For their first new material since 2013's Reflektor, indie art collective Arcade Fire recruit legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples to present a clear and simple warning to our leaders: I give you power and I can take it away. This is not a threat, Mr Trump. it's a promise.
At the same time as reminding POTUS where he stands, it's a reminder to the rest of us that we the people are in control. We are not lone voices battling against a vast and unspeakable majority. We are part of something bigger and we can and must use our voices to prevent our leaders from exploiting their privileged position.
A high-speed combination of punk chorus and ska verse, Mustard Plug’s singalong Unite and Fight is just one of a sensational 28 tracks on the Ska Against Racism album compiled by Bad Time Records in 2020 to raise funds for non-profit organisations working to improve education, opportunity and justice for black people in the USA and beyond. With a barrelling momentum and a repudiation of violent action, this uplifting song is a call to arms for those of us committed to disarmament.
Celebrating the determination of “one hundred thousand teenagers” to take over the streets of London to save their future from calamity, KIDSTRIKE! by novelist and singer songwriter JB Morrison – aka Jim Bob – is taken from the UK Top 40 album Pop Up Jim Bob released in August 2020 and inspired by the real life activism of countless young activists. But the song is run through with a rueful recognition of the singer’s own fading urge to save the world.
Inspired in part by the fatal shooting in New York of a ten-year-old black boy by a white plain-clothes policeman, the audacious centrepiece of Stevie Wonder’s experimental 1973 album was a seven-and-a-half-minute meditation on the brutality of black America: Living for the City…