Today (March 13), Julia Stone released the ‘Songs for Australia’ charity covers album for bushfire relief, featuring contributions from The National, Kurt Vile, Paul Kelly and more. Listen to it below.
‘Songs for Australia’ features a mix of Australian and international artists covering well-known Aussie songs. The National contributed a cover of INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’, while Damien Rice contributed a rendition of Sia’s ‘Chandelier’, both of which were shared before the album’s release.
Other international contributions include Kurt Vile’s ‘Stranger Than Kindness’ (originally by Nick Cave), Joan as Police Woman’s ‘Heart’s a Mess’ (Gotye) and Martha Wainwright’s ‘Ship Song’ (Nick Cave).
Australians Paul Kelly takes on ‘Native Born’ (Archie Roach), Dope Lemon (the band fronted by Julia’s brother Angus Stone) performs ‘Streets Of Your Town’ (The Go Betweens) and Julia Stone herself offers ‘Beds are Burning’ (Midnight Oil).
The album, which was announced last month, is currently only available digitally. A vinyl and CD release will arrive sometime in June. Stream the record here:
‘Songs for Australia’ started with Stone’s Midnight Oil cover. Stone was recording in London when her mother was told to evacuate her home in New South Wales during the height of the 2019/20 bushfire season, prompting Stone to cover the classic Australian tune.
After that unexpectedly successful recording session, she began contacting international and local touring friends, and the full record began to come together. “I couldn’t believe the responses I was getting. I received the most heart-warming replies from the biggest, busiest artists in the world,” Stone said in a press statement.
“Most of these artists have toured here, have family here, friends here, have lived here or spent time here. Everyone has such great memories of this country and to see it in flames was breaking everyone’s hearts.”
The album’s cover is an original work by Swedish contemporary artist David Stenbeck. Proceeds from the record will go to several bushfire and climate charities, including Firesticks, Landcare Australia, SEED, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action and Wild Ark.