Eric Bazilian | photo by Dallyn Pavey | courtesy of the artist
Eric Bazilian shares electoral contemplations on new song “Heaven Ain’t Gonna Save Us”
While Philadelphia’s ongoing mail-in ballot count has just made Democrat Joe Biden the leader in the 2020 presidential race, Philly native Eric Bazilian released a new single today, addressing the state of the nation.
The lead singer of The Hooters, and songwriting collaborator with folks from Cyndi Lauper to Joan Osborne, uses the new rocker “Heaven Ain’t Gonna Save Us” as a way to reflect on polarization in the United States.
“I wrote the song the day after the 2016 Election, just thinking about how divided the country had gotten,” Bazilian tells us over e-mail. “No matter which side ‘wins,’ half of the people are going to feel like losers. And now, here we are again, four years later, in the exact same situation.”
Bazilian nods to the ever-present noise of toxic political chatter in the lyric “everybody’s got so much to talk about,” and hopes for unity in the line “there ain’t no right or wrong wing on a plane that’s gotta fly through a sky that’s got room for all of us.” But a music video by local paper animator Haley Monson unpacks it further, alluding to racial injustice in America, widespread deaths from COVID-19, and a deepening climate crisis — issues that fall prey to contentious partisan fighting, and only worsen as a result.
The song will be on Bazilian’s in-the-works new solo album, his first in almost 20 years, and something he worked on when The Hooters’ 40th anniversary tour this summer was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“‘Heaven Ain’t Gonna Save Us’ was actually a last-minute addition when it dawned on me just how relevant it is again now, and how much I think it’s a message that people need to hear, whichever side they land on,” he writes.
Watch the video below, listen on streaming services, and be on the lookout for more; Bazilian plans on releasing another single every month until the album releases in spring of 2021.