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Music To Fight Evil

Aleppo - Leyla McCalla

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Aleppo - Leyla McCalla

"Fists are flying in the name of love," sings Leyla McCalla on Aleppo, the sobering standout centrepiece of her third album, The Capitalist Blues. "So much violence in the name of love," she continues as the guitar pierces us with a shriek of obstreperous feedback. "We look on and on, we don't heed the call / Who knows if we care at all?…

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Woke Up This Morning - Alabama 3

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Woke Up This Morning - Alabama 3

The song that so perfectly epitomised the dark heart of 21st Century East Coast American organised crime, familiar to millions from the opening credits of The Sopranos, is not even American. It was written in London by an Elvis-loving Mormon from South Wales and a Glaswegian polymath. And it’s not about the American gangland. It was inspired by the true story of a British woman who killed her abusive husband… or was it?…

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Rollercoaster - India.Arie

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Rollercoaster - India.Arie

The modern world is dizzying. Mass communication floods our senses with an overwhelming torrent of new ideas and there are countless influencers - celebrities, intellectuals, politicians, business leaders and spiritual charlatans - proposing the path to navigate it all. Indie.Arie's Rollercoaster is a modern take on the immortal Sixties graffiti gag "stop the world - I want to get off",…

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Pride - Grace Petrie

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Pride - Grace Petrie

Grace Petrie's bitter-sweet song of solidarity, Pride, movingly articulates the conflicting emotions of life as a gay person in the 21st Century - on the one hand the legacy of dignity earned by 50 years of liberal activism and on the other the rancour at a lifetime of being discriminated against simply for being who you are…

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All Together Now - The Farm

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All Together Now - The Farm

Yes, it really happened. On Christmas Eve, 1914, as the first winter of the Great War consumed France and Belgium in conflict, the men on opposing sides in the trenches along the front lines ceased the madness and played football in no man's land to celebrate peace on Earth and goodwill to all men. This enduringly symbolic moment of humanity is celebrated in the words of All Together Now, a UK Top Five hit by Liverpudlian four-piece The Farm in December 1990…

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Resister - She Drew The Gun

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Resister - She Drew The Gun

No matter how insignificant and powerless you might feel, you can make a difference. That's the message of Resister, which starts with an insistent 150 BPM loop and is quickly joined by a torrent of challenging ideas that don't let up for 2 minutes 53 seconds of uplifting, infectious, political indie pop aimed squarely at motivating "the underdogs, black sheep [and] fighters of the powers that be"…

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Tear The Fascists Down - Woody Guthrie

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Tear The Fascists Down - Woody Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie's folk songs chronicled the plight of American people during the Great Depression. With his debut album, Dust Bowl Ballads - considered retrospectively to be the first ever concept album - he became one of the nation's leading spokesmen for labour rights; he was an anti-fascist, anti-racist iconoclast determined to debunk the myth of the American Dream…

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