Today, Thelma Plum releases her highly anticipated EP and self-professed love letter to her hometown, ‘Meanjin‘. Kicking off in just under two weeks, the beloved Gamilaraay artist will embark on her ten-date the ‘Meanjin’ Tour in celebration of the new release, joined by very special guests GRAACE and Jem Cassar-Daley.
Across its six tracks, ‘Meanjin’ is a moving body of work that sees Thelma reflect and reminisce on her time growing up – and returning to – the Sunshine State. Arriving alongside the release is a music video for The Brown Snake – an ode to the locally famed Brisbane River and its affectionately known alias, which features a multitude of other references to Meanjin. The clip sees a joyful Thelma and her band venture on a ferry trip along the song’s namesake, taking in its distinct hue and city skyline, and comes to a close as they pass under the iconic Story Bridge.
The river was a significant source of inspiration for Thelma when writing ‘Meanjin’. “In strange times you always tend to look back at warm memories for comfort, and when I was confined to an apartment overlooking The Brown Snake, I found myself writing music about Meanjin, the place I grew up in and have gravitated back to,” she says. “It’s blowing a musical kiss to the things I’ve loved.”
Speaking on The Brown Snake music video, director Johnny Moubarak says “Thelma is such a charismatic person and by nature people are drawn to her, myself included. Working alongside Thelma, I realised we both share a passion for storytelling and nostalgia…and we both love Brisbane. The video for Brown Snake embodies all of this. I’m humbled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such a passionate and creative artist.”
Joining The Brown Snake on the EP is May single Backseat Of My Mind – Thelma’s first original release since her era-defining, ARIA-winning debut album ‘Better In Blak’ in 2019.Written as a self-described “nostalgic feeling ‘driving’ song”, the single swiftly took out the number one most played spot on both triple j and 4ZZZ, and landed Thelma her first commercial radio additions on Brisbane’s B105, plus Late Nights on both Hit Network and NOVA, amongst coverage from Refinery 29, The Guardian, NME, Music Feeds, and more.
Comprising its remaining four tracks are the stirring rainy day anthem When It Rains It Pours and haunting piano-led Baby Blue Bicycle as well as the short and sweet Bars On My Windows and charming love story The Bat Song”
Earlier this month, Thelma was nominated for Artist Of The Year and Song Of The Year, at the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) for her acclaimed single Backseat Of My Mind. In May, Thelma made her return to the live stage, revisiting previous COVID-affected tour dates on her ‘Making It Up To You’ Tour, before joining Paul Kelly for a special run of performances at the Sydney Opera House for VIVID Live.
2019’s ‘Better In Blak’ – a storied record of culture, heritage, love and pain -became one of the most successful albums of the year with seven ARIA nominations and a win, as well as spawning the ARIA Gold-certified single (Not Angry Anymore) and three Platinum singles (Better In Blak, Homecoming Queen, Clumsy Love). The title track landed in the top 10 of the triple j Hottest 100 – the highest ever result for an Indigenous artist at the time – and won the prestigious Vanda and Young “Song of the Year” award.
While Backseat Of My Mind was Thelma’s first new original music since the record, the celebrated creative has far from receded from the public eye. Thelma and her music have been involved in high profile campaigns for White Shirt Day and a number of household brands; for Netflix’s ‘Back To The Outback’ animated feature film (starring Tim Minchin and Eric Bana), as well as appearing on the cover of the re-launch of InStyle Magazine Australia and most recently digital beauty magazine Gritty Pretty.
THE MEANJIN TOUR
Tickets available here
Thursday 25 August – Blue Mountains Theatre, Springwood, NSW / Gundungarra + Dharug Country *
Friday 26 August – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW / Awabakal Country *
Saturday 27 August – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT / Ngunnawal *
Thursday 1 September – Forum, Melbourne, VIC / Wurundjeri Country
Friday 2 September – The Gov, Adelaide, SA / Kaurna Country
Saturday 3 September – Spring Time Festival, Gold Coast, QLD / Yugambeh Country
Friday 9 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD / Meanjin
Saturday 10 September – Nightquarter, Sunshine Coast, QLD / Kabi Kabi Country
Friday 16 September – Roundhouse, Sydney, NSW / Gadigal Country
Saturday 24 September – Good Day Sunshine Festival, Busselton, WA / Wadandi Boodja
* Jem Cassar-Daley not appearing
‘MEANJIN’ EP IS OUT NOW – STREAM / DOWNLOAD / BUY HERE
Connect with THELMA PLUM
With thanks to Warner Music Australia