Midnight Oil slam lack of local artists on ARIA Charts: “What year is it again?”

They've called on the federal government to introduce "better local content rules"

In claiming their latest Number One album last week, Midnight Oil have derided the lack of Australian artists billed high on the ARIA Charts.

The band topped the weekly charts with their 13th full-length, ‘Resist’, which was released on February 18. It marks the fifth Midnight Oil record to come in at Number One – their 2020 effort ‘The Makarrata Project’ also hit the milestone, which itself was the first of the band’s to do so since 1990’s ‘Blue Sky Mining’.

Although the band have expressed gratitude for the honour, they’ve also hit out at a perceived lack of support for their fellow Australians in the music industry.

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“We’re shocked that INXS and ourselves are among only five Australian artists with Top 40 albums this week,” the band said in a statement.

“What year is it again? We’ve been fortunate to have some great media support, particularly from the ABC and Triple M, but clearly the federal government needs to introduce better local content rules – and better enforcement of those rules – across all platforms to make sure that the next generation of local artists get a fair go.”

In response to the #1 Album news, Midnight Oil issues the following collective comment: "Thanks to everyone who’s…

Posted by Midnight Oil on Friday, February 25, 2022

As the band mentioned, last week’s ARIA Albums Chart featured only four other Australian artists: The Kid LAROI at Number 13 with ‘F*ck Love (Over You)’, Methyl Ethel at 22 with ‘Are You Haunted?’, INXS at 35 with ‘The Very Best’ and Tame Impala at 36 with ‘Currents’.

‘Resist’ came as the second local album to reach Number One this year, following Huskii‘s debut album ‘Antihero’ the week prior. Two Australian albums have come close, however: Dope Lemon‘s ‘Rose Pink Cadillac’ and an album of Australian bird calls, ‘Songs Of Disappearance’, have both peaked at Number Two.

Midnight Oil are currently in the midst of their last-ever Australian tour, with the band performing at Wollongong’s WIN Entertainment Centre tomorrow night (March 2). Though the current tour will be Midnight Oil’s last, the band have stressed that they’re not formally disbanding.

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According to a press release, all members of the band “remain open” to working together and recording new music in the future, as well as uniting to support causes that they believe in.

‘Resist’ comprises songs the band recorded with their late bassist Bones Hillman, who passed away the same week ‘The Makarrata Project’ was released. The two albums were recorded concurrently.

NME dubbed ‘Resist’ one of the top Australian releases for the month of February, with writer Alex Gallagher writing: “Four-and-a-half decades after releasing their debut LP, Midnight Oil’s 13th studio album is as striking and incendiary as anything from their catalogue, at a time when it’s most needed.”

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