Dave Faulkner
is a musician best known as frontman of Hoodoo Gurus. He is a music critic for The Saturday Paper.

By this author


Culture February 16, 2019

Methyl Ethel’s Triage

On the latest Methyl Ethel album, Triage, Jake Webb’s extraordinary songwriting is on full display in pop music of unusual complexity.

Music December 15, 2018

Revisiting 2018’s best albums

In his final review for the year, Dave Faulkner looks back at the best Australian albums of 2018 that he missed along the way.

Music November 10, 2018

Bleeding Knees Club’s Fade the Hammer

Bleeding Knees Club’s second album, Fade the Hammer, sees songwriter Alex Wall weave some far-flung influences into his bratty pop punk, from Lightnin’ Hopkins to doo-wop.

Music October 20, 2018

Empress Of and Oh Pep!

The second albums of Empress Of and Oh Pep! see the acts moving from electronica and alt-folk respectively into poppier territory, and making good use of collaborators to assist the transition.

Music September 22, 2018

Liars, TWTWF

Liars’ new album of oblique rock, TWTWF, finds Angus Andrew lyrically exploring the departure of his long-time songwriting partner and sonically drawing on his natural surrounds.

Music September 01, 2018

The Lemon Twigs’ ‘Go to School’

The two young brothers, Michael and Brian D’Addario, who make up The Lemon Twigs, deliver an improbable rock opera masterpiece about an ape raised by humans.

Music August 11, 2018

Gabe Gurnsey and Rebel Yell

While Gabe Gurnsey’s Physical is a slow-burn techno album that evokes the unfolding of a big night out, Rebel Yell’s Hired Muscle delivers a sharp slap of industrial primitivism.

Music July 21, 2018

Punch Brothers’ ‘All Ashore’

Bravura five-piece Punch Brothers deliver a modern take on roots music, and their new album All Ashore has them setting their sights on the tumult of American politics.

Music June 16, 2018

‘Borrowed Verse’

An inspired project led by Brisbane songwriter Simon Munro pairs musicians with Australian poets, living and dead, to create an album of lyrical beauty

Music May 19, 2018

Courtney Barnett’s ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’

With her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett more than delivers on her promise, confirming her as one of the country’s finest songwriters.

Music May 05, 2018

William Crighton’s ‘Empire’

William Crighton delivers the year’s best album, Australian or international, with the charged rock and heartfelt lyrics of Empire.

Music April 14, 2018

Confidence Man and Space Invadas

Confidence Man and Space Invadas both deliver refurbished R&B, but one polishes vintage grooves and the other delivers a fun-packed take on a ’90s dancefloor.

Music March 17, 2018

New albums from Mia Dyson and Sarah Blasko

Mia Dyson and Sarah Blasko’s sixth and career-best albums suggest neither of these accomplished songwriters has yet hit their peak.

Music March 02, 2018

Dick Stusso’s ‘In Heaven’

Nic Russo’s second album as ramshackle country bluesman Dick Stusso delivers melancholic wisdom found at the bottom of a bottle.

Music February 03, 2018

Hookworms’ ‘Microshift’

Hookworms’ third album Microshift sees the Leeds psych rockers take a krautrock turn to underpin lyrics that explore loss and trauma.

Music December 16, 2017

The 2017 Australian Music Prize

The chair of the Australian Music Prize judging panel presents his highlights of this year’s album longlist.

Music November 17, 2017

Mavis Staples’ ‘If All I Was Was Black’

Teaming once more with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples has produced a powerful new album. But, says the veteran performer, her heart aches as she rails still against the racial division she’s been fighting for decades.

Music October 28, 2017

Kllo’s ‘Backwater’

Electronic band Kllo draw listeners in to their downbeat soul with intricate melodies and meticulous sound design.

Music October 13, 2017

St. Vincent’s ‘MASSEDUCTION’

Annie Clark’s latest St. Vincent album, MASSEDUCTION, is an instant classic, delivering an often dark and desolate vision rendered with a glistening pop sheen.

Life September 23, 2017

Bigsound Music Festival

A ‘sense of duty’ took the author to the Bigsound music festival, but it was the talent of up-and-coming artists that truly ignited his passion.

Music August 26, 2017

Randy Newman’s ‘Dark Matter’

Randy Newman’s career spans decades of sharp social observations wrapped in songs drawing on the modern American songbook. His latest album suggests comparisons from Elmore Leonard to Rashomon.

