Today, The Preatures shared their most significant single to date. “Yanada” – which means “moon” in the Indigenous Sydney Australian Dharug language – comes a week before the release their highly anticipated sophomore full-length “Girlhood” along with an official video, also released today. Filmed predominantly underwater, the video was directed by Nik Lachajczak and produced by Alison Page, an award-winning creative at the forefront of contemporary Australian Aboriginal design and storytelling.
“When you first try to open your eyes in the ocean, it stings and everything seems blurry, but if you persist, your eyes adjust to the saltiness, things start to become clearer and a whole new world begins to open up.” The band’s lead-singer and chief lyricist Isabella Manfredi shares.“Yanada is a song about doing something outside your comfort zone that leads to a discovery of a different world. It’s a song about a connection to the land I call home, Sydney – a mystical place I realized I know very little about – and the role Indigenous language plays in this connection. She continues.
The song is a collaboration between respected Darug songwoman Jacinta Tobin and front-womanIsabella Manfredi. “I am so grateful to Darug woman Jacinta Tobin who shared with me some of her knowledge and helped open my eyes to the importance of our First Peoples’ language.” Isabella says of the special collaboration between the two women for this single.
The video producer Alison Page explained “Yanada is a song about Australia facing the truth of its history, so creating a narrative that sees two best friends, one Aboriginal and one non-Aboriginal exploring a world within the dark depths of a river seemed completely appropriate, and a powerful metaphor for reconciliation.”
Inspired by Sydney Theatre Company’s stirring adaptation of Kate Grenville’s award-winning novel The Secret River, as well as barrangal dyara (skin and bones) a work by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi installation artist Jonathan Jones – The Preatures stunning new single takes inspiration from the Indigenous heritage of the Sydney region.
“I feel like the song chose me. Once we realized the song needed an Indigenous voice, it became our responsibility to understand what that might mean for the community, and to listen.” Izzi says, whose yearning for connection and understanding led the band to work with Jacinta Tobin and The Darug Tribal Council to include the Dharug language.
Co-writer Jacinta Tobin says she “hopes for the song to honor my ancestors and strengthen country and help heal all living things. I would like to thank The Preatures for walking with me, meeting family, hearing hard stories, showing respect, learning and appreciating our shared history as Australians.”
Professor Jakelin Troy, Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research at the University of Sydney, whose dictionary ‘The Sydney Language’ provided the main linguistic reference for the b-chorus, praised the collaboration between Tobin and Manfredi: “Music is the universal language understood by all people everywhere. The Preatures have created a song that reaches out across Australia and beyond that fuses the universal language of song with the original language of the Sydney region. This music was crafted with Jacinta Tobin, Darug woman and other members of the community and is a very important step in the reawakening of Dharug which is gaining huge momentum.”
The Preatures also worked extensively with Terri Janke, a highly-respected specialist in Indigenous cultural and intellectual property, to understand and follow the protocol for using Indigenous cultural expression.
“This is the first time I have advised an Australian non-Indigenous band on Indigenous cultural protocols for using Indigenous cultural expression. It was good to see that The Preatures not only ticked the box, but embraced the protocols to form strong connections with language speakers and the Aboriginal community. Yanada will promote the importance of Indigenous language but it will also spread the message of consulting with Indigenous people,” explains Janke.
Produced by Lead Guitarist Jack Moffitt, ‘Yanada’ features additional production from acclaimed Australian-Canadian producer Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, DMA’s), who joined the band in their Doldrums studio in Surry Hills in the early stages of making the record. Girlhood was mixed by Bob Clearmountain, an industry legend known for his work with David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, INXS, Divinyls, and Crowded House.