Watching the news has hardly ever been a source of comfort. But with the frequency of mass shootings that have permeated our television feeds and news feeds alike, it can be hard to stomach. A national dialogue has erupted once again following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting this last Feb. 14. Trying to make sense of tragedy and knowing when and how to take action can be dizzying. Many look to music to give them comfort and clarity in these times, but artists also find themselves with a unique opportunity to use their platform to elevate the conversation.
In that vain, songwriter and producer Erik Blood has opted to use music as a means to take a stand against gun violence – and he's not doing it alone. On the new track "The Future Was Here," Blood brings together an all-star cast of Seattle musicians to carry out this powerful message, including Ishmael Butler (aka Palaceer Lazaro) of Shabazz Palaces, Stas THEE Boss, Adra Boo, Mirrorgloss, OCNotes, Tacocat's Emily Nokes, Pickwick's Alex Westcoat and Galen Disston, Irene Barber of Nearby/Dust Moth, Michael Mcki of Spesh, Marquetta Miller of Breaks and Swells, Grey Waves' Jesse Hughey, Indian Agent's Silver Jackson, and Larry Mizell, Jr. You might have had to take a breath before reading that list outloud, but that number of voices on the track alone underscores the urgency to the situation that so many would come together to create in this moment.
The psychedelic funk of the bassline and uneasiness of the synthesizer lead relate to disorienting nature of the matter at hand. While only Butler and Stas have full verses of their own, hearing the voices of all these Seatte musicians from different scenes coalescing has strenght on its own. It's a chorus of voices echoing out together with a shared purpose, all belting to make sure their words are heard. The lyric video leaves nothing left to ambiguity with the white block text over the black background. The words punch through on your screen, leaving you to take in their meaning, singing, "Time to pay for all your crimes, I'm taking all your guns." Blood shares his thoughts on the track's conception:
"I don't want anyone to be shot by police, white supremacists, angry lover, disturbed adolescents, or curious children. America has proven it cannot be trusted with firearms. As a loving mother would punish the wrong doing of her children, the time has come for us to own up to our own foolishness —A solution that doesn't invite death."
Watch the video below.
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