The Most Popular Australian Music: A Comprehensive Ranking

Choose the music you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 23, 2024 06:48
Welcome to StrawPoll, your one-stop destination for engaging in exciting polls and rankings! Today, we're diving into the melodious world of Australian music, and we need your help to rank the most popular tunes from the Land Down Under! Our list features iconic bands, legendary artists, and unforgettable anthems that have set the world stage alight. But it doesn't end there - you have the power to vote for your favorites, and even suggest a missing gem to make this the ultimate Aussie playlist. So, don't just sit there like a kangaroo in the headlights! Hop on over, cast your vote, and join the conversation as we uncover the true sound of Australia. Let's create the definitive ranking of Australia's musical wonders together - only on StrawPoll!

What Is the Most Popular Australian Music?

  1. 1
    Pop music is the most popular genre in Australia, which includes artists such as Sia, Troye Sivan, and Jessica Mauboy.
    Pop music is a genre characterized by its accessibility, catchy melodies, and broad appeal. It incorporates elements from various other genres, such as rock, R&B, electronic, and hip hop, to create a commercially successful sound. Pop music often focuses on themes of love, relationships, and personal experiences, and its energetic and upbeat nature makes it popular for dancing and entertainment.
    • Catchy Melodies: Pop music is known for its infectious and memorable melodies that easily get stuck in your head.
    • Broad Appeal: Pop music is designed to have a wide audience appeal, targeting listeners of different ages, backgrounds, and musical preferences.
    • Commercial Success: Pop music is commercially driven and aims to achieve mainstream success, often topping charts and dominating the music industry.
    • Accessible Lyrics: The lyrics in pop songs are typically simple, relatable, and easy to understand, making it accessible to a broad audience.
    • Incorporation of Various Genres: Pop music incorporates elements from different genres, such as rock, R&B, electronic, and hip hop, resulting in a diverse and ever-evolving sound.
    Pop music in other rankings
  2. 2
    Australian rock music has a long history, and it is still a popular genre. Bands such as AC/DC and INXS have a global fan base.
    Rock music is a genre of popular music that originated in the United States in the 1950s and quickly spread to Australia, becoming one of the most popular genres in Australian music. It is characterized by its strong beats, electric guitar-oriented sound, and often rebellious and energetic attitude. Rock music encompasses various subgenres such as classic rock, hard rock, punk rock, and alternative rock.
    • Instrumentation: Typically includes electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals.
    • Musical Characteristics: Strong beats, distorted guitar sound, energetic vocals, and often catchy melodies.
    • Lyrics: Themes range from love and relationships to rebellion, social issues, and personal experiences.
    • Influences: Blues, country, rhythm and blues, and later, various subgenres influenced rock music.
    • Popularity: Rock music became popular in Australia in the 1960s and has since remained one of the dominant genres.
    Rock music in other rankings
  3. 3
    Country music is also popular in Australia, and artists such as Keith Urban and Kasey Chambers have made their mark in the genre.
    Country music is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 20th century. It is characterized by its heartfelt lyrics, melodic tunes, and often draws inspiration from traditional folk music. Country music often tells stories about everyday life, relationships, and rural themes. It has gained popularity globally and has influenced various subgenres such as country pop and country rock.
    • Instruments: Guitar, banjo, fiddle, pedal steel guitar, drums, bass, and sometimes piano
    • Typical Tempo: Moderate to fast-paced tempo
    • Vocals: Varying vocal styles, often with a distinct twang or drawl
    • Lyrics: Deeply personal and relatable storytelling, often focusing on love, heartbreak, and rural life
    • Influences: Folk music, blues, gospel, and Western swing
  4. 4
    Electronic dance music (EDM)
    Tasosf · CC BY-SA 4.0
    EDM has gained popularity in recent years, with Australian DJs such as Flume and Alison Wonderland gaining international recognition.
    Electronic dance music (EDM) is a genre of music that is primarily produced for the purpose of dancing and entertainment. It is characterized by its energetic beats, catchy melodies, and repetitive structures, designed to create a euphoric and immersive experience for the listeners on the dancefloor. EDM incorporates a wide range of electronic music styles, including house, trance, techno, dubstep, and more.
    • High BPM (Beats Per Minute): EDM typically features fast-paced beats ranging from 120 to 160 BPM, driving the energy on the dancefloor.
    • Catchy Melodies and Hooks: EDM tracks often showcase memorable melodies and infectious hooks, creating a strong emotional connection with the listeners.
    • Builds and Drops: EDM often follows a structure where it builds up tension and anticipation before dropping into a climactic and energetic section, allowing for dynamic and exciting moments.
    • Heavy Basslines and Synths: EDM prominently features powerful basslines and synthesized sounds, adding depth and intensity to the music.
    • Electronic Instrumentation: EDM heavily relies on electronic instruments such as synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers to create its distinct sound.
    Electronic dance music (EDM) in other rankings
  5. 5
    Hip-hop is also gaining popularity in Australia, with artists such as Hilltop Hoods and Bliss n Eso making waves in the genre.
    Hip-hop music is a genre that originated in African-American and Latinx communities in the Bronx, New York City during the 1970s. It is characterized by its rhythmic and rhyming speech, often accompanied by music that incorporates elements of various genres like funk, soul, and R&B. With its roots in street culture and social commentary, hip-hop has become a global phenomenon, known for its distinctive beats, poetic lyrics, and energetic performances.
    • Subgenres: Hip-hop encompasses various subgenres like gangsta rap, conscious hip-hop, trap, old school hip-hop, and others.
