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Ahead of NAIDOC Week 2020 and AUSMUSIC month throughout November, ABC Music/Universal Music Australia is proud to present Deadly Hearts – Walking Together, the third instalment in this popular series.
Previous ‘Deadly Hearts’ releases have focused on songs that are iconic to traditional Australian culture and identity.
This year, the reigns have been handed over to a new generation of storytellers, with the call for artists to take on a song that is iconic to them, a song that has inspired them or a song that holds a special place in their identity.
The response we received was nothing short of remarkable; from the pure electro-pop joy of Mitch Tambo’s Gamilaraay language version of Vanessa Amorosi’s ‘Absolutely Everybody’ to Miiesha’s soulful rendition of Brooks and Dunn’s ‘Neon Moon’ to Isaiah Firebrace & Stan Walker collaborating and covering the timeless Don’t Dream It’s Over originally by Crowded House, to the all-out metal madness of Southeast Desert Metal’s take on a Midnight Oil classic ‘Beds Are Burning’.
In short, it’s a celebration of music, culture, and identity, from the hearts and mouths of a new generation.
“Being asked to be on Deadly Hearts I knew I wanted to have my community involved as much as possible,” Miiesha said of her Deadly Hearts song choice. “We go mad for country music up here so picked one of our favourites ‘Neon Moon’ by Brooks and Dunn and got a Woorabinda Choir together to show off some of the deadly talent up this way!”
Other artists, like Mitch Tambo, took inspiration from the NAIDOC 2020 theme ‘Always Was Always Will Be’.
“ [It’s] the perfect opportunity to further your learning around the history of the peoples of the land in which you live on to not only equip and educate yourself but to play a part in the greater dialogue of all of us coming together as one to face the whole truth of our beautiful nation so we can journey together, healing and loving one another one step at a time,” Tambo said.
In a time where so many of us are isolated Deadly Hearts: Walking Together has managed to weave voices from all around Australia into one powerful release.
Deadly Hearts: Walking Together offers listeners the opportunity to hear DRMNGNOW recording out on country nearby Kaiela (Goulburn River) amongst the birds, the wind and waters, join Miiesha and the choir in Woorabinda and so much more without ever leaving their lounge room.
This is the modern sound of Indigenous Australia. This is the next generation of storytellers. This is Deadly Hearts: Walking Together.
1. Ziggy Ramo (Ft. Miiesha) – Tjitji (Miiesha)
2. Kobie Dee – A Long Way Away From My Country (Ernie Dingo)
3. Miiesha – Neon Moon (Ft. The Woorabinda Singers) [Brooks and Dunn]
4. DRMNGNOW (Ft. Emily Wurramara – Get Back To The Land (Archie Roach)
5. Mitch Tambo - Absolutely Everybody (Vanessa Amorosi)
6. Sycco – Solid Gold (Pnau)
7. Aodhan – Always (Tia Gostelow)
8. Mi-Kaisha – How Deep Is Your Love (Beegees)
9. Isaiah Firebrace + Stan Walker – Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House)
10. Southeast Desert Metal – Beds Are Burning (Midnight Oil)
Album cover art: by Kambarni
Kambarni is descended from the Nimunburr and Yawuru people of the Kimberley and the Ballardong Noongar people of the Perth region in Western Australia. He is an emerging illustrator who reflects the natural world with his intricate designs.
An ABC-wide initiative to reflect, listen and build on the shared national identity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, celebrating and acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and inviting all Australians to walk together on a journey to reconciliation.
ABOUT NAIDOC WEEK:
NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations.
It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country - which is Australian history. We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded.
Always Was, Always Will Be.
BEHIND THE SONGS - AN INSIGHT FROM EACH ARTIST:
Ziggy Ramo (Ft. Miiesha) – Tjitji (Original by Miiesha)
“Miiesha is such an incredible artist. I was blown away by her album. She is a storyteller that is so giving. Listening to Tijtji I felt compelled to tell my story. It was such a privilege to be able to sample her art and offer my own in return.”
Kobie Dee - A Long Way Away From My Country (Original by Ernie Dingo)
"The song is about being away from his country and for me growing up on Bidjigal land in Sydney and my country being Gomeroi in Moree I always related to the song which is why I chose to cover it"
Miiesha (Feat. The Woorabinda Singers) - Neon Moon (Original by Brooks and Dunn)
“Being asked to be on Deadly Hearts I knew I wanted to have my community involved as much as possible. We go mad for country music up here so picked one of our favourites Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn and got a Woorabinda Choir together to show off some of the deadly talent up this way!”
DRMNGNOW (Ft. Emily Wurramara) – Get Back To The Land (Original by Archie Roach)
"I have been deeply in love with this song since first hearing it when it came out from first listen at which time i was living off country myself and feeling a deep longing inside for country. This song was something I would listen to regularly as a way of dealing with the challenge of living off country on Wurundjeri land. I have since returned to My hometown of Mooroopna on Yorta Yorta country this year having felt strongly called home at this time. Mooroopna also happens to be Uncle Archies birthplace. So, choosing this and it being the first song I would record here in this return, on so many levels just felt like the only choice It could possibly be. "
Mitch Tambo - Absolutely Everybody (Original by Vanessa Amorosi)
‘Absolutely Everybody’ is such an iconic song and embedded in Australian music history along with being the anthem of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, to me personally I chose this song as its message and lyrical bed still resonates with me and my message. “Everybody breathes and everybody bleeds” we are all human, we all feel, we all love, we all share differences and similarities, this song to me is a reminder that we must not forget to come together and love one another regardless of race, gender, religion or sexuality. We must acknowledge the hard truths so we can heal and move forward together as one.
Sycco - Solid Gold (Original by Pnau)
"I thought Solid Gold would be a perfect song to cover because lyrically it is just so wholesome about lessons and loving your friends! It is also just such a fun song!"
Aodhan - Always (Original by Tia Gostelow)
“I chose ALWAYS because it’s just a terrific track and I thought it could be interesting to cover it in a way that takes on a whole new meaning.”
Mi-Kaisha - How Deep Is Your Love (Beegees)
I chose this song because I felt our world needed some love & light. It has been an incredibly challenging season for our Mob and I just wanted to encourage my community to keep their heads up and to take care of themselves. I think it's so deadly that the BeeGees came from Redcliffe (where my mum was born)!. So, I have that personal connection to them. They've given us some deadly songs that have helped define popular music all over the world.
Isaiah Firebrace + Stan Walker - Don’t Dream It’s Over (Original by Crowded House)
“Great songs are timeless and reflect not just their time but ours.
Isaiah and I first performed this together at the NRL ALL STARS.
Little did we know what 2020 had ahead for us all.
When I think about BLM and I listen again to the lyrics I am so proud so be singing this with Isaiah.. two first nations artists singing these words TOGETHER in 2020 have a whole new resonance
There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me
Southeast Desert Metal - Beds Are Burning (Original by Midnight Oil)
We chose Beds Are Burning because it’s a great song. It’s got an important message. Midnight Oil wrote a lot about Indigenous rights. That’s something I write about in my own songs. Indigenous people are still struggling today. This land was stolen from us. In this song we’re saying it's time to give it back.” - Chris Wallace