The Waifs are an Australian folk rock band, formed in 1992 in Albany, Western Australia. The band was founded by sisters Vikki Thorn (formerly Vikki Simpson) and Donna Simpson, along with Josh Cunningham. They initially performed as a duo named Colours before becoming a trio and adopting the name The Waifs.

We have seen the Waifs multiple times since the 1990’s as Festival Australia’s photographer and editing eagle-eye, Maddi’ Parker, is a huge fan. They are as strong as ever. We saw them most recently at the National Folk Festival in Canberra in 2023 where they packed out the largest available venue, we were there for their first National Folk Festival gig in a much small tent!

The band has a rich discography and has achieved significant acclaim in their career:


Debut Album: The Waifs released their self-titled debut album in 1996.

Subsequent Albums: Follow-up albums include “Shelter Me” (1998), “Sink or Swim” (2000), and their breakthrough album “Up All Night” (2003), which reached the top five on the Australian albums chart and went double platinum.

Awards and Recognition: They won four ARIA Awards in 2003 and supported Bob Dylan on his 2003 Australian and North American tours.

Jarrah Records: The band co-founded the independent record label Jarrah Records in 2002.

Later Albums: Other albums include “Sun Dirt Water” (2007), “Temptation” (2011), “Beautiful You” (2015), and “Ironbark” (2017), released to mark their 25th anniversary.

Live and Acoustic Releases: They released a live acoustic album, “Ironbark”, featuring 25 songs recorded at Josh Cunningham’s house in 2017.

Latest Work: Their most recent work at the time of writing includes the non-album single “I Was Only 19” in 2023, in collaboration with John Schumann.

Overall, The Waifs have had a successful career spanning over three decades, blending folk, roots, and blues influences, and remain an influential and active band in the Australian music scene.


🌐 Sources

  1. – The Waifs
  3. – The Waifs Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More