Allow me to relay some quasi-wisdom that I’m sure a parent or teacher has already condescendingly passed down to you: Hearing and listening are two different things. One is active (listening), the other passive (hearing) and we circumstantially- and often subconsciously- apply either method when receiving music. So, with that said, and with no intention of coming across as patronising, I implore you to realllly listen to the lyrics contained within today’s Juice. The song is called Yurala and it’s courtesy of the group Spinifex Gum.
Spinifex Gum is a new collaborative project between The Cat Empires’ Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill and the Marilya choir. This innovative project explores distressing themes pertaining to our Indigenous population including, but not limited to the disproportionate rate of Indigenous youths in detention around the country, deaths in custody and in the context of today’s Juice the ongoing struggle for land rights around our nation. Whilst the self-titled debut album welcomes guest appearances from Briggs, Peter Garret and Emma Donovan, today’s track, in my humble opinion is the purest on the album, hence the squeeze.
Yurala’s soundscape is fickle as it fluctuates from the subtle grinding sound effects heard early on to a strong, passionate harmonious delivery in the chorus. The lyrics detail the damaging effect of the Harding Dam’s construction in WA as it interfered with several sacred sites significant to the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people. The dam was given the go-ahead after a gruelling three-year battle that the Yindjibarndi Elders lost in court. While the story behind Yurala is sad, it’s also an inspiring lesson on fighting for what you believe in/stand for and Spinifex Gum’s creative interpretation of the story is as provocative as it is empowering. Have a Spin below.