The Australian music industry has come together to support the ‘Yes’ campaign with a much needed injection of positivity in the middle of the same-sex marriage postal survey.
Thirty Days of Yes—a project devised by Inertia Music’s Meg Williams and Gab Ryan—is a compilation of songs by Australian and New Zealand artists aimed at supporting the LGBT+ community through the marathon debate.
“What we want to do is change the dialogue around it and say, 'We’re all here, we’re all standing by you, we’re not tired yet, we’ll still be here when we have marriage equality,’” Williams tells SBS.
“It’s the music industry’s way of saying, we’re supporting you guys,” she adds.
The subscription mixtape releases a new track every day for thirty days—and has so far included music from Teeth & Tongue, High-tails, Twerps and Guy Blackman.
Blackman—who runs Chapter Music with his partner of 23 years, Ben O’Connor—says recording the song Marriage for the compilation was a no-brainer.
“Growing up, we’ve both dealt with a lot of issues, coming out and proud as gay people but this whole postal survey has brought a lot of stuff to the surface again that you thought you dealt with and it’s like being bullied at high school for being queer.”
The Melbourne based musician says that he and his partner “talk about marriage as something that doesn’t seem quite right for us, but the feeling is always complicated.”
“It’s always going to be weird, it’s this club that you’re not allowed to be part of,” he tells SBS.
“But it’s such a significant part of human life so my song tries to address some of the complicated feelings.
“What does it mean to be in a relationship for a long time and love someone very deeply but also, for your relationship not to be deemed equal to others?”
The songs that have been included on the mixtape include a few tracks that have been specifically written about the postal survey as well as a some surprise duets, covers and remixes, says Wiliams.
“They’re all coming from different angles and perspectives but all around the theme of support and love,” she says of the collection.
And as well as supporting the LGBT+ community with songs of hope, the project is also donating all proceeds—minus a ten per cent fee to Bandcamp—straight to organisations that support LGBT+ young people.
“We’re splitting profits pretty much down the line between Minus 18 and Twenty10— that are both youth organisations that work with LGBTIQA+ queer identifying young people between 12 and 25,” Williams says.
“We wanted the funds to go towards youth organisations that can support those who are affected by these discussions that are happening where they might not have a voice.”
Minus 18 CEO Micah Scott says that the “silver lining” of the postal survey is that increased amount of support the organisation has receieved.
“People who haven’t really thought about it or haven’t been campaigning for equal rights are now coming out in support of the LGBTI community, and young people in particular,” Scott says.
“Organisations like Minus 18 are really struggling to keep up with the demand—all of our staff are working crazy over time hours trying to support every single young person,” he adds.
“So having that financial support of people fundraising and making donations to Minus 18 at this point is so crucial. It’s really enabling us to meet that demand.”
You can check out 30 Days of Yes Bandcamp page here.