Aussie rockers Midnight Oil are burning again with “Gadigal Land,” their first new song in almost 20 years.
As you would expect from Peter Garrett and Co., this latest number is politically-charged, all the way to the hilt.
The song takes its name from Sydney’s traditional owners. It’s a “provocative recount of what happened in this place, and elsewhere in Australia, since 1788,” reads a statement from Sony Music, the band’s record label.
Produced by longtime Oils collaborator Warne Livesey, “Gadigal Land” features assists from vocalists Kaleena Briggs, Bunna Lawrie, ARIA Award winner Dan Sultan and a lyrical section penned and performed by Gadigal poet Joel Davison.
It’s lifted from The Makarrata Project, a mini-album of collaborations with Indigenous artists, recorded late last year after the band completed a European tour.
The reconciliation-themed set will be released in late October, and was meant to be launched with a performance at the 2020 edition of Splendour In the Grass, Splendour, however, was canceled due to the health crisis.
The Oils will donate its share of any proceeds it receives from the recording to organizations promoting the 2017’s Uluru Statement, which called for the creation of a “First Nations Voice” enshrined in the Australian Constitution. Sony Music Entertainment Australia has pledged to match any artist contribution.
Forming in 1972, Midnight Oil went on to become one of Australia’s most popular bands – and most vocal on indigenous rights and anti-war messages, with a long list of muscular songs from “Power And The Passion,” “U.S. Forces,” “Read About It,” “When The Generals Talk” and their biggest international hit, “Beds Are Burning”.
Confirmation of their place in the Australian psyche came in 2010 with the publication of the 100 Best Australian Albums, a compendium of homegrown recordings which ranked the Oils’ 1987 set Diesel and Dust as No. 1.