Protest music has been around for a very long time. While many bands and artists have come and gone again over the years, the expression of defiance for how things are is as old as it is relevant.
At the beginning of their careers, some artists and bands managed to captivate the energy of coming together and fighting for something better, but many of these bands have since lost it. Perhaps it’s the money or the reality of getting older and having less fight in them, but the unfortunate truth is that many bands and artists relinquish their principles and forget where they came from.
However, some keep that energy within them. They fight the temptation to sell out and do not go gentle into that good night. Midnight Oil, a mainstay within Australian rock music, is one of these bands.
Throughout their 50-year-long career, they have consistently captured the essence of protest and demonstrated that one doesn’t need to compromise on their beliefs. One should, rather, keep that fire burning and continue on.
They have made countless anthems supporting the causes they believe in, whether it’s in regards to US imperialism, nuclear war, and surveillance, on their album 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, or environmentalism and the rights of indigenous groups in Australia on Diesel and Dust.
Midnight Oil has consistently shown throughout its career that it will not compromise, and its latest album, Resist, is no exception. Speaking on their lead single, Rising Seas, to the Environmental Music Prize, they said, “Governments have been delaying the inevitable in their decision making, like rabbits staring at the oncoming headlights of an express train, and have been fiddling with net zero statistics to meet their targets while our grandchildren are staring down the consequences of our inaction.”
It’s not often that we encounter a group that can harness and channel the feelings we all have within us and manage to keep that alive throughout the years. Midnight Oil is truly an icon of conscious music and will be missed. Resist is their last album as a band, and you can buy it here and/or check out their tour dates here.