Yirinda means ‘Now’ in Butchulla language.

Meanjin/Brisbane duo Yirinda combine ancient Aboriginal language with sublime modern production – Fred Leone and Samuel Pankhurst’s music invokes thousands of generations of story and culture, while emerging as something entirely new.

Fred is one of three Butchulla Songmen – a song and language custodian for the Butchulla people from the Fraser Coast region of Queensland, including K’gari (formerly known as Fraser Island). He sings the songs on this album in the endangered Butchulla language, now spoken by only a handful of people.

Samuel is an internationally acclaimed contrabassist and producer known for his kaleidoscopic harmonies and polyrhythmic mastery. He has scored extensively for contemporary dance, recently for notable choreographer Thomas Kelly’s celebrated work SILENCE.

Their self-titled debut album was recorded in Brisbane by Samuel, then mixed in London by Jake Miller (Björk, Arca, Yves Tumor) and mastered at Abbey Road by Alex Wharton (The Beatles, My Bloody Valentine). The album sets Fred’s powerful vocals against striking experimental soundscapes, rich with strings, horns, double bass, synthesizer, piano and percussion. The result is otherworldly, a timeless art music outside Western convention.

Yirinda have performed at the Australian Art Music Awards, Vivid Festival, Brisbane Festival, Woodford, Golden Plains, Mona Foma, Supersense and been covered by ABC Radio and NME Australia.

Fred has toured Europe as a member of The Black Arm Band, and as a solo artist supporting and guesting with Xavier Rudd. He founded Queensland’s first Aboriginal hip hop label Impossible Odds in 2009, and collaborates regularly with his cousin Birdz.

Samuel has performed with the Brodsky String Quartet and his studio work covers everything from the Bluey TV show to Hiatus Kaiyote.

Release: February 16th, 2024, Chapter Music