Goanna To Release Their First New Music In 25 Years Next Week

23 June 2023 | 9:26 am | Mary Varvaris

Shane Howard described takayna as “A hymn to the natural world, to takayna/Tarkine and the palawa peoples long custodianship of that country.”


Goanna (Credit: Martin Stringer)

Iconic Australian rockers Goanna will release their first new song in 25 years on 1 July.

The new single, takayna, will be released by the independent Goanna Arts label through MGM in support of the Tarkine rainforest in North West Tasmania, which is currently under threat from logging and mining (note: takayna is the palawa word for the Tarkine rainforest in North West Tasmania. The palawa are the Aboriginal people of Tasmania. takayna and palawa are in lowercase in accordance with palawa kani protocols.)

The ancient Tarkine rainforest, dubbed Australia’s Amazon, spans half a million hectares of mountains, creeks and rivers that run to the Southern Ocean. Unique and brimming with biodiversity, takayna/Tarkine is not protected from logging, deforestation or mining expansion.

On the single, Goanna sound as passionate as they did on Solid Rock, albeit in a less forceful fashion. takayna is a ballad – starring Shane Howard’s stirring vocals, guitars, and keyboards that call back to the R.E.M. classic, Country Feedback; Goanna truly shines when the harmonica arrives about halfway through the song.

Lead vocalist Shane Howard described takayna as “A hymn to the natural world, to takayna/Tarkine and the palawa peoples long custodianship of that country.”

Goanna recorded the song live at Hamer Hall as part of Goanna’s Touring on Country National Tour last year. The group’s new single also features Rose Bygrave and Marcia Howard’s stunning harmonies, Graham Davidge and Howard’s trademark guitar lines, the solid rhythm section of Ruben Shannon and Marcus Ryan and Richard Tankard’s soaring Hammond Organ.

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Shane Howard added, “takayna/Tarkine is under threat from clear-felling and mining. We are honour bound to do better, for country, for all the creatures that depend on those forests, including ourselves and future generations.”

On MMG, the long-standing mine in the region, Howard continued, “We all understand the need for jobs, but there are more responsible ways of dealing with ‘tailings’ from a mine than to build a 48-metre-high dam of toxic acid right beside a magnificent river in pristine forest.

“It defies logic really. The region is too environmentally sensitive. World’s best practice should be at the heart of what is of greatest value to Tasmania in the long run. There are alternatives.”

Since the Franklin River campaign, Goanna’s old friend and environmental defence advocate, Bob Brown, asked, “Do we have a right to expect the Brazilians to save the Amazon if we can’t protect the Tarkine?”

2023 marks the 40th Anniversary of Goanna’s 1983 anthemic song, Let The Franklin Flow and the High Court Decision, on 1 July 1983 that prevented the damming of the Franklin River.

You can pre-save takayna here.