Melbourne based singer/songwriter Ben Wright Smith is currently on an east coast tour, his first run of shows for 2016. Since he’s been spending a few hours in transit, we’ve asked him to share some tunes that get him through the travel. Below is an incredible playlist of absolute jams, perfect for on the road, perfect for anytime, really.
Melbourne friends, there’s still a handful of tickets available for the last two shows of the tour Thursday and Saturday night, don’t snooze.
SMILE – ‘Boundless Plain To Share’
This is the first tune these guys released off their new album Rhythm Method. I’d been a fan of these dudes since their first album but I heard this gem the first time when they were playing an in-store show at a record shop in town. Its got a great driving rhythm and the sparseness of the song seems to allude to driving down the home counting kangas on the side of the road. It is perfectly titled to match its sound and is a great soundtrack to looking out a car window and wondering ‘where is everybody?’
The Drones – ‘Tamen Shud’
The Drones are certainly one of my favorite bands and this song was definitely a welcome surprise on their new record. It could possibly be the most defiant Australian punk songs since bands like The Saints yet takes it to a whole new level. Gareth Liddiard is one of the most powerful lyricist I’ve heard and the band sounds wilder than ever.
King Gizzard Lizard Wizard – ‘God Is In The Rhythm’
Put this tune on and hear the sound of ten minutes of your drive blissfully melt away. Everything these guys are putting out at the moment is sending me into a spin but this particular tune happened to be the one I found on my playlist on our last run of shows.
Parquet Courts – ‘She’s Rolling’
I’ve been loving this band since I got onto them a couple of albums back. I don’t know what it is but their lyrics and messy guitars just make me very very happy. I read somewhere that their favorite band was Eddy Current Suppression Ring but I don’t know if its true. Either way you can definitely hear a reminiscent tone in the skeletal nature of their songs. Simple and clever and cool as fuck.
The Ramones – ‘Baby I Love You’
I’ve been a big fan of the Ramones since my uncle got me onto them as a little kid. One of my most overplayed cds in my car is their ‘It’s Alive’ record… a live record they recorded in London I think. Every song just about plays into each other and the ferocity of this early punky stuff really shines through. That being said one of the underestimated qualities of this band are their melodies. Before I knew what punk music was the lyrics and these melodic tunes spoke to me as a kid. This song is a great example of that. This is one of the few Ramones tunes that moves away from their formula a little and I think the only one I know that includes a string section. It has this great 50’s feel yet I can’t help but feel they’re taking the piss just a little bit.
Girls – ‘Carolina’
This great San Fransisco band put out some incredible stuff during their short life. This song was one of my favorites and was on their Broken Dreams Club EP. Chris Owens has this childish way of singing that I feel like no one else can really infiltrate. Its got this really cool intro that just builds to the final section of the song which is surf-rock glory. Utterly and hopelessly romantic but such a wild ear-worm.
Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird – ‘Melbourne Bitter’
This is a new song from a band that we’re playing with soon and its truly wonderful. There is this sort of sadness in the depth of the lyrics but the upbeat tempo and that Mellotron keyboard just sings. Also being born and raised in Melbourne the lyrics speak to me a lot. I think that anybody living in our southern city as it cools down would find something about this song resonating with them.
Sunbeam Sound Machine – ‘Real Life’
I’ve had a huge love for this band since their first album. The songs are great and lathered in this shimmering, breathing psychedelic haze. This song reminds of driving up in northern New South Wales and Queensland and looking into those deep sections of forest that have infinite layers. If you haven’t listened to their debut album I’d highly recommend it as it has followed me everywhere I’ve gone over the last couple of years.
Redspencer – ‘Everyday’
These Gold Coast dudes make tunes that are reminiscent of days when you’ve got nothing to do but drink cold beers under the hot sun. At the moment I think they’ve just released a four-track EP but each song is great. The stuff really reminds me of up north from that slacker-garage sound made so famous up in Brissy from bands like the Go-Betweens. Really cool melodies and great vibes for a journey along the coast.
Black Sabbeth – ‘Planet Caravan’
We were driving back to where we staying on our last trip up to New South Wales late at night when we put this tune on. Its so deep and dreamy and feels like it could have been produced yesterday. Would recommend this song is listened to through a car stereo.