So you’ve finally plucked up the courage to go on that Australian road trip you’ve been talking about. Whether you’re driving across the Nullarbor or traversing the Gibb River Road, you’re most likely going to be driving thousands of kilometres and will want some musical entertainment. Don’t worry fam, we got you. Here’s 10 amazing Australian road trip songs.
- Daughters of the Northern Coast – Australian Crawl
- Jump In My Car – Ted Mulry Gang
- Take Me Home Country Roads – John Denver
- How Soon Is Now? – The Smiths
- I Fought The Law – The Clash
- Down Under – Men At Work
- Motorcycle Emptiness – Manic Street Preachers
- Wide Open Road – The Triffids
- Route 66 – Depeche Mode
- Electricity – Suede
- Follow The Sun – Xavier Rudd
- Australia Street – Sticky Fingers
This may be the perfect song for that Australian road trip you’ve been planning. Even the name of the band says it. You could pick just about any of their songs, but this one stands out above the rest for the sheer amount of Australianness in the lyrics.
With lyrics bordering on drunken hook up, a guitar riff that came right out of the 60’s and plenty of references to the eponymous car, this Australian classic is a sure fire hit for driving down those long cross country roads. Crank the volume up and the windows down for best effect.
Although this is firmly American in tone, it just fits so well with the Australian outback. They’ve got their own strong country music, and in terms of style it’s not wildly different from their American counterparts, so don’t feel too guilty for bringing a little of the states with you. Every time he sings ‘West Virginia’ just replace it mentally with the current state or territory you’re in and you’ll be good.
Now as a huge Smiths fan, I may be a little biased here, but I can’t go on any road trip without at least a couple of their songs on my playlist. While the Smiths aren’t normally noticed for their driving music appeal, this song has such a strong energy that you’ll find it impossible not to speed up a little bit every time that guitar scream comes in. Actually, maybe don’t listen to this one then. Lyrically, the line ‘I’m human and I need to belong’ is very evocative of how the original colonist/exiles must have felt.
Speaking of the transported prisoners that served their sentence in the land down under, there couldn’t be a more fitting song. It’s upbeat energy, almost cheerful lack of regard for consequences and strong rhythm make it one of the perfect songs for an Australian road trip.
It’s all there in the title really. You’ll probably get laughed at for playing it, but so what? Sometimes it’s fun to be completely silly, and these guys knew how to do exactly that.
There are two reasons why this song should be on your Australian road trip playlist. First off is the rather harrowing lyrics that bring to mind a lot of Australia’s history – although they weren’t directly referencing it. The second reason is that it’s just an amazing song to have while the landscape whips past you and you thunder towards the horizon.
A huge song for a huge country. It’s a little more downbeat than some of the other songs we’ve had here, which make it good for the late evening when you’re winding down a little and looking for a place to stop for the night.
Australia has its very own Route 66, so it’d be rude to drive down it and not play this song. This song is full of classic Depeche Mode riffs, gated reverb snares and interesting fills. Honestly it’s just such a fun song to drive to that you should listen to it anywhere you can go at a decent speed.
Although the song has absolutely nothing to do with Australia, road trips or anything else, it has such a powerful surging feel to it that makes it perfect for the road. If you’ve ever had a problem with getting bored or tired while driving, whack this on and your energy just jumps up straight away – which will happen quite a lot when you’re driving through the outback. It’s beautiful, but it’s very much a desert like any other.
With the gentle didjeridoo sounds and Xavier’s beautiful voice, this song is reflective of lots of Aboriginal music. It’s a chilled out piece, with a gentle beat, and mimics what a lot of road-trippers in Australia are doing – following the sun! It’s a fantastic song to put on when you’re beginning a morning drive.
A legendary Australian band, Sticky Fingers really make you appreciate this wonderful island continent. It’s an upbeat tune, guaranteed to have every passenger singing along!
What would be on your ultimate Australian road trip playlist?
There’s a lot of British and a little bit of American music on here. However, Australia is a great combination of the two cultures. You have a massive deep south type landscape, California-esque beaches and it’s the only other country a Brit feels at home, so it makes sense for the music for that Australian road trip to reflect this a little. Still, if you prefer to go native with your music, then don’t let us stop you!
This is a guest post by Zac Green from popular music blog ZingInstruments.com
Planning an Australian road trip? Check out some of my itineraries!
Don’t you want to pin me baby, don’t you want to pin me oh-ohhhh…
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