The label “children’s song star“becomes too reductive: Aldebert surprises by allying with the leader of Midnight Oil, Peter Garrett, in a duo-plea for a planet plagued by global warming, Sitting be they, at the heart of an album with a crazy cast.
Youssou N’Dour, Oxmo Puccino, Alain Souchon (and his son musicians Ours and Pierre), Calogero (for Double Papa, title on homoparentality already released), Jeanne Cherhal, Thomas Dutronc, Arthur Teboul (Feu! Chatterton) or even Alain Dorval (French vocal understudy of Sylvester Stallone) pose their voices over the songs ofChildhood 4, released this Friday, August 27 at Sony.
In this disc, Aldebert addresses both children and their parents, as in his song with Thomas Dutronc who makes fun of adults addicted to their smartphone (Screens, give us back our parents!). But the big sensation comes from the title in French and English with Peter Garrett, the Green Giant, nicknamed for its size (1.93 m) and its green commitments. The singer was also briefly Minister for the Environment of his country, Australia.
But how do you come to such a collaboration? “During a festival not far from where I live, Midnight Oil had just reformed, we knew the programmer, there was the possibility of meeting him“, tells AFP Aldebert.”I was told why not offer him a song about ecology?, I said It’s completely crazy, he will never do it! “He still has fun. First contact established. The staff of Albert will relaunch Garrett after a stint at the Olympia.
“I don’t often collaborate like that, but I asked to listen to the model, I found it good, and I accepted that we exchange ideas and vocal parts. Beyond the vast oceans, we got there“responds by email to AFP Garrett, currently confined in the Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales, Australia.”It was ultimately simple and fluid“, rejoices Aldebert, thanks to the exchange of sound files when the world had stopped turning with the pandemic.
“And one day, we get this voice of Midnight Oil, which resonates in us, which accompanied us, we grew up with, I had studied his songs in English in college“, remembers the Frenchman. He was 14 years old when the album of the consecration of the Australians, Diesel and dust, black and 1987.
Their hit Beds are burning then militates for the restitution of lands to the aborigines. But their refrain (“How do we sleep/While our beds are burning“, “How can we sleep / While our beds are burning“) has never been more relevant in a world threatened by global warming. The title of Albert-Garrett Sitting be they, a reference to inertia in the face of ecological perils, also samples Greta Thunberg’s famous speech at the UN.
“This speech had upset me; we also put in choirs, something quite demanding, children who declaim, as in Another brick in the wall de Pink Floyd“, details Aldebert. For Garrett, the message to pass on to the younger generations is:”Today’s leaders let you down (for the environment), but it is not too late to become the leaders of tomorrow. A healthy planet is worth a fight“.
For the former member of the Australian government (2007-2010 to the environment, then other portfolios before resuming the music), “politicians can make a difference if they really engage and understand that the environment is a priority“. “They can make laws, pass budgets etc but they need to be pushed and sometimes led by the people, and there we can see a change“.