Your next roadtrip playlist is absolutely sorted ‘cos a new album full of Australian frog sounds is about to drop. Apologies but the only band I’ll listen to in the foreseeable future is actually this frog chorus. Harry Potter frog choir, eat your heart out.
The context for the album is a project run by the Australian Museum called FrogID, which encourages everyday Aussies to record frog noises on its app.
This helps scientists get data on frogs, with the primary goal of conservation. The secondary goal? Apparently it’s creating sick, froggy beats.
Now FrogID has collabed with orgs including The Bowerbird Collective and Listening Earth, as well as Mangkaja Arts illustrator Mervyn Street to create volume two of Songs of Disappearance. The album features recordings taken by people using the FrogID app.
You may recognise Song of Disappearance. That’s ‘cos volume one — which featured Aussie birdsong — overtook Michael Buble and Mariah Carey on the ARIA charts in December 2021.
Fuck festive cheer, I’m here for birds only.
The team is hoping these froggy vocals will make it onto the ARIA charts again this year.
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In fact, FrogID lead scientist Dr Jodi Rowley told the ABC she hoped the frogs would beat Taylor Swift in the Christmas ARIA charts.
And it’s for a good reason too: the album is hoping to raise awareness about what Australia stands to lose if we don’t protect our threatened froggies.
Some of the vocals on the album are made by now-extinct frogs, which Rowley described as “haunting”.
“[Humans] are responsible for the loss of at least four species of frog in Australia and we’ve got another 40 species hanging on, threatened with extinction,” she said.
Taylor Swift may have bangers, but does she have deeply moving recordings of threatened hoppy bois? I think not.
According to Dr Rowley, one of the sounds on the album is from the “very rare, secretive” critically endangered spotted tree frog.
Now why am I tearing up at the idea of listening to an endangered froggy sing its song? Croak away little friends.
And one of the most commonly recorded frogs was the dwarf tree frog up on the Gold Coast, which Rowley described as a “sort of screecher”.
Who knew frogs could make such a dazzling variety of sounds?
Songs of Disappearance drops on December 2 and can be pre-ordered now, with a CD setting you back $25 and a digital download costing $9.99.
The money raised will help support the FrogID project. You can also presave the album on a bunch of streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music.
You better believe I’ll be wrangling that aux chord at the next function.