North East Arnhem Land band East Journey made a firm impression with the release of their debut album Guwak back in March 2012. They accrued national radio airplay, a bunch of industry nominations and awards, critical reviews, numerous festival slots and we saw lead-singer Rrawun Maymuru pen the song Bayini which gave Gurrumul his first number one ARIA chart position. More to the point however, Guwak provided these guys from remote Australia with a solid slice of city life.
The band’s new single Bright Lights Big City is a result of this experience. It’s about how we live in such a fast moving, shrinking global village and how we forget to live in the moment. It reflects on how we can retain our essence; remain centered and strong amidst all this chaos and technology that compels us to ride on time. The film clip explores the stillness and strength that comes from knowing who you are and a sense of deep rooted cultural identity that is intrinsically present in and around you, no matter where you are.
A guitar driven song accompanied with yidaki beats that travel along a solid groove in the bass and drum lines the single has been produced by Stevie Salas an LA based producer who works with international names such as the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Parliament Funk, Rod Stewart and is a musical director of American Idol.
Bright Lights Big City heralds in a new cycle for East Journey. It is accompanied by a stunning and perceptive film clip directed and produced by NIMA award winning filmmaker Naina Sen [best known for her extensive film work for/with Gurrumul] and comes off an EP of the same name and featuring Yothu Yindi that will be released in August this year.
Original members of Yothu Yindi Ben Hakalitz, Buruka Tau and Stu Kellaway recorded with, and mentored the band on this occasion.
Bright Lights Big City is released on 13 June and distributed by MGM.