A compilation album of songs to raise money for the impact of the recent cataclysmic fires in Australia – ‘Songs For Australia’ – will be released digitally in March and an undoubted highlight is The National‘s cover of prime Australian export INXS’s sublime ballad ‘Never Tear Us Apart’. It is a brilliant rendition of a brilliant song for an exceedingly worthwhile cause:

The album is raising money for organizations in Australia who are helping to rebuild during and after the bushfire crisis. ‘Songs for Australia’ was conceptualized by Australian musician Julia Stone, and is released digitally in March / physically in June. Julia Stone contributes a fantastic version of legendary Australian band Midnight Oil’s ‘Beds are Burning’ which, written in the eighties, was chillingly prescient:

Stone says of the crisis:

In NSW alone, which is where I grew up, 5.3 million hectares have been destroyed. Thousands of people are without homes. We have lost over a billion animals across Australia. And there are delicate species that we will have to work hard to stop from becoming extinct. We will be rebuilding for decades after this crisis … but the worst part is that, because of climate change, Australia is becoming more and more susceptible to this happening over and over again. We have ignored indigenous wisdom around land-management practices because of our history as a country with the traditional owners of the land.

There is a dazzling array of Australian songs sung by a mix of Australian and international artists. You can order the album here.

Songs for Australia Tracklisting

1. The National, “Never Tear Us Apart” (INXS)
2. Petit Biscuit, “Chateau” (Angus & Julia Stone)
3. Dermot Kennedy, “Resolution” (Matt Corby)
4. Dope Lemon, “Streets of Your Town” (The Go-Betweens)
5. Kurt Vile, “Stranger Than Kindness” (Nick Cave)
6. Joan As Police Woman, “Hearts a Mess” (Gotye)
7. Damien Rice, “Chandelier” (SIA)
8. Martha Wainwright, “The Ship Song” (Nick Cave)
9. Paul Kelly, “Native Born” (Archie Roach)
10. Dan Sultan, “Into My Arms” (Nick Cave)
11. Pomme, “Big Jet Plane” (Angus & Julia Stone)
12. Julia Stone, “Beds Are Burning” (Midnight Oil)
13. Sam Amidon, “Let Me Down Easy” (Gang of Youths)