Music August 04, 2017

‘Jen Cloher’ review

That Jen Cloher’s inventive fourth album is self-titled reflects its personal themes, as she writes with candour about her relationship and her place in the world.

Music June 17, 2017

Big Thief’s ‘Capacity’

The lean sound of Big Thief’s second album Capacity is a stripped-back platform for songwriter Adrianne Lenker to build on the promise of their celebrated debut.

Culture May 27, 2017

Songwriter Jimmy Webb on his partnership with Glen Campbell

As his main muse, Glen Campbell, delivers a final album, songwriter Jimmy Webb looks back at his own career in which he delivered some of American popular music’s best-loved songs.

Music May 20, 2017

Coldcut and On-U Sound’s ‘Outside the Echo Chamber’

A collaboration between dance and dub legends Coldcut and On-U Sound delivers an impressively forward-thinking reggae album, with stellar contributions from Roots Manuva, Ce’Cile and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

Music April 29, 2017

Sylvan Esso’s ‘What Now’

On What Now, North Carolinian electronic duo Sylvan Esso successfully meld voice and instruments in a way that dissolves the distinction.

Music April 01, 2017

Polish Club’s ‘Alright Already’

For all the bands who think they know rock’n’roll, Sydney duo Polish Club use their debut album to prove they actually do.

Music March 04, 2017

The Magnetic Fields’ ‘50 Song Memoir’

Composing a song for every year of Stephin Merritt’s life has resulted in The Magnetic Fields’ eclectic five-album tour de force, 50 Song Memoir.

Culture February 11, 2017

Ryan Adams on loss, Springsteen and Whitesnake

Following his grandmother’s death and a painful divorce, Ryan Adams has worked through his losses in his music.

Music January 28, 2017

Cherry Glazerr’s ‘Apocalipstick’

With a sharp and unpredictable songwriter, LA’s new wave pop trio Cherry Glazerr are walking in the footsteps of Blondie.

Music December 03, 2016

A. B. Original’s ‘Reclaim Australia’

Hip-hop duo A. B. Original have delivered an incendiary album describing the experiences of Aboriginal Australia, and it’s the most exciting local release of the year.

Music November 12, 2016

Syd Arthur’s ‘Apricity’

The shifting time signatures of Syd Arthur’s latest psychedelic album, Apricity, testify to the tight musicianship and broad influences of this band of brothers from Canterbury.

Music October 15, 2016

D.D Dumbo’s ‘Utopia Defeated’

Australian solo act D. D Dumbo’s debut album Utopia Defeated marries African desert blues and Captain Beefheart skronk to a darkly mysterious lyrical core.

Music September 24, 2016

Big Scary’s ‘Animal’

Melbourne’s Big Scary have delivered a cycle of dark and intimate songs with a looser, live feel that makes it a masterpiece.

Music September 03, 2016

The Delta Riggs’ ‘Active Galactic’

With flashes of The Strokes and a debt to The Rolling Stones, Active Galactic has The Delta Riggs delivering swaggering dance-floor rock’n’roll the way it’s meant to be.

Music August 20, 2016

Glass Animals’ ‘How To Be a Human Being’

The second album of twisty pop from Oxford’s Glass Animals invites deeper investigation of its themes.

Music July 16, 2016

Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs collaborate for ‘case/lang/veirs’

A collaboration between singer-songwriters Neko Case, k. d. lang and Laura Veirs to record some covers has instead produced an original album of consummate craft.

Culture July 09, 2016

Blackie’s Song a Day project

Legendary Hard-Ons guitarist Blackie is halfway through an epic project – he’s releasing a new song every day of 2016.

Music July 02, 2016

The Avalanches’ ‘Wildflower’

The Avalanches' long-awaited second album expands their crate-digging methods to blend heavyweight guest rappers with Californian sunshine pop.

Music June 11, 2016

Dope Lemon’s ‘Honey Bones’

The debut album from Angus Stone’s side project Dope Lemon is the product of a tightknit band in a relaxed setting.

Music May 28, 2016

Car Seat Headrest’s ‘Teens of Denial’

Car Seat Headrest’s Teens of Denial is not just the rock album of the year, but may be the emergence of a new musical genius.

Music April 30, 2016

PJ Harvey’s ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ and Anohni’s ‘Hopelessness’

New albums from PJ Harvey and Anohni address personal anguish over global political failures with unusual directness.

