In December 2021 in Australia, Adele's album topped the charts for the majority of the month, followed by Ed Sheeran. The next contender, however, was a group of unheard of artists, and their album was a delightful surprise.
Songs of Disappearance, produced by Charles Darwin University Ph.D. candidate Anthony Albrecht, is an album of calls from endangered Australian birds. The album charted at number 3 on Australia's top 50 albums chart, ahead of Taylor Swift, ABBA, Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé. Proceeds from album sales are donated to conservation organization BirdLife Australia.
"Things like the golden bowerbird — it sounds like a death ray from some cheesy '70s sci-fi series," said Sean Dooley of BirdLife Australia to NPR. "And then you get to the Christmas Island frigatebird, which the male, it has a flap of skin under its chin that it inflates like a giant red balloon. And so when it's doing these courtship sounds, it looks incredible as well as sounds bizarre."
Despite the brief charting period, the university and BirdLife Australia hope that the impressions left will encourage the government and the community to take real actions towards conserving these endangered birds.