The Australian music scene is nothing if not diverse, so choosing a "Best of" list will always be a matter of taste. Music is, after all, definitely not a case of one size fits all. Anyone looking for their next MP3 purchase through online retailers like eBay may find their next iPod regular among these four Australian music artists.
When it comes to deciding who should make a list of the best Australian music artists, it's difficult to ignore the achievements of Morgan Evans. Twelve months after being crowned New Artist of the Year, the Newcastle singer-songwriter scooped a record three Golden Guitar trophies at CMC Rocks the Hunter 2014, the Country Music Channel's annual music awards.
But taking home the title of CMC Male Artist of the Year and CMC Oz Artist of the Year wasn't enough for Evans. His video for "Carry On" was hailed the winner of the CMC Australian Video of the Year, and on the same night as the awards he released his self-titled debut album. It seems that Evans' unique sound-often described as something of a blend between Keith Urban and the Foo Fighters-as well as his charismatic stage presence appeals to music fans country-wide.
It was a noteworthy year for Perth-based psychedelic rock group Tame Impala. The group entered 2014 with the critically acclaimed album "Lonerism" having been declared Aria's Album of the Year in 2013. Although the subsequently Grammy-nominated album was pipped to the post by Modern Vampires of the City's Vampire Weekend for Best Alternative Music Album, the group shook off the disappointment when they released "Live Versions for Record Store Day," a release that went on to become the event's highest selling vinyl.
The group said farewell to bassist Nick Allbrook in May, replacing him with Cam Avery of Pond, a band that funnily enough is fronted by Allbrook. Performances throughout the year, such as Primavera in Barcelona and the Sasquatch Festival have cemented Tame Impala's place in any list of the best Australian music artists.
An iconic Australian group, INXS continues to dominate the music charts 17 years after the demise of legendary frontman Michael Hutchence in 1997. The band actually released "The Very Best" greatest hits album back in 2011 when it peaked at a somewhat disappointing number 39, although the screening of the mini-series "INXS: Never Tear Us Apart" on the Seven Network in February 2014 soon took care of that. The album immediately re-entered the charts, peaking at #1 and has since been declared the highest selling Australian album of 2014 so far by themusic.com.au.
It may be more than 25 years since the release of the band's critically acclaimed album Kick, and almost 40 since the band first played pubs and clubs in Western Australia as the Farriss Brothers, but their music is as relevant today as it is ever was.
Consistently compared to Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, the Sydney-born and Melbourne-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett has continued to turn heads in 2014. Riding off the success of the "Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas," a hack of previous EP releases "I've Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris" and "How to Carve a Carrot Into A Rose," 2014 has seen Barnett play to an appreciative crowd at the UK's Glastonbury Festival as part of a three-month world tour. The appearance undoubtedly played a role in securing Barnett a nomination for the British Aim Awards Independent Breakthrough of the Year.
Fans are still waiting for her next release, a full-length album recorded with Burke Reid in April 2014, although with the July drop of the single "Pickles From The Jar," Barnett's has ensured she is one to watch in 2014 and beyond.