Nylex Clock & Yarra River- Punt Road, Victoria.

Songs on Victoria

By Matilda Edwards | @matildaedwards

LEAPS AND BOUNDS – Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls

It’s often the first song that springs to mind when you think of Victoria, or when you’re pulling into Richmond Station and spot the Nylex silo clock out of the corner of your eye.

Kelly wrote this sparkling dedication to nothing in particular while living in a little house in South Yarra.

It’s about Melbourne’s weird and wonderful landmarks, the significance of our MCG and the football that is the centre of our universe. As general reminiscence and memory of what’s around us, it never fails to induce a tear of nostalgia for home.


If you’ve ever been to Dandenong station you’ll know why this is brilliantly tongue-­in­-cheek and utterly hilarious.

Another entry from a Kelly, the monarchs of Australian music, from an album that also includes a song called ‘Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam’ – it literally couldn’t be more Australian if it tried.

Representing Melbourne’s outer suburbs, it has a beautiful pop sensibility and witty lyrics that deprecate the ‘burbs without losing any love.


Another tearjerker.

In two minutes and twenty­ four seconds, Melbourne indie-­pop band Dick Diver manage to encapsulate being a twenty-­something living in the Victorian capital: frustrated and a little bit lost, and surviving on IGA’s home brand in weird share-houses.

OLD FITZROY – Dan Sultan

A moving narrative and as good an Australian historical artefact as anything, ‘Old Fitzroy’ is an ode to Melbourne – the good, the bad and the ugly – from indigenous soul­ rocker Dan Sultan.

Sultan’s character takes a walk through gentrified Fitzroy, once not the hub of smashed avocado and craft beer it is now.

Missy Higgins does a beautiful cover of this one too; can you get any more Aussie than her Victorian twang?

NORTHCOTE (SO HUNGOVER) – The Bedroom Philosopher

The inevitable has happened – the lines between hipster culture and ultimate parody have blurred, and the product is The Bedroom Philosopher.

In a track from the album Songs From The 86 Tram, you’re not sure whether to laugh or cringe as you realise the absurd dialogue is probably heard daily on the 86 tram through Brunswick.

A reticent giggle at the gentrification of Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs and those who reside there, there’s a little bit of the pseudo­intellectual wankery in us all.

KIM’S CARAVAN – Courtney Barnett

“I was walking down Sunset Strip//Phillip Island, not Los Angeles,” Barnett, Australia’s newest musical export to take off globally, muses.

Despite having grown up in Hobart and Sydney, her songs often reference her artistic home state – from ‘Depreston’, about her house buying adventures in the northern suburbs to ‘Dead Fox’, an ode to roadkill on the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Holbrook.

‘Kim’s Caravan’ is the slowest, most sombre track on Barnett’s debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit– perfect fuel for a melancholic Phillip Island beach walk.

You can listen to these tunes on Spotify over ‘ere.


Image- Flicker (Simon Yeo)

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