Midnight Oil announce first new music in 18 years

 

Midnight Oil will unleash Gadigal Land, its first new music in 18 years, as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to focus attention on Aboriginal deaths in custody.

It is the musical activists' first single since 2002, when frontman Peter Garrett left to enter federal parliament, and arrives three years after their reunion for The Great Circle world tour.

The song will premiere on Friday, with a video of them performing it to be broadcast during the virtual National Indigenous Music Awards on Saturday.

It has been 18 years since The Oils released a new song. L-R Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst, Bones Hillman, Peter Garrett. Picture: News Corp Australia.
It has been 18 years since The Oils released a new song. L-R Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst, Bones Hillman, Peter Garrett. Picture: News Corp Australia.

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In a statement to announce the new music, the band revealed they had recorded about 20 songs late last year, with seven tracks themed around reconciliation to be released in October as The Makarrata Project mini-album.

The remainder will be collated as another new Oils album in 2021.

Gadigal Land, which takes its title from Sydney's traditional owners and encompasses the CBD and areas from South Head to the inner-west, features vocals from the Stiff Gins member Kaleena Briggs, Coloured Stone founder and educator Bunna Lawrie and solo artist Dan Sultan.

 

The Stiff Gins’ Kaleena Briggs, with her musical partner Nardi Simpson, sings on Gadigal Land. Picture: News Corp Australia.
The Stiff Gins’ Kaleena Briggs, with her musical partner Nardi Simpson, sings on Gadigal Land. Picture: News Corp Australia.

The "incendiary rock" song, which is described as a "provocative recount of what happened in this place, and elsewhere in Australia since 1788" also includes a "lyrical section" written and spoken by Gadigal poet Joel Davison.

"We've always been happy to lend our voice to those who call for racial justice, but it really feels like we've reached a tipping point," the band said in the statement.

"We urge the federal government to heed the messages in the Uluru Statement From The Heart and act accordingly.

"Hopefully this song and The Makarrata Project mini-album we've created alongside our First Nations friends can help shine a night more light on the urgent need for genuine reconciliation in this country and in many other places too."

 

 

The Oils had planned to unveil their new music at Splendour In The Grass. Picture: Tony Mott/Supplied.
The Oils had planned to unveil their new music at Splendour In The Grass. Picture: Tony Mott/Supplied.

The Oils had originally planned to unveil their new music at the Splendour In The Grass festival last month but decided to proceed with the release as the event was forced to shift to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cover artwork for Gadigal Land features a map of Australia drawn to illustrate the traditional Indigenous lands.

 

The Gadigal Land cover art shows traditional Indigenous lands. Picture: Supplied.
The Gadigal Land cover art shows traditional Indigenous lands. Picture: Supplied.

The Oils will donate its proceeds from the mini-album project to support organisations advocating for reconciliation and the initiatives outlined in the The Uluru Statement From The Heart, including the establishment of a First Nation's Voice in the Australian Constitution, with their label Sony matching the band's contribution.

The Makarrata Project is the latest in a long line of musical statements from The Oils in support of reconciliation, from the Blackfella/Whitefella tour of remote Australia with the Warumpi Band in 1986 which inspired the global smash Beds Are Burning through to their jaw-dropping performance at the 2000 Sydney Olympics closing ceremony in outfits emblazoned with the word Sorry.

 

 

Originally published as Midnight Oil announce first new music in 18 years



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