23 January 2024 @ 8:45 pm
Hailing from Brisbane, Thelma’s journey began on her grandparents’ farm in Delungra, a quaint rural town in New South Wales. Music has been her lifelong companion, but her stories were held close to her heart until now.
Her debut album, “Better In Blak,” is a soul-stirring saga of culture, heritage, love, and pain, reflecting the remarkable journey of a young Aboriginal woman in Australia. From her early EP “Monsters” in 2014, Thelma has come a long way. This album is her courageous exploration of what it means to be an Aboriginal woman in this country, a story she wasn’t always ready to share, but one that she now embraces with strength and resilience.
Thelma embarked on her debut album four years ago, rewriting the narrative. The result is 12 tracks of unapologetic honesty and insight, recorded across iconic cities like New York, London, and Sydney. Collaborating with producer Alex Burnett, the album showcases Thelma at her very best, pouring her heart and soul into every note. Whether it’s the heartfelt title track, a tribute to family and people of color, or the powerful anthem “Don’t Let A Good Girl Down,” where she confronts hate and bigotry head-on, her music is a potent force.
“Woke Blokes” addresses fake allies who wear political correctness when it suits them, while “Homecoming Queen” delves into representation and self-love, highlighting the importance of seeing oneself in the media. Thelma’s music is a rollercoaster of emotions, making you want to dance, laugh, and cry. Tracks like “Not Angry Anymore” and the opener “Clumsy Love” are certified pop hits. “Love and War” featuring Dave Le’Aupepe of Gang of Youths explores the events at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, while the album’s closing song, “Made For You,” co-written with Paul Kelly, even garnered the attention of none other than Paul McCartney, who contributed guitar parts.
Amidst all the powerful narratives, one of the most vulnerable moments in the album is “Thulumaay Gii,” a touching song about healing. Thelma dedicated it to her mother, a single mother who provided her with a wonderful life despite facing hardships. “Thulumaay Gii,” her middle name, translates to ‘Thunder and Heart’ in Kamilaroi, the language of her Gamilaraay people. This name perfectly encapsulates Thelma Plum, one of the brightest songwriters in the country, whose essence indeed resonates with the thunderous power of her heritage and the tenderness of her heart.