    • Sampling: Sampling plays a crucial role in hip-hop, where artists use portions of existing recordings to create new musical compositions.
    • MCing/Rapping: MCing or rapping is a fundamental element of hip-hop, involving rhythmic speech and lyrical delivery often done in a poetic or storytelling manner.
    • DJing: DJing is an essential component of hip-hop, with DJs using turntables and mixing techniques to create innovative and unique soundscapes.
    • Beatboxing: Beatboxing, mimicking percussion, and sound effects using only the mouth, is another aspect that has become popular in hip-hop.
  6. 6
    Indie music is a growing genre in Australia, with artists such as Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett gaining popularity.
    Indie music is a genre that originated in Australia in the late 1990s and grew in popularity during the 2000s. It is characterized by its independent production and distribution process, often associated with artists who are not signed to major record labels. Indie music encompasses a diverse range of styles including indie rock, indie pop, folk, and electronic.
    • Alternative and DIY ethos: Indie music promotes alternative and DIY (do-it-yourself) approaches, emphasizing artistic freedom and autonomy.
    • Experimental and unique sound: Indie music is known for experimentation, often exploring unconventional sounds and genres.
    • Non-commercial and independent: It encompasses artists who choose to remain non-commercial and independent, maintaining control over their creative process.
    • Diverse and inclusive: Indie music embraces diversity, welcoming artists from various backgrounds and showcases a wide range of musical styles.
    • Lo-fi production aesthetics: Many indie music recordings have a deliberate lo-fi or DIY production aesthetic, often favoring simplicity and authenticity.
  7. 7
    Jazz is also a popular genre in Australia, with artists such as James Morrison and Emma Pask gaining recognition.
    Jazz music is a genre that originated in African American communities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterized by improvisation, syncopation, swing rhythms, and a rich harmonic language. Jazz combines elements of African and European music traditions, incorporating blues notes, complex harmonies, and a sense of individuality and expressiveness in performance.
    • Improvisation: Jazz music is known for its emphasis on spontaneous musical creation, where performers improvise melodies and solos during live performances.
    • Swing rhythms: Jazz music often features swing rhythms, a distinct rhythmic pattern that gives the music a unique energy and groove.
    • Syncopation: Jazz utilizes syncopated rhythms, where accents are placed on unexpected beats, creating a sense of rhythmic surprise and forward motion.
    • Blues influence: Blues is a significant influence on jazz, with the use of blue notes (flatted or bent pitches) and the expression of deep emotions.
    • Harmonic complexity: Jazz incorporates complex harmonies, including extended chords and chord substitutions, allowing for greater musical expression and exploration.
    Jazz music in other rankings
  8. 8
    Classical music is also popular in Australia, with orchestras such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performing regularly.
    Classical music is a genre of art music that originated in Europe during the Baroque period (1600-1750) and continued to evolve over the Classical (1750-1820) and Romantic (1820-1900) periods. It is characterized by complex compositions, sophisticated harmonies, elaborate melodic lines, and skilled orchestration. Classical music often conveys a range of emotions and encompasses a wide variety of styles and forms.
    • Time Period: Classical music evolved from the Baroque period (1600-1750) to the Classical period (1750-1820) and the Romantic period (1820-1900).
    • Complex Compositions: Classical music is known for its intricate and complex compositions.
    • Sophisticated Harmonies: Classical music features sophisticated and intricate harmonic progressions.
    • Elaborate Melodic Lines: Classical music often includes long, elaborate, and expressive melodic lines.
    • Skilled Orchestration: Classical music showcases skilled orchestration, where different instruments are used to create rich and balanced sounds.
    Classical music in other rankings
  9. 9
    Folk music
    Аркадий Зарубин · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Folk music is a genre that has a long history in Australia, with artists such as the Seekers and Slim Dusty gaining popularity.
    Folk music is a genre that originated from traditional and cultural expressions of a specific community or region. It primarily features songs and melodies that have been passed down through generations, reflecting the history, customs, and values of a particular group of people. Folk music often emphasizes storytelling and is known for its simplicity and authenticity.
    • Origin: Evolved from traditional and cultural expressions
    • Emphasis: Storytelling, history, customs, and values
    • Melodies: Simple and authentic
    • Lyrics: Reflecting the community's experiences and traditions
    • Instruments: Acoustic instruments like guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, etc.
    Folk music in other rankings
  10. 10
    Indigenous music is also an important genre in Australia, with artists such as Gurrumul and Archie Roach gaining recognition for their work.
    Indigenous music in Australia refers to the music created and performed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It embodies the rich cultural heritage, traditions, and stories of Australia's First Nations. Indigenous music reflects a deep connection to the land and spirituality, and it encompasses a wide range of musical styles and genres influenced by ancient traditions, contemporary influences, and the lived experiences of Indigenous communities.
    • Traditional Instruments: Didgeridoo, clapsticks, bullroarer, gumleaf, etc.
    • Vocal Styles: Vocables, yidaki (didgeridoo) singing, corroboree chants, storytelling through song
    • Contemporary Genres: Rock, hip-hop, reggae, country, pop, electronic, fusion
    • Cultural Significance: Preserves and celebrates Indigenous languages, stories, and cultural practices
    • Connection to Land and Spirituality: Songs about Dreamtime, creation stories, connection to country

