Midnight Oil are a band that I’m quite fond of. I’ve listened to them not anywhere near as much as I’d like, but perhaps more than I believe.
“Antarctica” is a song I listened to quite a lot whilst I was in Japan, though it was mostly whilst walking around the “wilderness” parts of Itsukushima. There was something about the scenery and the song that, in conjunction, I felt quite moving.
This was written over one listen of the song, though there were some pauses. I mostly tried to describe what was going on with the sounds rather than the mood and atmosphere, but I kind of did a bit of both.
Maybe not enough of either.
Midnight Oil’s “Antarctica” is from Blue Sky Mining.
I hope you enjoy.
A soft, steady drumbeat and soft sounds slowly coming in. What sounds like strings, but might be synth somewhere, hovering and creating a flat, yet also shaped landscape. An expanse. Light guitar finds itself helping to form image, shape and melody.
Harmonies come in, adding more shape among the few other sounds. There’s a determination; a firmness in there. The main vocals come in and join in with the chant, then bass, then the brief sound of piano. There’s a sense of small, desperate, yet certain hope in there, stating that there must be one place left in the world where nature (at the very least) feels untouched.
The bass continues to move among the music, helping to keep form and the song keeps on driving forward, looking, searching. A slight twinkle of piano, then it too takes place in the formation, building on the structure.
The song finds itself come to what could be considered a louder section, and perhaps it is. Suddenly the scope is louder, more dramatic and perhaps cathartic in a sense. The song becomes more expressive, everything seems to hit harder.
The harmonies continue, the main vocals reach out so much more, almost knowing that “There must be one place left in the world where we can be”. Shortly after the final word, a rumble and all drops out, leaving something akin to a crackle and a piano playing out into the silence, perhaps mournful for that which should be despite that which is.