A snap Top End outbreak and lockdown?have?postponed the 2021 Territory Day fireworks once again, but the Territory Sounds Countdown returned bangers to a suddenly quiet evening for the second year in a row.
A collaboration by Baker Boy, Sampa the Great, and Dallas Woods won the 2021 Territory Sounds Countdown by only three votes115 songs from the NT that were?released in 2020?were enteredIndigenous and female artists featured strongly
The 2021 ABC Radio Darwin/MusicNT Territory Sounds Countdown winner was Better Days by?Baker Boy featuring?Dallas Woods?and Sampa the Great.
It’s the first time a female artist, Sampa Tembo, has featured?in the top honour.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Baker Boy responds to winning 2021 Territory Sounds Countdown.(ABC Radio Darwin: Mikaela Simpson)
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For?the second time in two years, an Arnhem Land artist has topped the poll, with Yolngu rapper Danzal Baker backing up Yothu Yindi’s Treaty in 2020.
”It’s so exciting. Thank you to everyone who voted. Thank you so much,” he said.
His?song Move scored seventh.
”Move is about my partner, as well as all the incredible women in my life who made me who I am,”?the Young Australian of 2019?said.
”It’s about having them supporting me while I’m a long way from home and the way it makes me feel.”
The Northern Territory was granted self-government on July 1, 1978The day is celebrated annually and is best known as the only day Territorians can buy and ignite fireworks legallyIt’s not a public holiday, but major centres host public fireworks displays, concerts, and parties
Darwin independent rockers Draftday was?only three votes behind?with their song, Mess I’ve Made.
They?were the cat among?the pigeons with three songs in the top 10 — White Fences?secured?fourth spot?and Misspent fifth.
The band is the success story of the Countdown’s young history as it squeezed Soap into the final spot in last year’s top 40.
It’s been a good year for the?long-time friends and band members.
In May, Draftday?won a spot to play the Bassinthegrass festival,?after a?tour down south which included the Yours and Owls Festival.
Darwin independent rock band Draftday at the V8 Supercars round in Darwin.(
Supplied: Northern Territory Major?Events Company
Guitarist Tom Ford only had praise for his team.?
”[Singer]?Aaron is a weapon. They’re freaks all around,” he said.
”They’re my best friends and I’m pretty sure they always will be.”
White Fences was a band favourite.
”It’s so special. When we finished?it, we had a big cuddle after.”
Singer songwriter Emily Wurramara is originally?from Groote Eylandt off the NT coast.(
Supplied: Emily Wurramara
Warnindhilyagwa muso Emily Wurramara from Groote Eylandt balanced out the tempo of?the top three with Cruisin’.
The song was dedicated to her late godbrother, Dion Gundy, who died in a car accident in 2018.
But Wurramara has since put her best foot forward in her career.
”Gigs are getting cancelled here and there, but it makes you appreciate your life and people in your life as well,” she said.
King Stingray’s?lineup is?Yirr?a Yunupi?u, Roy Kellaway, Dimathaya Burarrwanga?and Campbell Messer.(
The first of three newcomers to the list was Yol?gu surf rockers King Stingrays with?Hey Wanhaka.
Success is in the?genes for the bilingual act.
Roy is son of Yothu Yindi bass player Stu Kellaway and Yirr?a?Yunupi?u is nephew of frontman Dr M Yunupi?u.
He said the song “brings home a bit of power”.
”That song, particularly, is a fun one to play because it has that bit of punch, almost chanty stuff?to it,” Kellaway said.
The current lineup of Darwin Americana folk band David Garnham and the Reasons to Live is?David Garnham, Mark Smith, Dan Davies?and?Aden Mackay.(
)An artist must be an NT resident for five consecutive years; or be born in the NT and maintain connection or cultural ties to the NTArtists were allowed to enter three of their “broadcast quality”?songsAll Australian residents were eligible between June 1 and June 21 to pick five favourite songsInstead of last year’s 40 songs from all time, the countdown was 10 songs from the 2020 calendar year
They cut their own hair, screenprint their own merchandise, and do all their own stunts.
Americana folk act David Garnham and the Reasons to Live have played on almost every flat surface across the Territory.
Red Wine, Cigarettes, Dark Chocolate, You finished a respectable joint-seventh in the NT musical awards?— the same place as This Town last year.
While Garnham didn’t have all those ingredients last night, he said it was lockdowns that triggered the?song’s release.
”It was a very simple message about not having much, and having love, and that being enough,” Garnham said.
Central Australian singer songwriter Sally Balfour.(
Supplied:?William C Thomson
)MusicNT’s “celebrity choices” saw?11 people pick?their five favouritesArtist Dallas Frasca?has a good ear?for a tune and successfully picked three of the top 10 songsOnly Gove FM’s Rob Stewart from Baker Boy’s homeland?picked the winning song in his top five
The only Central Australian to make the cut was Alice Springs-born, Tennant Creek resident Sally Balfour with Calling Me Home in ninth place.
She was listening to the countdown in her backyard, toasting marshmallows on?a campfire after the lockdown?cancelled a Territory Day gig.
The song is the story of singers Archie Roach and his late wife, Ruby Hunter.
”I was really touched by their love story and by their on-stage chemistry,” Balfour said.
”I wrote this about that and the fact that?now Ruby Hunter is gone and what that must mean for Archie Roach.”
Some of the?royalties from Caiti Baker’s Worth It goes to the Women of Worth initiative, helping prisoners and ex-prisoners in the community.(
Supplied: Caiti Baker
) The 2021 Countdown was as diverse as can be.(
Proving the depth of talent the NT has to offer,?one of Australia’s household R&B names, ARIA-winning Caiti Baker, scored the final place on the list with Worth It.
Parts of the song were recorded on a “weird, chunky karaoke machine”?in a disabled toilet cubicle by?female prisoners in the?Darwin Correctional Centre.
It was the theme song of the 2020 Australian Podcast of the Year,?Bird’s Eye View, which features women’s stories from Darwin Correctional Centre.
”[Podcast producer Jo Bell]?got on the ground and 15 women crouched around her yelling and whispering and chanting, ‘Will we ever know if it was worth it’,” Baker?said.
”There was a lot of talented women who can write, sing, have got the rhythm, and have got the jokes.”
Earning the leather medal for 11th place by a solitary vote was quarantine anthem Shake Your Booty (At An Appropriate Social Distance) by Alice Springs-based Resin Moon, featuring Ed Gould and Darcy Davis.
Baker Boy featuring?Dallas Woods and?Sampa the Great
Mess I’ve Made
Hey WanhakaKing Stingray
Red Wine, Cigarettes, Dark Chocolate, You
David Garnham and?the Reasons to Live
Calling Me Home
Worth ItCaiti Baker
Hear the countdown?on Mikaela Simpson’s ABC Radio Darwin and the Northern Territory Evenings program.