LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…

Today, is the turn of a quartet from Melbourne called School Damage. They play wonky pop that’s part Stereolab, part Vaselines, part Young Marble Giants and yet all their own. They also have a band photo that I absolutely love – it’s a bit moody, a bit surprised, a bit winsome and a bit lovely – you decide who embodies which look! They’re a bit C86 and yet also a bit ’96 since they sound like they could soundtrack a Chloe Sevigny indie flick (or perhaps a Sofia Coppola number) and be in it too.

School Damage have a debut record out on Melbourne label Chapter Music (home of The Goon Sax), and from said self-titled album is this single “The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down”.

School Damage started out as a DIY bedroom project for Carolyn Hawkins and Jake Robertson, and were joined by Jeff Raty and Dani Damage as a full pelt band, and all four have put their heads together to choose a Lucky 7 which gives you an insight into what makes them tick. So without further ado, what’s the damage…

1. The Rich & Famous – Machine Gun

JAKE: Don’t know much about this band, other than they were regulars at ‘Snoopies’ a post punk music venue in Richmond, London. This song was released on a compilation called ‘The Snoopies Album’ which was privately pressed when the club closed down. Machine Gun is a great example of how I try to write a song for School Damage. The synth is at the front, but not overpowering other instruments, the melody is more present in the instruments rather than the voice. It’s really just a perfect song imo.

2. New Order – Age of Consent (1983 – UK)

DANI: I played guitar before bass and that influences how I play. Believe it or not I used to think the bass lines in New Order were guitar. All of School Damage are huge fans!


3. True Believers – Accept It! (1980 – US)

CAROLYN: The creative output of Tommy Jay and Mike Rep, both of whom appear on this True Believers record, has been such a revelation for me when writing and recording songs. They are a reminder that songs don’t have to be super complicated or recorded in a fancy studio to be powerful or beautiful. I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head since forever.

4. Essential Logic – Rat Alley (1982 – UK)

JEFF: I really love this song. Laura Logic is way too underrated and I am a rat so bonus points.

5. Bronte Blues – PRIMO! (2016 – AUS)

DANI: There are heaps of really great bands in Australia at the moment. We could list heaps here and have had the chance to play alongside a bunch here this is a favourite by Primo!


6. Cannanes – Cardboard (1988 – AUS)

JAKE: The Cannanes embody the same aesthetics in writing, recording and releasing music as I hope School Damage do. They are huge inspirations to me and I think they are to the rest of SD too. Cardboard is a song that should never have been written! It’s just TOO good. Everything about this was done independently and it really shows you that you don’t need anybody to hold your hand along the way to make a great song. Also what’s with the timing in the intro??? CRAZY STUFF


The Lucky 7th: School Damage – Tall Poppies (2017 – AUS)

CAROLYN: I wrote this song about the feeling of inadequacy that comes from comparing yourself to others, and the urge to bring those people down with you. Not really a nice thing to write a song about I guess. Its on our new album, out on Chapter Music!


More on the band here: