King Stingray has been on an unprecedented run.
Buoyed by a string of successful singles, the band’s signature “Yolŋu surf rock” has gripped the nation. Now with the release of their long-awaited debut, it takes ten tracks to deliver a profound statement: that King Stingray may be one of the most exciting rock bands to emerge from this country in a generation.
Recorded between the NT, Brisbane and the Byron Bay hinterland, each track is a heady exploration of rhythm, psych and storytelling. Tracks come together like puzzle pieces, showcasing the beauty and community of the place they call home — the incomparable Arnhem Land.
Upon repeated listens, one finds an intoxicating duality in King Stingray’s music. On one layer, this is music that pulls you in and asks you to move. On another, it is music ripe with potent messages — layered with wisdom and a perspective severely needed in Australia’s homogenous popular music landscape.
Take, for example, the feverish “Milkumana”. It would be a standalone highlight judged from the bassline alone. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find necessary questions about the state of leadership, politics and the climate crisis.
While King Stingray never claim to have all the answers, they have more right than most to ask for them. Their self-titled debut is destined to be an instant classic. A testament to the power of music and the glimpse of togetherness it creates.
King Stingray begin a national tour in October.
Stream: King Stingray, King Stingray
This review features in the June 2022 issue of Rolling Stone AU/NZ. If you’re eager to get your hands on it, then now is the time to sign up for a subscription.
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