Midnight Oil is planning to release not one but two new musical projects this year, beginning with an eight-song mini-album called The Makaratta Project recorded with “some of our First Nations friends” to be released this summer, followed by a proper Oils studio album due out later in the year, according to an update posted today on the band’s website.
The release of each album is expected to be accompanied by live shows, with “a small handful of themed live performances” with special guests to accompany the release of The Makaratta Project, followed by “lots more” Australian and international touring “across late 2020 and early 2021,” the band writes.
“We’re seriously excited about all of these songs and the two separate works on which they will feature,” the band writes. “…We know it’s been a long wait but good things take time!”
The Oils reunited in 2017 for a global tour, the band’s first performances since reuniting for benefit gigs in 2009. The band debuted a new song called “Tarkine” last summer while playing a few gigs before heading into the studio. Any new release from Midnight Oil this year would be the band’s first new music since 2003 benefit single “No Man’s Land.” The Oils’ last album, Capricornia, was released in 2002.
According to today’s statement, Peter Garrett and Co. went into the studio in mid-2019 with producer Warne Livesey, who helmed the sessions for Diesel and Dust, Blue Sky Mining and Capricornia. The band had 20 new songs, and eight of them “shared a strong focus on the issue of indigenous reconciliation.” With that in mind, the Oils invited some First Nations friends to the studio to record those tracks. The result, the eight-song Makaratta Project, is to be released in June or July, with the band’s profits going to charities “which elevate The Uluru Statement From the Heart.”
From the rest of the songs, the band put together a separate album that’s in the final mixing stage now and will be released “toward the end of the year.” The band writes: “This completely separate batch of material deals with various lyrical themes including climate chaos, no surprise after the mega fires we’ve just experienced in Australia.”
Expect to hear singles released from both projects across the next 12 months, the band says. Further release details, and touring announcements, are forthcoming.
Read the band’s full statement at midnightoil.com.
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