Midnight Oil this week will release the reunited band’s first new music in 17 years, a song called “Gadigal Land” that is the first single to debut from the group’s forthcoming mini-album The Makarrata Project that was recorded in collaboration with “our First Nations friends.”

The new song will be released Friday and, according to a bulletin posted to the band’s website on Sunday, features contributions by vocalists Kaleena Briggs, Bunna Lawrie and Dan Sultan plus a lyrical section written and delivered by Gadigal poet Joel Davison.

The Makarrata Project mini-album, previously described as having eight songs, is due out in late October, although the band did not offer an exact date. When the new project was announced in February, the Oils said it would be the first of two new albums out this year, with The Makarrata Project arriving in the summer and a full studio album to be released “toward the end of the year.”

The band’s statement on Sunday makes no mention of the second album, nor the touring that was planned around each release — but for obvious reasons is now on hold. The band has promised that profits from The Makarrata Project will go to charities “which elevate The Uluru Statement From the Heart.”

The group writes on its website:

“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 fhe 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.”

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. This week’s new song will be the band’s first new music since 2003 benefit single “No Man’s Land.” The Oils’ last album, Capricornia, was released in 2002.

 

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