MUSIC REVIEW - Gurrumul, The Gospel Album, Skinnyfish Records - Out on July 31.

Aboriginal singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.  Photo by Prudence Upton.
Aboriginal singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Photo by Prudence Upton.
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A very hard listen in anyone’s language

Over the last 25 years, churches across the world have been engulfed by the sounds and songs of Australian worship.

Geoff Bullock, Chris Falson, Russell Fragar, Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan and Darlene Zschech have become household - or rather pew-friendly - names within most services across the UK and beyond.

But another revolution from Down Under may be on its with the forthcoming album from indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, or Gurrumul for short.

Unmistakable because of his high-tenor voice and blindness from birth, Gurrumul has drawn on the experiences of his childhood on Elcho Island, about a two-hour flight from Darwin on Australia’s northern coast.

The Gospel Album is sung in Gurrumul’s native dialect and among his admirers are music luminaries like Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and will.i.am. of The Black-Eyed Peas and The Voice fame.

But Gurrumul is a very hard listen, even with the language barrier, and there is no question that the album will likely be bought by someone with acquired and cultural tastes.

Otherwise, Hillsongs, Planetshakers and the original Newsboys will have to do.

Music by Winston Brown