Track of the Day: Tilly Tjala Thomas “Ngana Nyunyi” (2020)

Tilly Tjala Thomas

Emerging South Australia artist Tilly Tjala Thomas has just released her debut single “Ngana Nyunyi” as part of Part Time Records’ Singles Club. 

Coming from the Fleurieu Peninsula, Tilly Tjala Thomas has been writing and performing her own songs around Adelaide since she was eleven. This year, her final year of High School, she’s undertaken a creative mentorship with Melbourne producer and vocalist Memphis LK. 

Accompanying the single, there is a beautiful music video directed by Larrakia artist and producer Jimblah. Filmed on country in the Southern Flinders, the clip tells the storyline of the song. According to Tilly, “It started as a game that my dad would use to help my little sister and I learn Nukunu language. On long drives Dad would ask, ‘Ngana Nyunyi (what’s that?)’ and we’d reply ‘Nyunyi kulpi/yirta/thartu (that’s a cloud/bird/hill)’.”

Thomas goes into more detail about the meaning of the song in the description of the video on YouTube. So be sure to check that out to get an even better idea of her creative motivations. It’s a beautiful track, haunting perhaps, but arguably it still retains that playfulness that was so integral to its origins. 

“Ngana Nyunyi” is out now. Order a copy of the split single with Plastix HERE. You can connect and keep up to date with Tilly Tjala Thomas via Instagram.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.