King Stingray: Yolngu surf-rock kings

It would be an understatement to bestow the cliche “long-awaited” upon King Stingray’s self-titled debut album. The Yirrkala band from north-east Arnhem Land have already teased us with five singles. The first of them, Hey Wanhaka – which means “what’s happening?” – was released in late 2020; Get Me Out, Milkumana, Camp Dog and Let’s Go have all followed.

Adding to the considerable hype are the band’s bloodlines: the singer, Yirrnga Yunupingu, is the nephew of the Yothu Yindi leader, Dr M Yunupingu, while the guitarist, Roy Kellaway, is the son of the same band’s bass player, Stuart. Both also play in Yothu Yindi themselves.

The five aforementioned singles make up a full half of this album’s 10 tracks, with Get Me Out and Milkumana both nominated for APRA awards as song of the year. They have been all over the airwaves – and deservedly so. The fact that their self-described Yolngu surf-rock will already be familiar to many listeners in no way detracts from this sparkling record.

Indeed, it’s great to have them together in one place, fleshed out by five more songs that sit well alongside one another. Most bands would be proud to have a collection like this on a greatest hits album.… Read more..

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