Music April 02, 2016

Summer Flake’s ‘Hello Friends’

Summer Flake’s Stephanie Crase has made good on all the promises of her first album with a sound that is pensive and intricate.

Music March 11, 2016

Underworld’s ‘Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future’

Unbound from dance floor imperatives, techno legends Underworld’s first album in six years weaves a seductive spell.

Music February 13, 2016

The 11th Australian Music Prize nominees

Chair of the Australian Music Prize judging panel Dave Faulkner provides a rundown of this year’s eclectic shortlist of albums.

Music January 30, 2016

John Cale rerecords ‘Music For a New Society’

The iconoclastic John Cale has rerecorded his notoriously difficult LP, Music for a New Society.

Music December 12, 2015

Benjamin Clementine’s ‘At Least For Now’

Once homeless in Paris, Benjamin Clementine has taken influences from Orwell to Satie to deliver a startling blend of fitful piano and voice.

Music November 14, 2015

Bill Ryder-Jones’s ‘West Kirby County Primary’

A breakdown forced Bill Ryder-Jones to quit music at 25, but he's back with a brilliantly understated new solo album.

Music October 31, 2015

Warumpi Band, ‘Warumpi Band 4 Ever’

A new compilation confirms Warumpi Band's status as one of Australia’s great rock acts, led by the volatile George Rrurrambu.

Music October 03, 2015

Julia Holter, ’Have You In My Wilderness’

Julia Holter threads a range of literary and historic influences into her new abstract chamber pop album.

Music September 19, 2015

Gold Class, ‘It’s You’

Gold Class’s post-punk debut It's You leaves space for lyrics with angry bite and a queer perspective.

Music August 22, 2015

Jess Ribeiro’s ‘Kill It Yourself’

Jess Ribeiro’s new album features dreamlike stories from growing up in a country town and living in the Top End.

Music August 15, 2015

Szymon’s ‘Tigersapp’ — a shortened life’s work

Newcastle musician Szymon seemed to have a stellar career ahead. But tragically the sublime album Tigersapp is to be his sole recording.

Music July 11, 2015

The Chemical Brothers’ Born in the Echoes

The Chemical Brothers return to their block rockin’ best on Born in the Echoes.

Music June 20, 2015

Oh Mercy’s ‘When We Talk About Love’

An ill-fated move to the US left Oh Mercy's songwriter emotionally shattered, but was grist for a heartfelt album of regret and loneliness.

Music June 06, 2015

Normie Rowe shakin’ all over again

Normie Rowe, Australia’s undisputed king of pop in the ’60s, gets a retrospective Frenzy!.

Music May 16, 2015

Hot Chip’s ’Why Make Sense?’

Hot Chip set up an irresistible dance floor with influences from classic house to Daisy Age hip-hop to Prince.

Music April 11, 2015

Sound & Color takes Alabama Shakes to greater heights

Their new record sees Alabama Shakes deliver an inspirational, eclectic sound set loose from their soul roots.

Music March 21, 2015

Matthew E. White’s ’Fresh Blood’

Virginian son of a preacher man Matthew E. White keeps a close musical family and a sharp eye on the Lord.

Music February 28, 2015

Asaf Avidan’s Gold Shadow a gilt trip

With his new poetic album Gold Shadow, Asaf Avidan can be anointed the next Leonard Cohen.

Music November 15, 2014

C.W. Stoneking’s electric boogaloo

C. W. Stoneking’s pursuit of old-timey music and recording techniques is the theatre applied to an original talent.

Music October 04, 2014

Prince of sharpness

Prince triumphantly returns after four years with three eyes and two new albums.

Music August 16, 2014

Benjamin Booker

Fuelled by Delta blues and Florida punk, Benjamin Booker’s debut album has you on the edge of your seat.

Music August 02, 2014

Hip-hop crew One Day’s ’Mainline’ is a track record

Sydney hip-hop crew One Day’s collaboration is about their days growing up together on the ‘Mainline’.

Music June 28, 2014

Jack White’s ’Lazaretto’ a bluesy stomp and holler

Jack White, the musical magpie and avowed Dylan obsessive, has at last made his own Blood On the Tracks.

Music May 24, 2014

Brisbane’s double-barrelled DZ Deathrays

In the tradition of the Buzzcocks and Suicide, Brisbane duo DZ Deathrays let loose some feel-good nihilism.

Music April 19, 2014

Ball Park Music’s ’Puddinghead’ a confident step forward

This Brisbane band has hit another home run with a triumphant third album full of stomping songs.