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Renowned indigenous soul singer and powerhouse vocalist Emma Donovan and critically-acclaimed rhythm combo The Putbacks have released Pink Skirt, the first single from their much-anticipated new album, defining a new flavour in the feast of Australian music.

With nostalgic songwriting delving into Emma’s childhood and family memories, Pink Skirt is a musical tribute to her grandmother.
Growing up singing church songs with her grandparents on the North Coast of New South Wales, Emma’s recollections of the past form the yearning and heartfelt masterpiece that is Pink Skirt; a beautifully honest soulful ride through the past.

The personal, yet powerful lyrics are emphasised by The Putbacks sharp, dynamic and funky rhythms, delivering a swag of soul-defining songs throughout the new album with sentimental hints of Stax and classic Atlantic recordings the whole way through.

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks first burst onto the scene together with 2014’s epic Dawn which won fans all over the world. Since then, Emma Donovan has toured and recorded with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, Paul Kelly and Spinifex Gum, while The Putbacks released their debut self-titled album in 2018.

Following on from the successful collaboration with Dawn, the new album highlights the band’s shared love for classic American soul and the protest music of indigenous Australia, with a uniquely Australian accent.

Five-piece combo The Putbacks are veterans of the recording studio, having performed across a variety of festivals and major events for over a decade, establishing themselves as Melbourne’s go-to instrumental funk ensemble.

lyrics

Lyrics

Seven o’clock in the morning
That train would roll in
A country-link from Macksville
Looking for my nannas pink skirt and brown skin
Daddy would take my brother and me
And we'd start running
Up the platform through the people
Scream when called her name
Standing there with a pillow case and a few things for the weekend
Was our Nanna, was our Nanna

Mumma tell me them stories
‘Bout when you were young
‘Bout how are we all connected
Who's name do we carry and who’s my blood
See I've been thinking ‘bout Nanna
And her Dhangatti ways
Up Tarooka and Turners Flat
Fishing out in the rain
Standing there patiently waiting
With a bobby cork and fish jumping
Was our Nanna, was our Nanna

Now I’ve got my daughter
Standing strong like a Jirriga tree
See I’ve been Passing on these stories
Passing on my mother’s knowledge and Nanna’s things
If there is one thing I can teach her
One thing I want to know
Remember where she came from
A long line of blood so strong
These few words I’ll remind her
That always came from my mother and from my Nanna, from my Nanna

credits

released September 4, 2020
Written by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks

Emma Donovan - Vocals
Simon Mavin - Keyboards
Rory McDougall - Drums
Mick Meagher - Bass
Tom Martin - Guitar
Justin Marshall - Percussion

Produced by Simon Mavin
Engineered by Nick Herrera
Mixed by Nick Herrera
Additional Recording by Simon Mavin & Justin Marshall
Mastered by Lachlan Carrick
Backing Vocalists: Deline Briscoe, Emma Donovan, Abbey Howlett, Hannah Macklin, Simon Mavin, Lachlan Mitchell and Danika Smith.
Choir: Marliya Choir
Special thanks: Paul Bender, Felix Riebl
Photos by Wilk
Design by Kano

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Emma Donovan & The Putbacks Melbourne, Australia

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks first burst onto the scene together with 2014’s epic Dawn which won fans all over the world. Since then, Emma Donovan has toured and recorded with Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter and Paul Kelly while The Putbacks released their debut self-titled album in 2018. The Putbacks have established themselves as Melbourne’s go-to instrumental funk ensemble. ... more

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