Guest Playlist: Emilee South gives us her LUXURY inspiration

Emilee South

Last week Melbourne’s Emilee South released her stunning debut album, LUXURY. The album featured singles “Weekend”, “Rat Race”, “Control”, and “Not Hysteria”. The title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, given her working class background, and shines a light on topics such as privilege, capitalism, feminism and the power of community.

The album has some brilliant high-paced energetic rock’n’roll. “Weekend” has some sweet blues sensibilities to it, in a rallying cry against the daily grind. It neatly jumps into “Control”, which again touches on these struggles, in the call to unshackle yourself and find your own freedom.

“Do Your Best” is one of my favourites from the album. Laced with incisive takes on privilege and wealth (“I bet your beach house is real nice”), it hits hard. The album is a cohesive listen, with some wonderful guitars, cracking vocals and on-point messaging.

In the journey to get to the point of releasing her debut, Emilee has paid her dues and knotched up some stellar achievements. She has performed at BIGSOUND, Americana Music Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Out On The Weekend, LuliePalooza and supported notable acts Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Motorace, The Teskey Brothers and Mo’Ju.   If you dig PJ Harvey and Sharon Van Etten, then should find plenty to love here.

To celebrate the release of LUXURY, Emilee has put together a playlist of songs that have inspired and influenced her as a songwriter. Do give it a spin, there are some absolute gems there.


PJ Harvey – “Big Exit”

I love the way this song charges along from the start. PJ’s guitar playing and vocals are so powerful and cool. This whole album is a huge inspiration for me, especially all the unapologetic rock bangers. The production is beautiful.

IDLES – “Mother”

The first song I heard from IDLES, and was instantly obsessed. The production, the lyrics, the tightrope they walk between tough and gentle.

Alabama Shakes – |”Don’t Wanna Fight”

Brittany Howard’s vocal delivery—for the whole song—but especially the line “why can’t I catch my breath, I’m gonna work myself to death” is phenomenal. A reminder to sing with my full heart. The balance and conversation between the two guitars on this whole album is also spectacular.

Our Carlson – “Cappo Dog”

I saw Our Carlson for the first time at The Forum—with Cash Savage and Blake Scott—between hectic Naarm lockdowns. Carlson blew my mind, and that whole show was such an emotional and cathartic experience. Live music has always been the biggest inspiration for me, and to be in community again after so much isolation was special. ‘Cappo Dog’ became the full-volume soundtrack to mine and Matt (Dixon)’s morning commute to the studio when we were recording, too.

The Peep Tempel – “We You Forgot”

Their album, ‘Joy’ was a huge part of me wanting to work with Anna Laverty on ‘LUXURY’. The guitar tone on this song in particular is so gnarly. Blake Scott is a master of tone—grit and beauty, and delivery—both with guitar and vocals.

Amyl & The Sniffers – “Capital”

Amy Taylor is an icon, and I will hear nothing to the contrary. I saw a clip of Amy recording the vocals to ‘Capital’ at Soundpark. The power in her delivery was so inspiring. A reminder to scream from the rafters about the things you believe in.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”

The relentless energy of the guitars and hi-hats charging along makes this one of my all-time favourite indie-rock-dance-bangers.

IDLES – “A Hymn “

The whole ‘Ultra Mono’ album was a solace during the more intense Naarm lockdowns, which is when most of ‘LUXURY’ was written and demoed. I love the tremolo guitars, and the way IDLES use repetitive guitar motifs in their songs. The same riff or single-note over and over and over as the song moves around them.

Sharon Van Etten – “Seventeen”

Divine songwriting, form and production. The way Van Etten’s vocals crack with emotion in the last verse is so beautiful.

Viagra Boys – “Down In The Basement”

The fuzz bass, the saxophone, the vocal delivery, the chaos. It’s boisterous and deranged and fun and silly.

LUXURY is out now on all streaming services. You can purchase it on digital or vinyl HERE

You can keep up to date with Emilee South via her Website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Header image credit: Nick Mckk

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker