Having first teased its arrival earlier this week, iconic Aussie rockers Midnight Oil have returned with their first new song in 18 years, sharing the powerful “Gadigal Land” this morning.
Featuring Dan Sultan, Joel Davison, Kaleena Briggs, and Bunna Lawrie, “Gadigal Land” is the mighty return that fans of the political outfit have yearned for since the release of their most recent album, 2002’s Capricornia.
Taking its name from the traditional owners of Sydney, The Gadigal lands include what is now the CBD plus areas from South Head through to the inner west. With lyrics such as “Welcome to Gadigal land, do you know our story?“, the track provides a provocative account of what happened in the titular location, and elsewhere around the country, in 1788.
Kicking things off with a blast of horns, and encompassing the passionate message and performance style that Midnight Oil have always been known for, “Gadigal Land” feels as though barely a day has passed between now and when we last heard fresh material from the group.
A special studio video of the song will also air during the National Indigenous Music Awards at 7PM AEST on Saturday, and additionally streamed via the band’s Facebook page.
View this post on Instagram
LISTEN TO 'GADIGAL LAND' OUT NOW link in bio. Our first new song in nearly 20 years – ‘Gadigal Land (feat. Dan Sultan, Joel Davison, Kaleena Briggs & Bunna Lawrie)’ – is now available to stream and download. ‘Gadigal Land' takes its name from Sydney’s traditional owners, many of whom continue to live in the city. The Gadigal (also sometimes spelt “Cadigal”) lands include what is now the CBD plus areas from South Head through to the inner west. ‘Gadigal Land’ is a provocative recount of what happened in this place, and elsewhere in Australia, since 1788. Tomorrow night, a special studio video of the song will premiere during the National Indigenous Music Awards telecast on NITV from 7pm AEST and streamed live on Midnight Oil's Facebook page. The video was directed and filmed by Robert Hambling.
“Gadigal Land” is on track to appear on the forthcoming mini-album, The Makarrata Project, which was planned to arrive by the middle of 2020. Announcing new music in February, the group teamed up with producer Warne Livesey to record 20 songs, with eight of these (which “shared a strong focus on the issue of indigenous reconciliation”) set to be released on the aforementioned mini-album.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19 disrupting plans for the year, Midnight Oil’s special launch performance at this year’s Splendour in The Grass was also affected, though the group are still on track to release the record in October.
“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 group explained via a 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 bit more light on the urgent need for genuine reconciliation in this country and in many other places too.”
While the rest of the band’s recordings are slated for a 2021 album release, Midnight Oil also revealed that all proceeds of “Gadigal Land” will go “to organisations which seek to elevate The Uluru Statement From The Heart in particular and Indigenous reconciliation more broadly”. Sony Music Entertainment Australia are also on board to match any contributions from artists.
Midnight Oil’s “Gadigal Land” is out now via Sony Music Entertainment Australia.