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Ranking factors for popular music

  1. Chart performance
    Analyze how well the music ranks on Australian music charts, such as the ARIA Charts, which measure the popularity of singles and albums in the country.
  2. Radio airplay
    Assess the frequency of a song or artist being played on Australian radio stations across different genres and locations.
  3. Streaming numbers
    Evaluate the number of streams and downloads on popular music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, focusing on statistics within Australia.
  4. Awards and nominations
    Consider the recognition received by the artist or music through Australian and international music awards, such as the ARIA Music Awards, APRA Music Awards, or broader events like the Grammys.
  5. Social media and online engagement
    Analyze the popularity and engagement of the artist or their music on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as online forums and communities.
  6. Concert and festival attendance
    Investigate the demand and attendance for live performances by the artist in Australia, including concerts, music festivals, and other events.
  7. Album and single sales
    Examine the number of physical and digital sales of the artist's albums and singles within the Australian market.
  8. Critical reviews
    Review the reception of the music by critics and publications, both within Australia and internationally, to gauge its impact and significance in the industry.
  9. Longevity
    Evaluate the enduring popularity of the music over time, including chart performance, radio airplay, and streaming numbers over an extended period.
  10. Cultural impact
    Consider the influence and cultural significance of the music within Australia, including its contribution to popular culture, its resonance with Australian audiences, and its representation of Australian identity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Australian music. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or song is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 191 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each song once every 24 hours. The rank of each song is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular australian music

Australia has a vibrant music scene that has produced some of the most iconic artists in music history. From AC/DC to Kylie Minogue, the country has given birth to a diverse range of genres, including rock, pop, country, and hip-hop. Australian music has a unique style that draws from the country's rich cultural heritage, and it has gained worldwide recognition over the years. With such a vast and varied musical landscape, it's no surprise that the question of what is the most popular Australian music is a hotly debated topic. At StrawPoll, we've gathered data from thousands of polls to answer this question and shed light on the music that resonates most with Australians and the world.

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