Angus Gill releases Stolen Generation song for National Reconciliation Week

RISING STAR: Wauchope country singer/songwriter Angus Gill.  Photo: Glen Hannah.
RISING STAR: Wauchope country singer/songwriter Angus Gill. Photo: Glen Hannah.

Wauchope’s emerging young country singer-songwriter Angus Gill has released a new single, timed to coincide with National Reconciliation Week.

Angus has been a rising star on the Australian country music scene for a few years now and was a grand finalist at the 2017 Toyota Star Maker competition in Tamworth.

The song ‘Starin’ Out The Back of a Car’ is taken from Angus’s latest album, Nomad and is a song of poignant reflection of the loss and trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of the Stolen Generation. 

Angus Gill - Starin' Out The Back of a Car ft. Kevin Bennett, Amos Morris

It’s been released on Friday May 25, in advance of National Sorry Day, Saturday May 26, and the start of National Reconciliation Week, May 27-June 3.

It’s a vocal collaboration with indigenous performers Kevin Bennett and Amos Morris, and Angus co-wrote the song with Kevin.  He feels it’s a really important subject to talk about.

“The theme of National Reconciliation Week this year is don’t keep history a mystery, which is fitting because it summarises our intentions with this release,” said Angus.

“Just before the song came about, I had seen the Phillip Noyce film Rabbit-Proof Fence and I basically broke down emotionally during the scene where they were taking the children away.

“This was when I had the line pop into my head, ‘It’s hard to look forward when you’re staring out the back of a car.’” 

Angus brought the idea to his friend Kevin Bennett, a well-respected indigenous singer-songwriter, and they wrote the song.

“I decided to ask Kevin and another old friend of mine Amos Morris if they would both sing on the song with me because I really envisioned several voices telling the story in order to represent the thousands upon thousands of indigenous families (often referred to as the ‘Stolen Generation’) affected by Government policy of the time which was to remove many Aboriginal children from their families and communities and integrate them into white society,” he said. 

“We may never heal the scars of the past, but what we can do is educate and that’s what we’ve tried to do with this song. The feeling of being forcefully taken away from your family with the possibility of never being reunited is absolutely unimaginable for many,” added Angus.

In July, Angus will embark on an American songwriting trip taking him from California to Nashville where he will write his new album. He is looking forward to attending a songwriting retreat with Rodney Crowell and Bernie Taupin, and is hoping to meet up with the legendary Steve Earle whom he first met in 2015 in upstate New York.