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At the beginning of the summer, we sat down with West Philly gutterfolk duo Driftwood Soldier to discuss a unique project they were undertaking with the help of the Philadelphia Folksong Society and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Aiming to tie the Philly community together by examining individual experiences with isolation, Driftwood Soldier asked Philadelphians a simple question: “How have you been?” They took the responses, extracted the raw emotions, and wrote a song.

The end result, “Gimme Music,” explores these answers. Driftwood Soldier — with the help of Melina Harris — sing about playing on a rainy street, walking through a graveyard, the crushing anxiety of recent sociopolitical turmoil, and trying to act like everything’s normal when it just isn’t. “Gimme Music” radiates turmoil but still paints a hopeful picture, a reminder that every Philadelphian is experiencing hardship in one way or another during these immensely isolating times. By singing about a shared sense of misery, Driftwood Soldier reinforces our community: we’ll get through this.

“Gimme music, so I can hold on,” they sing. Gimme music, indeed.

Watch Driftwood Soldier’s “Gimme Music” below. Purchase the track on Bandcamp here.

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