Content warning: This article contains reference to suicide. Please refer to the services at the bottom of this article for support.
Emerging punk rock band Chasing Ghosts have released their six-track EP Homelands.
Releasing Summer, their first single from the EP, in February, the First Nations-led band is gaining traction for their talent for truth-telling through music.
Frontman, Thungutti man Jimmy Kyle, has poured aspects of his own lived experiences into Homelands, and has also touched on the dark parts of national history.
“I was scared to write these songs, because a lot of the topics are challenging,” he said.
“But that’s how I knew I was onto something. It made me feel nervous.”
Kyle sat down to write a track-by-track exploration of Chasing Ghosts’ Homelands for NIT, working through the inspirations and meanings behind each of the six songs.
Busted Lung is inspired by a true story of a random act of violence towards a young gay man in a hate crime which took place in inner city Melbourne.
The survivor in an act of courage forgave his attackers [who are] both facing a potential 15-year sentence and advocated they maintain their freedom and be given a second chance
Summer journeys through the grieving eyes of an Aboriginal Elder retelling the true story of the lower Towel Creek Massacre in New South Wales in which a sole child survived.
This song explores white nationalism, colonisation, assimilation and ultimately Reconciliation.
It asks white Australia to come and reconcile the true history of the country and invites non-Indigenous Australians to see themselves as an extension of Aboriginal people.
Hometown Strangers in an Urban Dreaming
Hometown Strangers in an Urban Dreaming tells the personal account of two childhood friends growing up in a rural town: one non-Indigenous and the other Koori.
Their lives go on very different paths until a chance encounter in Collingwood near the Grace Darling Hotel.
This personal account is used as a metaphor for the gap in knowledge and true understanding of Aboriginal Australia.
Kids Raise Kids
Kids Raise Kids is inspired by a true and universal story.
It addresses themes of young parents who are struggling to co-parent after separating often at the emotional expense of their child Ruby, family members and one another.
Wear My Medals
Wear My Medals is inspired by the true story of a young Afghanistan war veteran who returned home to Australia haunted by a tragic incident of a civilian casualty.
After a long struggle with PTSD, he tragically took his own life.
Dig explores Australia’s history and treatment of Aboriginal peoples from the English invasion through to the modern period in a chronological order.
It asks the listener to dig a little deeper into our history, confronting the Frontier Wars, Aboriginal resistance, the mission era of assimilation, the Stolen Generations and indentured servitude, the mining industry and Native Title, and deaths in custody.
Listen to Homelands here.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental ill-health, call or visit the online resources below:
- Spartan First Suicide Prevention Crisis Line – 1800 370 747
- Lifeline – 13 11 14, lifeline.org.au
- Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636, beyondblue.org.au/forums
- MensLine – 1300 789 978
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
- Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
- Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet – healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au
By Jimmy Kyle
Jimmy Kyle is the frontman of Chasing Ghosts. He is a proud Goori man of the Thungutti mob from the mid-north coast of New South Wales.