Midnight Oil may have sworn off touring for good, but Peter Garett has never been one to remain idle for very long. The former Midnight Oil frontman and Labor politician has recently announced his sophomore solo album, titled The True North, will be released on March 15, 2024.
The album follows his 2016 solo debut, A Version of Now, which peaked at Number 3 on the ARIA charts. The True North was recorded with Garrett’s current band, The Alter Egos, who will also be joining Garrett on the road for The True North national tour.
Garrett has already given fans a sampling of the album with his recent single releases. The titular track of the album was released last week and explores the natural beauty and power of the Northern Territory and (as usual for Garett) comments on the mistreatment of its native people.
Garett has also released the two-part track Innocence which focuses on themes of environmentalism and climate change. With these releases, it’s very clear that Garrett’s beliefs haven’t changed and the album will contain much of his trademark political and social commentary.
With that in mind, Garett said that the album also explores more of his sensitive side.
“With the Oils, and even the first solo record, there was plenty of banging down the doors and speaking out about the things that need to change”, said Garett while speaking to Double J.
“There’s still a bit of that in this album too of course but generally these songs are reflective of the special things we need to cherish; the natural world as well as our always spinning internal compass, that helps us navigate the unruly passage of life.”
Featuring on the album alongside Garett are his band The Alter Egos, composed by Garrett’s old Midnight Oil bandmate Martin Rotsey on guitar, Heather Shannon (of The Jezabels) on piano and keys, drummer Evan Mannell, and bassist Rowan Lane. The album was produced by celebrated producer Tony Menchen who has worked with the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and the John Butler Trio.
Also featuring on the album are cellist Freya Schack-Arnott, Ollie Thorpe on pedal steel guitar, and two of Peter’s daughters, May and Grace Garrett, who provide backing vocals. Grace also provided the album artwork. It appears that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to talent in the Garett family.
Full tour dates can be found on Garett’s website.