Julia Stone has recruited some of music’s biggest names for a new charitable project, with covers of local anthems being the basis for the forthcoming album, Songs for Australia.
With just over a week until Julia Stone teams up with her brother Angus to perform at the Down To Earth – Fire and Climate Relief Concert in Melbourne, the acclaimed artist has shared details of a new charitable undertaking which will be released in the coming weeks.
Dubbed Songs for Australia, the new album is a covers project first and foremost, with some impressive musical heavyweights donating their time and effort into covering some classic Australian songs.
The release features the likes of The National covering INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart”, Joan As Police Woman taking on Gotye’s “Hearts a Mess”, Damien Rice serving up a rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier”, and Angus Stone’s Dope Lemon project covering The Go-Betweens’ “Streets Of Your Town”.
It doesn’t end there though, with Kurt Vile, Martha Wainwright, Sam Amidon, Dermot Kennedy, Dan Sultan, Pomme, Petit Biscuit, and living legend Paul Kelly contributing to the project as well.
The inspiration for the project came by way of Julia Stone’s own musical addition, which sees her covering Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning”. Recorded in London over the new year period, Stone learned that her mother was being evacuated from Lake Conjola on the south coast of New South Wales, and soon felt as helpless, frustrated, and distressed as the rest of the country who watched the Australian bushfire crisis unfold.
Despite a vast distance between her and her home, Stone’s deep connection to the location paired with her horror at its unfolding destruction saw her team up with producer and good friend Thomas Bartlett to record a song that seemed to capture the mood felt by most Australians at the time.
Though the initial recording was simply an outlet for the sadness she felt, Stone soon realised her feelings went beyond Australia’s current events, and was linked even further to the misguided political and social choices that have been made.
After recruiting artists from the Northern Territory’s Karrabing Community, Stone soon realised she had the chance to make a huge difference, and with the intent of creating a project that would raise funds for those affected by Australia’s bushfire crisis, she reached out to a number of artists around the world.
“I couldn’t believe the responses I was getting,” she explained in a statement. “I received the most heart-warming replies from the biggest, busiest artists in the world.
“Most of these artists have toured here, have family here, friends here, have lived here or spent time here. Everyone has such great memories of this country and to see it in flames was breaking everyone’s hearts. I often got the response that people were so happy to be offered the opportunity to do something. Everyone feels helpless in times like this.”
The resulting project, Songs for Australia, is set to be released on March 5 and is available for pre-order now with physical copies appearing in June. Money raised from the project will be donated to charities such as Firesticks, Landcare Australia, SEED, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, WildArk, and the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.
“Julia Stone is an inspiration and we hope that the profits generated from this very special record she has curated can help rebuild the lives of many affected by this disaster,” explained BMG Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Heath Johns.
“Our beautiful country is hurting and to see artists of this calibre from around the world donate their time, creativity and royalties to help Australians in this time of need is incredible to see— BMG Australia is genuinely honoured to be the global label partner for Songs For Australia.”