Songs of Disappearance, an album of frog calls, debuts at third behind Paul Kelly and Taylor Swift on the ARIA charts
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An album featuring the croaks and calls of Australian frogs has debuted at number three on the ARIA charts, just behind Taylor Swift and Paul Kelly for the top spot.
It did however beat out Jimmy Barnes' Blue Christmas, which came in at number four in its second week on the charts.
The album, titled Australian Frog Calls: Songs of Disappearance, debuted on the ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart on Friday, following its release last week.
Featuring 58 frogs from across Australia, including more than 40 classed as endangered or extinct, the album comes from the same team of academics, musicians and conservations that created an album of Australian bird songs that was the first of its kind to reach the ARIA charts.
Now their second album has gone even further, debuting in the top three.
Album producer and Charles Darwin University (CDU) PhD candidate Anthony Albrecht said the group had set out to do "something even more outlandish" this time round by putting "croaking frogs" centre stage.
"We just felt like there was something really fascinating about moving from something that I think all people associate with beauty … to something that not everyone necessarily associates with beauty," he said.
"They were the underdogs — or the underfrogs, as we like to say."
He said the album features a wide range of frog sounds, including calls that sound like "tinkly bells", "someone puckering up for a giant kiss" and the "deep, mournful croaks" of a long-extinct species.
The team's previous album, Songs of Disappearance: Australian Bird Calls, made international news late last year when it sold several thousand copies and eventually soared to second place on ARIA's albums chart.
An album made up entirely of tweets and squawks from Australian birds makes history by entering the Top Five ARIA album charts, surpassing Mariah Carey and ABBA.
It was the first record of its kind to crack the ARIA Top Five, and saw endangered Australian birds fly past the likes of Mariah Carey, ABBA and Adele.
Mr Albrecht said initial sales figures indicated the new album could leapfrog its predecessor and eventually reach first place.
"Last year the birds debuted at number five, and we have actually surpassed the sales figures from that debut," he said.
"Based on figures from recent weeks, we're feeling in a very strong position.
"It's really all about the frogs versus Taylor Swift right now."
If Australians supported the album, he said, "we stand … a really good chance of knocking her off the top of the charts".
Australian Frog Calls was a collaboration between the Bowerbird Collective, Australia Museum FrogID project, Listening Earth and Mervyn Street of Mangkaja Arts.
Many of the calls featured on the album — which date back to the 1970s — are from FrogID's database of sounds submitted by everyday Australians, while the rest were collected by Australian scientists.
FrogID project coordinator Nadiah Roslan said she hoped the album would help raise public awareness and promote action on frog conservation.
"Frogs are amongst the most threatened groups of animals on the planet and declining more rapidly than any other animal group," she said.
Scientists have identified the frogs most likely to become extinct in the next 20 years if more isn't done to save them.
"One in six species of frog in Australia is threatened and we have already lost at least four species to extinction, largely the result of habitat loss, disease, introduced species and pollution.
"This decline is concerning because we need frogs to be around — they play such an important role in healthy ecosystems and this role can't be filled by any other animal group."
And while the FrogID project has collected more than half a million recordings of frog calls in the past five years, Ms Roslan said there was still a lot of mystery around frogs and their behaviour.
"We still don't know that much about our frogs and there are still lots of data gaps to be filled," she said.
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