It goes without saying that there are a lot of very scared, very angry people in America right now, and music news is probably one of the last things on their minds.
In the days that followed the election, it almost seemed wrong to continue talking about it, but then, slowly but surely, hopeful stories began to emerge. Since last Tuesday, musicians and labels have been stepping forward to stand in solidarity with marginalized groups, and while their charitable donations and protest songs aren’t going to change the world overnight, they’re an important reminder that now, more than ever before, we need to stick together.
While many artists took to social media to express their fear and disappointment, others took to the studio. Philly local Khari Mateen penned the thoughtful “For All People”, while Heart Harbor released the collaborative single “A Million Years” to benefit GALAEI, a queer/Latinx social justice organization. Similarly, artists like St. Louis’ Foxing (favorites of us here at The Key) and Jon Coyle of Son Step re-purposed unreleased material as benefit singles for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
The most common method way of giving back was through the popular “Pay-What-You-Can-Format”. Whether it was Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties offering up their entire discographies or Hop Along donating digital sales of Freshman Yearto benefit the American Civil Liberties Union, or Buried Beds doing the same to support the Southern Poverty Law Center, musicians have been adapting the thing they do best to make a positive change. The same goes for indie labels like North Carolina’s Tiny Engines, Boston Run For Cover Records and Philly’s Lame-O Records, who, for a limited time, have put their entire catalog’s up for charity. All of those labels include releases from numerous Philly bands, from Modern Baseball and Restorations to Lithuania and Thin Lips
These may be uncertain times, but let these stories serve as a reminder that you’re not alone out there. If you have the means, there’s a smorgasbord of great causes to contribute to, and you get some great music in the process. It’s a political victory you can actually feel good about.