Guest Playlist: Max Aurora & The Southern Lights share 10 tracks that have influenced them

  • Bruce Baker
  • July 19, 2023
  • Comments Off on Guest Playlist: Max Aurora & The Southern Lights share 10 tracks that have influenced them

Max Aurora

“How I Missed Home” is the first release for Max Aurora & The Southern Lights, and it’s a song drenched in nostalgia and longing. Max has released music under his own steam previously, but the sound has been bolsted with the addition of The Southern Lights.

The track was inspired by Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, who was one of the youngest people to sail around the world in 2012. You can feel the longing for home, with nostalgia seeping through the pores of this warm and heartfelt track.

Max writes of the evolutiona and inspiration for the track: “Longing for escapism during lockdown in a particularly stressful sharehouse, I found this documentary so inspiring that I wrote the song immediately after watching it. The writing process began with hearing the riff in my head and then tuning the low E string of the guitar up a semitone to F to create the riff. It’s kind of a weird thing to do, but it worked very well for this song. The rest felt like a breeze to write, because I got so easily swept up in the feeling of the song, of missing home, having not seen my mum (who lives in Canberra) for a while, because of lockdown.”

“How I Missed Home” was recorded at Marigold Recordings with Jon Grace (Dear Seattle, Bakers Eddy). Fans of groups such as City & Colour and Middle Kids are going to crush on this one.

To celebrate the release of “How I Missed Home”, Max curated a playlist of influences. Give it a spin – there are some classics there, new and old.

Guest Playlist: 10 tracks that have inspired Max Aurora & the Southern Lights


Gang of Youths – “in the wake of your leave”
This band has the ability to make you feel euphoric, with compassion, while exploring some strong / sometimes painful subjects. This is something I strive for when writing for The Southern Lights.

The Beths – “Jump Rope Gazers”
I fell in love with The Beths when a friend of mine played this song at an open mic. It’s the first time where I could vibe an amazing song from someone playing a cover of it – like an instant “Who wrote this song?! I must find it! I must channel this energy!”.

Kate Bush – “Cloudbusting”
You feel like you’re floating above the world listening to this, and the fact the song is inspired by a part of a memoir by Peter Reich about a father and son creating a rain-making machine shows there are a wealth of whimsical topics to write songs about.

Camp Cope – “Running with the Hurricane”
I feel like I grew up with this band, they feel so grounded in Naarm / Melbourne and they have helped me push through difficult times, especially with this song. I want to get the lyrics tattooed on my ankle to remember “the only way out is up”.

Bell X1 – “In Every Sunflower”
I first heard this song and became obsessed with it during a binge watch of The OC. It plays on and off through an episode where it doesn’t stop raining. I love rain, and all the metaphors around it, which this song captures perfectly with its calming melancholy.

Green Day – “Letterbomb”
Makes me want to go back to being 14, get out my old stickered Fender Strat and bust this one out in my bedroom with as much ham as if I was singing it at a stadium.

Jen Cloher – “Regional Echo”
I’ve never heard a song that so perfectly captures the vibe of the Hume Highway, the back and forth, the scattered trees, the longing for some distant destination.

Sputnik Sweetheart – “Heavenly”
A more recent discovery for me is this explosive song from this amazing Canberra band. Its raw subject matter is surrounded by this urgency that brings on all the feels, plus it’s very catchy.

Incubus – “Drive”
Look, I’m not a fan of calling anything the “blah blah of all time”, but! This song is so strong in its self-compassionate message, its 90s vibe, and is so nice to sing that it’s nearly a best of all time, whatever that is.

City and Colour – “Hello, I’m in Delaware”
I remember listening to this song on a plane at 5 am as the sun was coming up over this desert, I was struck with awe and Dallas’ voice surrounded that effortlessly.

You can give Max Aurora & the Southern Lights a follow on their websiteFacebook, Instagram and YouTube

Bruce Baker

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