As we approach November, we approach a monumental occasion in American history. Either the American people elect their first woman president and make history, or, we will elect the least qualified candidate to have run in the first place. In our history, from the Beatles’ protest themes, to Bob Dylan’s anti-war anthems, to the myriad of beautiful music to arise from the controversy of the Vietnam War, we are a country that has been heavily influenced by political expression in music. This influence is not dead – as we approach Election Day, daily, we gain another political song from an influential artist, and they’re all beautiful.
I’m talking about the 30 Days, 30 Songs project. As the Washington Post wrote, it’s “A playlist of songs that Donald Trump will hate.” This independent website has been releasing one song per day from October 10th until Election Day, urging its audience to get out and vote. Featured releases already include R.E.M, Moby, Franz Ferdinand, El Vy, Death Cab for Cutie, and many more. With these prolific artists already on the bill, it’s interesting to hypothesize who will drop the final word on Election Day. Below are five artists Between the Bars would love to see drop song #30 on November 11th, 2016.
#5: TV ON THE RADIO
From their Iraq War protests, to their vocal displeasure of George W. Bush, to their promoted alignment with Barack Obama, TV On The Radio has rarely shied away from expressing their political views on a public stage. Kyp Malone was quoted in a 2008 Under the Radar interview: “The whole thing seems like a big card game played with a bunch of cheaters. The worst thing about it, from a human perspective, is the people who have been suffering from the injustices of the economic system are going to bear the brunt of the greedy pigs’ tomfoolery at the top. If there isn’t some complete change of value systems, there is going to be a lot of pain and suffering ahead”. With this in mind, this seems like the perfect moment in American history to hear a new TVOTR single.
#4: RUN THE JEWELS
From the start, Killer Mike and El-P collab Run the Jewels has been about making a statement. Even stepping back to dissect the group’s iconic logo, Run the Jewels is about rising up from the ashes, and getting back up after you’ve been beaten down. Killer Mike has been vocal since before the Democratic Primaries, stepping away from music and backing Bernie Sanders on his campaign (even joining Sanders on his campaign trail for opening speeches). El-P, along the same line, has vocally berated Donald Trump on Twitter for the better part of his run. With Run the Jewels 3 just around the corner, an anti-Trump single would be characteristic of the duo, and one to expect in the coming weeks.
In a pitchfork interview last year, Chvrches spoke briefly about Donald Trump: “he’s a mad extremist…” At their performance last month for CD102.5’s Fall Fest, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry stopped mid-set to talk politics, mentioning how “insane” it is that Trump has made it this far. Mayberry urged those in attendance to get out, vote, and stop Trump’s advancement in the race. The actively-touring band may not have had time to hit the studio and produce an anti-Trump anthem, but with their views open, one can only hope.
#2: GREEN DAY
After the release of their latest politically-charged album Revolution Radio, which has been met with mixed reviews, an election day single from Green Day shouldn’t take anyone by surprise in the coming weeks. Pitchfork described the album as “the product of three people committed to making the idea of a Green Day record in 2016, but with reduced abilities and without direction”… It wouldn’t be surprising, then, to hear the group take a focused effort and sound off on Donald Trump.
OK, so this one’s a bit of a pipe dream. The release of a new single from hype-beasts Radiohead, with no advanced warning, would be a shock to all. However, there are a few reasons to keep believing. Radiohead has always been, at its core, a very political band. Frontman Thom Yorke has spoken out at length about environmental issues, so, when confronted with a climate-change denier who may be about to take one of the worlds’ greatest stages, Radiohead has the chance to react. The biggest hint the band has thrown our way so far? During both Lollapallooza and Osheaga performances of “2+2=5”, instead of the closing phrase “maybe not”, Thom has ended the song with no other words than “Donald Trump”. Coincidence? We’ll find out on Election Day.
keep up-to-date with the 30 Days, 30 Songs project at 30days30songs.com.