FeaturesWritten by Wil Wagner on November 13, 2018
The countdown is ON til one of our country’s best boutique festivals Fairgrounds returns to kick off the summer festival season in spectacular style, with a blockbuster music lineup and oodles of cool outdoor activities.
The event will takeover Berry’s iconic showground, just two hours south of Sydney, from Friday 31st November – Saturday, 1st December with a swimming pool, tug-o-war, sack racing and a record fair, not to mention live performances from the likes of Vance Joy, Pond, Courtney Barnett, Billy Bragg and loads more.
And to get us HYPED in the lead-up, beloved Smith Street Band frontman Wil Wagner — who’ll be playing the fest in solo mode — has curated the ultimate Fairgrounds Festival pump-up playlist for our listening pleasure, complete with a bite-sized rationale of each of his song selections.
Check it out below, or cop a squiz of the full Fairgrounds 2018 lineup & set times right here.
Wil Wagner’s Fairgrounds Festival 2018 Pump-Up Playlist
Fascinator – ‘The Traveller’
This song kinda reminds me of Happy Mondays, danceable and droney with cools sounds and loops
Vance Joy – ‘Lay It On Me’
I absolutely love this song, the production is amazing. The way the pre chorus builds up and then those horns come in is so great.
Courtney Barnett – ‘Avant Gardner’
“The paramedic thinks I’m clever cause I play guitar, I think she’s clever cause she stops people dyin” is one of the all time great lines.
Billy Bragg – ‘The Home Front’
This was the hardest one to choose because Billy has so many incredible songs but this is just so beautiful. Such evocative story telling set against a moving backdrop of plucked guitars and horns.
The Breeders – ‘Divine Hammer’
At the end of the day aren’t we all just looking for one divine hammer?
Pond – ‘Waiting Around For Grace’
This song starts like a wobbly space age David Bowie song and then just kicks in to a good time rocker. So many cool layers in the production and the drums sound great.
Winston Surfshirt – ’21 Questions’ (triple j like a version)
I’m not very familiar with Winston Surfshirt but I am very familiar with 50 Cent, especially this record which was a high school special for me. This cover is cool as hell, I gotta listen to more Winston!
Body Type – ‘Palms’
Played a few shows with these gals and they’re so great. Love the vocals, especially the layers and harmonies. Very cool band that are gonna be huge!
Carla Geneve – ‘Greg’s Discount Chemist’
Hadn’t heard of Carla before but fuck, this song is great. Love any song that name drops Codral. Definitely gonna watch her set!
Kevin Morby – ‘Harlem River’
Hadn’t heard of this guy either but his songs are cool and spooky sounding! His recording style is very interesting, there’s so much space and air in the songs. This song reminds me of Nick Cave.
Maddy Jane – ‘Thank You And Sorry’
Classic Australian song writing. Love her voice and her lyrics. Great song.
Oh Pep! – Your Nail And Your Hammer
The second hammer related song on this playlist but I loooove this song! Such a fun and cool tune! Great lyrics and I love the production!
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘French Press’
I was tempted to pick their song The Hammer just to keep the hammer vibe going but this is one of my favourite songs of the last year. I reckon I’ve listened to it 100 times, it’s so good. Listen to this band!
Saba – ‘Stoney’
Love this beat, it’s weird as hell. I hadn’t listened to much Saba but I’m gonna get more into him now, he’s really unique and good!
Sampa The Great – ‘F E M A L E’
I love Sampa, she’s so good. We’ve tried to get her on a tour a few times but scheduling hasn’t worked. Love a lot her songs but this is pretty anthimec and inspiring!
The Teskey Brothers – ‘Pain And Misery’
This song is smoooooth I love it. How good is that fucking voice aswell. We’ve played with these guys a couple times, they’re nice folks and nail this sound live which isn’t easy! Another song with great production. Those muted horns are very classy.
Tia Gostelow – ‘Phone Me’
Lovely song! Reminds me of DIIV a bit? Cool sounds and lyrics, she has a great delivery and drawl.
P.S Eliot (Waxahatchee) – ‘Tennessee’
Okay this is kinda cheating because this is Katie and Allison Crutchfield’s band from before they started Waxahatchee but I just love this song. I covered it a fair bit at my early solo shows. It’s very nostalgic and important to me. But I also love the latest Waxahatchee record that they made with the legendary John Agnello. It’s a great change of pace, they got louder and faster and I’m into it.
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