Top 10 Australian music magazines
Print is beautiful. We love print. We especially love music magazines. While we toil over the next issue of Happy Mag, we thought we’d share some of the other Aussie mags we enjoy reading and think you would too.
Despite being widely heralded as a ‘dead’ art form, magazines have by no means completely evaporated in the midst of the new digital age. No, the once great medium of magazines have merely metamorphosed into a largely digital entity with a print arm that has gradually shrunk, and inevitably so.
This digital revolution has resulted in an Australian magazine landscape that, while much smaller than it was 10 years ago, is actually pretty great. When it comes to music magazines, you won’t find anywhere near as many on shelves as you would have a decade or more ago. But what we do have is this small collection of niche mags, art/fashion/culture hybrids, zine-like mini mags and a few old heavyweights who have weathered the storm.
Courtney Barnett on the cover of Happy Mag issue # 1
No point beating around the bush, Rolling Stone has been the big dog in Australian music magazines for over 40 years and is still going strong, and that’s pretty impressive. They’re still pumping out 12 issues a year of quality music journalism and cultural critique with the same passion and candour as they were in 1971. Props to them for that.
Yen is our favourite female-focused magazine in Australia, and their music section in particular is a crystalline mirror reflecting the best in Australian music. Mostly sticking to interviews, news and features these days, you’ll find issues of Yen laced with clever and inspirational insights into some of the country’s most talented female musos.
You’d be forgiven for mistaking Acclaim Mag as being a publication from say LA or New York. With its eclectic subject matter – from Californian skate culture to Japanese fashion, and a keen focus on rap and hip hop – Acclaim is unlike anything else published in Australia.
Although more aligned with fashion, Frankie is another eclectic publication, with content ranging from art and craft to books and food. Of course, music slots in there nicely too, with a good chunk of the mag (and blog) dedicated to interviews and features and other music-related trinkets that adorn its lovely pastel pages.
“If it’s too loud – GOOD” – With a tag line like that, you know what you’re gonna get right away, and this is definitely a good thing. Hysteria Magazine is Australia’s premier punk, rock and metal resource with monthly issues covering all things heavy, plus a website that could keep you busy for days with Hysteria TV and a slew of other content types.
On the other end of the heaviness spectrum we have Rhythms Mag – a bi-monthly glossy publication with a penchant for all things blues, roots, jazz, folk, Americana, soul and country; a ‘refuge for real music’ they call it, both vintage and contemporary. They write about the kind of stuff that only feels right reading out of something you can touch, like a magazine.
Although not strictly a music magazine, or even an arts magazine, Broadsheet know what’s what when it coms to music, publishing interviews and features on killer bands in their quarterly print edition that you’ll find amongst the tabloids and gossip mags in cafes, shops and bars in Sydney and Melbourne. They’re very much a diamond in the rough in this respect – next time you’re getting your hair cut, grab a copy of Broadsheet and flick to the entertainment section.
Another fashion/culture/arts hybrid, Oyster have been publishing quality column inches on music and music-related topics since 1994. With a knack for bizarre photoshoots and chats with some incredible artists situated in the realm of the obscure and avant-garde, Oyster is always a super interesting read when it comes to music.
No Cure Magazine
No Cure is a boutique mag based in Brisbane exploring the realms of art, culture and music with strong focus on visuals. Creative inspiration is the premise behind No Cure, and this shines through wonderfully in what they publish about music which goes beyond artists alone, delving into the realm of industry issues and features, with each issue revolving around a specific theme.
Yet another brilliant hybrid, Monster Children is an endlessly interesting lifestyle mag that dives into the world of surf, skate, art and adventure head first. Music takes up a significant portion of their editorial too, leaning pretty heavily towards the domain of rock ‘n’ roll and its subsidiaries but, as always with MC, you never quite know what you’re gonna get. Plus they managed to get Dave Grohl to dress up in a monkey outfit, so that’s pretty great.
Happy Mag is our own quarterly contribution to the preservation of print, bringing together Happy’s best digital content on music, art and culture as well as new and unique articles which are only available in our print issue. Get at it here and find out how to promote your band here.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nat Stringer is an avid reader of music magazines