heart-wrenching lyrical reference” said Sewell in a recent interview with Tone Deaf.
The tracks’ soaring piano-carried, soaring chorus is a masterclass in anthemic pop perfection with lyrics like “if i get drunk in the park stumble home in the dark break into the apartment set off all the alarms” offering personal anecdotes that require an impressive level of bravery to commit to.
Amy Shark – ‘Adore’
“I want the entire street out of town just so I can be alone with you”
There’s something wonderfully universal about Amy Shark‘s 2016 track ‘Adore’. It’s perfect portrayal of yearning, longing and the innocence of an all-encompassing crush sings sweetly to the desires of young and old. ‘Adore’ encompasses that frustrating feeling of seeming to always run out of time at the end of the night, never having said enough and constantly wanting more. The simplicity of the lyrics matched with the understated humbly plucked guitars and love-sick vocal performance culminates in a sickeningly sweet feast of indie-pop saccharine.
Troye Sivan – ‘Heaven’
“Without losing a piece of me. How do I get to heaven?”
Troye Sivan is the mouthpiece of a generation raised on the love-sick sentiments of Tumblr, searching for self-acceptance and celebration. Co-written by Jack Antanoff and Grimes, the 2015 track ‘Heaven’ details Sivan’s deeply personal coming out experience.
“When I first started to realise that I might be gay, I had to ask myself all these questions—these really really terrifying questions. Am I ever going to find someone? Am I ever going to be able to have a family? If there is a God, does that God hate? If there is a heaven, am I ever going to make it to heaven?” explained Sivan.
It’s introspective and invasive, confronting the listener to enter Troye’s experience – it’s unadulterated emotion.
Mallrat – ‘Better’
“Everyone’s alive so everything’s alright, But maybe when the summer ends I’ll drift away from all my friends”
On Mallrat’s 2016 track ‘Better’, the bittersweet essence of fleeting youth stings in the most nostalgic of places. There’s a certain melancholy drenched through her rap-sing vocal stylings that reverberate over the track’s glittering synths and jaunty plucked guitars. Mallrat reminds us of the harsh realities of growing up and growing apart from those who played a huge role in our formative years, showcasing a lyrical expertise well beyond her years and wisdom.
Vera Blue – ‘Lady Powers’
“I know that you think I’m going crazy, but I’m not gonna settle for anything short of amazing, couple billion on the earth, don’t you think I deserve someone who puts me first?”
Underneath its pulsating bass grooves and eclectic synth stylings, Vera Blue’s 2017 pop banger ‘Lady Powers’ offers up an intense and all-encompassing message of self-empowerment. The track acts as a call to arms amongst women, making a strong statement against settling for those who appear to be unappreciative of your flame. Vera carries scorching lyrics like “I thought that you said you’d buy me flowers, so you had me waiting here for hours” and “I’m not gonna settle for anything short of amazing” with her powerhouse vocal performance, making for a total anthem.
Montaigne – ‘Till It Kills Me’
“It is bizarre that we’re taught to hate ourselves for our flaws, And now you are caught, You are obsessed with the light don’t, understand why inside, you can’t expel all the dark”
Messages of sheer positivity and self-growth don’t often shine through as vividly and as wholesomely as on Montaigne’s exceptional 2016 track ‘Till It Kills Me’. One of Australia’s finest alt-pop exports sings a tale of fighting your demons until a light at the end of the tunnel is achieved. Montaigne assumes the persona of a superhero, ready to inspire and encourage those who haven’t yet found their inner-strength.
Sia – ‘Never Give Up’
“I’m haunted by the distant past Called to the skies but she was she overcast”
Sia is undeniably one of Australia’s finest ever songwriters. The premise of the 2016 track ‘Never Give Up’ (featured on the soundtrack for the film Lion) is simple yet poignant. The choruses memorable refrain cornerstones the song’s meaning, whilst the verses are lathered in lyrical nuggets like “I’ve battled demons that won’t let me sleep, called to the sea but she abandoned me”.
The article was originally published on Tone Deaf