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Wildfire Manwurrk are bringing worlds together to tell their story

By both name and nature, Wildfire Manwurrk are incandescent; illuminating important messages by finding harmony between Balanda (whitefella) and Bininj (blackfella) music, feeding their flame further with the punk rock cut, ‘Don’t Smoke’, out now.

There’s a certain indescribable magic kept within the bounds of Arnhem Land, something you certainly won’t find in the Big Smoke. Fortunately, Wildfire Manwurrk aren’t keeping it a secret, sharing a hitherto unheard sound to spread messages that we put in our “Shut up and listen” category. 

Seamlessly combining their language, Kune, with English, and the hard rock staples of electric guitar, drums and bass with Didgeridoo (Morle), Wildfire Manwurrk are powered by more than 60,000 years of culture with a decidedly cutting modern edge. This week, the band have shared their brand new hard punk single ‘Don’t Smoke’, a groove that, quite frankly, we can all do with getting down to.

Quite literally, ‘Don’t Smoke’ is an ode to the dire need to cut out smoking – “Don’t Smoke is an easy thing to understand but a big powerful message”, the band explained to BLUNT following the release. “This story is a big story in our community, we have lots of health issues in our children and old people with heart problems, asthma and disease. It’s a key word for people to listen and think about other people.”

Angular, scrappy and tight, ‘Don’t Smoke’ sees Wildfire Manwurrk wield punk rock with the natural style of the genre’s greats, but it’s far more than a faithful copy. Combining Morle and clapsticks with the songbed creates an entirely unique listening experience, a cyclone of ambience and aggression, depth and velocity; but it was also important for those who created the song too: “When we add Morle (Didgeridoo) to our music, and clapstick,” the band explain, “we can feel that we are still walking with our ancestors and taking our country with us wherever we go.”

The band’s swelling fan base will notice a clear departure from their debut single, ‘Lonely Bangardi’ – a much more ’80s garage rock track, with ‘Don’t Smoke’ being a worthy offering to the overlords of punk rock. That was a purposeful creative decision: “We put it with a hard punk music sound so people out here in our communities are hearing something different to make them stop and pay attention.”

With their ability to bring worlds together on a track, it’s likely you’ll never hear anything like Wildfire Manwurrk. Thankfully come Friday, 25th November they’ll be sharing their larger body of work, the debut EP The Next Future, which again, by both name and nature, seems incredibly accurate.

Listen to ‘Don’t Smoke’ below.