New Gurrumul release ‘The Gospel Album’ – an extraordinary collection of gospel songs to be released on 31st July
Posted: May 22 2015

Gurrumul

 

‘Australia’s most important voice’*, indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, will release his third studio album, The Gospel Album, on 31st July. The inspiration for this 12-song long player was a dedication to Gurrumul’s mother and aunts, who brought Gurrumul up with songs and lullabies from the church at Elcho Island.

 

As a small boy Gurrumul was not only influenced by the traditional music of his clan but by the gospel music he heard every Sunday at the local Methodist church. Gurrumul’s The Gospel Album is a re-imagining of the spiritual songs that came to north-east Arnhem Land via Christian missionaries.

 

In a musical setting that will be familiar to fans of Gurrumul’s music, comes a uniquely Indigenous approach to gospel songs with an expanded sound that combines new hymns, and reimagined gospel songs of his Elcho Island community. Produced by long-time collaborator, Skinnyfish Music’s Michael Hohnen, each song was presented by Gurrumul as a sketch in a traditional remote Northern Territory church gospel style.  Michael and the band played with feels, styles, genres and arrangements to produce something that it truly breathtaking.

 

Gurrumul’s life is music and in the studio he feels at home, inspired and energetic. He loves quality, and The Gospel Album is a fitting companion to his triple-platinum debut, Gurrumul, and its follow-up, the platinum certified, Rrakala.

 

With the completion of The Gospel Album recording sessions, Gurrumul embarked on a US tour through April and early May, playing five dates from New York to California, including two dates in New Orleans.  Reviews were glowing:

 

“This is one of the most unusual and emotional and musical voices I’ve ever heard.”

Quincy Jones 2015

 

“ There’s something preternaturally soothing about the voice of Gurrumul, … It seems to arrive from a distance, high and serene, with a hint of reediness and a humble quaver, proffering melodies like lullabies… His music is as approachable as it is otherworldly.”

Jon Pareles – New York Times

 

 “Aching and gorgeous”

Paul de Revere – Billboard

 

“The heartache in the blind singer’s performance needed no translation. On slower, more pensive tunes he pushed his voice to its limits, issuing waves of emotion that were as reflective as they were spiritual”.  

Jennifer Odell – bestofneworleans.com

 

“Gurrumul’s voice – sad and lilting, polished but also elemental – didn’t need language to communicate…Gurrumul’s music is delicate. His art requires and merits close attention… Gurrumul’s ethereal songs, unadorned and deeply moving, are unique.” 

Todd A. Price – NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

 

“Barely moving from his chair, he created a meditative presence that sounded like they (the songs) would be just as natural emanating from a shrine or any holy place.”

Mark Guarino – New Orleans Advocate

 

 

Gurrumul will be touring Australia in celebration of The Gospel Album, dates to be announced shortly.

 

 

Gurrumul The Gospel Album released 31st July on Skinnyfish Music/MGM.

 

 

*Rolling Stone Australia, April 2011