This weekend is Juneteenth, the U.S. holiday that marks the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Across the world in Australia, indie rock duo Royal Chant are doing their small bit to mark the occasion.
For their third annual Juneteenth fundraiser, the band have covered the classic song ‘Goodbye Horses’, turning it into a blistering post-punk banger. The cover comes alongside two unreleased rarities: ‘Sprawl’, which was left off their recent album Anyways and Also Sorry, and an anti-folk version of ‘Plastic Soul’.
100% of all sales are going to two great Australian charities: Change The Record works to address the root causes of Indigenous incarceration and works to prevent imprisonment, while Black Rainbow advocates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI communities.
As Royal Chant wrote on their Bandcamp, change is much-needed. “Nearly 500 aboriginal deaths in custody since 2008, including 88 in 2020–21 in alone, is completely unacceptable and breaks our heart,” they note. “We have a small voice but we can use if for what is right.”
Last year’s Juneteenth fundraiser saw Royal Chant raise more than twice what their debut edition did, so hopes are high for 2022. You can head to their Bandcamp to check out the mini-EP, with all funds raised from music and merchandise sales going to the two aforementioned charities from today.
This isn’t the only good cause Royal Chant have backed, with the band becoming renowned for their charitable endeavours. Early last year, they released the single ‘Big Mood’, with 100% of Bandcamp proceeds from the sale going to the very deserving Australian Koala Foundation.
Tasked with protecting one of our most vulnerable native creature, the hard work of the Australian Koala Foundation cannot be overstated: it’s estimated there could be as few as 43,000 koalas left in the country.
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