Last week, Midnight Oil returned with their first new single since 2003, ‘Gadigal Land’, a collaboration with Dan Sultan, Kaleena Briggs, Bunna Lawrie and poet Joel Davidson. The track – which is, sonically speaking, classic Oils – takes its title from the traditional name for so-called Sydney, running from the CBD plus areas from South Head through to the inner west. It’s a provocative recount of the area since 1788, detailing the impacts of colonisation and celebrating Indigenous resistance.
“Don’t you bring your justice, don’t you bring your jails / Don’t you bring your armies, troopers on our trails,” sings frontman Peter Garrett and his collaborators on the track.
Over the weekend, the band debuted the video ‘Gadigal Land’ at this year’s virtual National Indigenous Music Awards. It sees the band and their collaborators performing the track in studio. Check it out below.
‘Gadigal Land’ is taken from the band’s forthcoming Makarrata Project – a mini-album of collaborations with Indigenous artists. The band will donate its share of proceeds to organisations that seek to elevate the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
“We had over 20 songs we wanted to record and eight of them shared a strong focus on the issue of indigenous reconciliation, so we invited some of our First Nations friends to collaborate with us in various ways on each of these eight tracks,” commented the band when announcing the project back in February.
“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. We urge the federal government to heed the messages in the Uluru Statement From The Heart and act accordingly,” added the band last week.
Winners on the night included rapper Baker Boy, who received Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year honours, and Roach, who won Album of the Year for Tell Me Why.
Watch Midnight Oil’s performance below.