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‘The Gurrumul Story’, Featuring Gurrumul’s Most Popular Songs, Announced

‘The Gurrumul Story’, the first collection of indigenous Australian singer/songwriter Gurrumul’s most popular songs, will be released in September 2021.

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Gurrumul photo
Singer/songwriter Gurrumul. Photo: Universal Music Australia/Carlo Santone

The Gurrumul Story, the first collection of indigenous Australian singer/songwriter Gurrumul’s most enduring and popular songs, will be released on digital platforms, CD, Deluxe CD+DVD and on vinyl on 10 September 2021.

Gurrumul (1971 – 2017) was born blind and grew up, as a member of the Gumatj clan and a speaker of the indigenous Yolngu language, on Elcho Island (Galiwin’ku), off the coast of tropical North East Arnhem land in Australia’s Northern Territory. His songs about identity and spirit, connection with the land, the elements, and his ancestral beings, elicit feelings of peace and longing. His voice bridged cultures and made him an unlikely star.

“Australia’s most important voice”

Gurrumul first came to the world’s attention when he released his internationally acclaimed eponymous debut album in 2008. His fragile but uniquely emotive voice connected with fans and stars around the world including Elton John, will.i.am, Sting, Gary Barlow, Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. Sting said he had, “The voice of a higher being,” and Quincy Jones noted it was, “One of the most unusual, emotional and musical voices I’ve ever heard.” Rolling Stone Australia declared Gurrumul was, “Australia’s most important voice.”

Following a long battle with illness Gurrumul passed away in 2017 at the age of 46. Gurrumul won nine ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards, was posthumously named Australian Artist of the Year in 2018, and has sold half a million albums worldwide.

Includes alternate versions of Gurrumul’s most popular songs

The Gurrumul Story includes alternate versions of two of his most popular songs. ‘Wiyathul (Longing For Place)’ is a new, orchestral arrangement of ‘Wiyathul’, the song that captivated him into the limelight in 2008. The accompanying new video (the song’s first official music video) was filmed on his home of Elcho Island and features local dancers interpreting the lyrics through their totemic dance.

The Gurrumul Story also includes a rare duet version of ‘Bayini’, from his sophomore album Rrakala, featuring Australian singer/songwriter Sarah Blasko.

The Deluxe CD+DVD Edition of The Gurrumul Story includes a 25-minute documentary on Gurrumul’s rise to fame and four studio albums as well as a selection of music videos including ‘Wiyathul (Longing For Place)’.

The Gurrumul Story will be released on 10 September 2021 and can be pre-ordered here.

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