With a looping, breathing backtrack and an hyperkinetic restless lilt burnished by a wild and abandoned trumpet, the new single from artist Charlie Woods, under the name Charlie Needs Braces, is an exuberant ray of golden sunshine. Woods comes from a proud First Nations background (a GuriNgai woman, descendant of Bungaree and Matora) and the single reflects her experience of discovering and learning about her heritage, and, amusingly, her encounters with her new braces (hence the name of the project).
The “Daryung”, also known as the stingray, is the GuriNgai mob’s totem and their ancestor Bungaree would always throw the “Daryung” back into the water when fishing as it was his role to protect and tend to the waters. Woods says of the track:
The Daryung is of great importance to us as it represents our people and carries our stories
down through generations. Our spirits and ancestors live on through the Daryung, and I have a great
sense of pride and joy when I sing this song. Through celebrating my culture and sharing my
ancestors’ stories I can continue my cultural journey and solidify my identity as a GuriNgai woman.
The result is something quite fresh and euphoric, suffuse with a joyous pace that crackles and pops, edged by horns and a sky-high melody. The lyrics match the air-filled buoyancy of the instrumentation:
Sunlight hits the water warming up those dark and empty places.
Your reflection hits the water and you see you’ve gone and got all dark and murky.
And you wanna feel free, to flap around, and feel the heartbeat, and you wanna swim out there, breathe in, breathe out.
Like the Daryung
Like the Daryung
The trumpet solo – Woods’s weapon of choice – is cathartic and liberating. ‘Daryung’ is something quite special and unique, and a much needed shot of Vitamin D:
You can get the single above or through the link here. Charlie Needs Braces will be launching the single in Melbourne on Saturday, 13 August 2022 as part of a music and arts exhibition – details here.
Feature Photograph: Tiffany Garvie