LISTEN: Petrol Girls – ‘I Believe Them’ (Solidarity Not Silence)

A raucous anthem with a defiant and empowering message, Petrol Girls have shared their latest single ‘I Believe Them’. The uncompromising track has been released to raise funds for Solidarity Not Silence, who are a group of women fighting a claim of defamation made against them by a well-known musician. You can download ‘I Believe Them’ exclusively from bandcamp today to support their cause.

GIHE stands in solidarity with the women affected by the Solidarity Not Silence case. Read the powerful statement Ren from Petrol Girls has made about the track below, and scroll down to the end of this post to watch the accompanying video. #IBelieveThem

“We’re releasing this track to raise as much money as we possibly can for Solidarity Not Silence and to widen the network of people supporting the cause. Solidarity Not Silence is the legal defence fund for a group of women, including myself, who are being sued for defamation by a man in the music industry because of comments that we each made separately regarding his behaviour towards women. We’ve been fighting this case since December 2016 and desperately need help raising money for our legal costs. The only reason we’ve been able to successfully fight this case as long as we have is because we were able to come together and fundraise for our legal defence. Help us keep our legal representation all the way to court and win this!

“As one of the Solidarity Not Silence defendants, I’m limited in what I can say about the case whilst it’s ongoing. However, there’s nothing to stop me contributing to a wider conversation about sexual violence and the law – which is what this track, ‘I Believe Them’ is about.

“’How are we meant to protect ourselves?’ I find myself internally screaming this question, which is the chorus lyric, on a pretty regular basis. On the one hand, the criminal justice system consistently fails and often further traumatises survivors of sexual violence who decide to report to the police. This system clearly does not protect the majority of survivors and I personally do not believe it holds any answers in dealing with gender based violence. Then on the other hand, when survivors and their allies try to protect one another by speaking out about abusive behaviour, they become vulnerable to libel/ defamation law. And in both criminal and libel cases, the burden of truth is placed on the survivor. Literally what does the law expect us to do?

“There is, in practice, no legal aid available for the defence of a defamation case, which creates a dynamic whereby it is relatively easy for someone with money to silence those without. Money should not be a barrier to accessing justice and we refuse to allow our case to set a precedent for silencing marginalised voices in the music community and beyond. Please donate to/share our crowdfunder.”

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Divide and Dissolve – ‘Denial’

An exhilarating, powerful soundscape that aims to erode the foundations of colonialism and liberate the land for black and indigenous communities, multidimensional duo Divide and Dissolve have shared their latest single ‘Denial’. Taken from their upcoming album Gas Lit, which is set for release on 29th January 2021 via Invada Records, the track is an eerie cacophony of thunderous riffs, ear-shattering percussion and uncanny saxophone notes that aim to eradicate white supremacy.

“Sometimes we don’t need to talk in order for others to understand what’s going on,” the duo explain about their intense instrumentals. “We are communicating with our ancestors through the music. Our ancestors help us to communicate with each other on a deeper level as well. This deep connection is able to be achieved without words.” Through their blend of visceral noise and captivating visuals, Divide and Dissolve – formed of Takiaya Reed (Black & Tsalagi [Cherokee]) and Sylvie Nehill (Māori) – dismantle the social frameworks that prevent black and indigenous communities from thriving in an equal society.

The accompanying video for ‘Denial’ was shot in Taupo, Aotearoa by indigenous director Amber Beaton. “I’m a huge fan of Divide and Dissolve and so happy to have made this video for them,” Beaton explains. “I understand and appreciate the message behind the music and I wanted to make sure the video held the same intentions no matter how subtle.”

“For instance, we start off with a shot of a Kōwhai tree. Native to Aotearoa, Kōwhai in bloom signifies to Māori that some seafood is ready for harvest, the roots can be used to make fishing hooks, the sap on the sunny side of the tree can be used to heal wounds… but the vibrancy of the yellow flower was also the first thing Captain Cook saw when he arrived on the shores of Aotearoa signalling the start of colonial violence on this whenua/land. The changing colours of its flower in the video represents our change as a country and as people since that fateful arrival.”

Dedicated to shining a light on social injustices both past and present, Divide and Dissolve continue to demand equality on thunderous new offering ‘Denial’, which serves as another reminder of the duo’s talent for creating abrasive yet graceful soundscapes.

Listen to the track below.

 

Follow Divide and Dissolve on bandcampInstagramSpotify, Twitter & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Billy Eyers

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Francis Of Delirium – ‘Equality Song’

**TRIGGER WARNING: DISCUSSION OF RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT**

A candid, necessary dismantling of the ingrained sexism and toxic masculinity that permeates society, Luxembourg-based, Canadian-American duo Francis Of Delirium have shared their latest single ‘Equality Song’. Funded by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Equality to celebrate 100 years of women’s right to vote, vocalist & guitarist Jana Bahrich penned the poignant track in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

“Sometimes it feels like a fact of life / You’re born, get your period and you’ll get raped some time,” Bahrich states in the song’s cutting opening lyrics. Her message is made all the more startling by the strength and sincerity in her vocals, highlighting the systems that are “hindering our change” when it comes to openly discussing the inequality that women face on a daily basis.

“The song was written mainly out of anger, at how absurd it is that sexual abuse is so normalised, and the systems that are in place just essentially shit on anyone that comes forward with their story”, explains the 19 year old songwriter. “The Brett Kavanaugh hearings had just happened and then every week it felt like another story came out and it seemed like no-one cared. You grow up learning to be sceptical of other people and spend a lot of time in fear of the people around you. So, the song is meant to be lashing out about how broken structures and systems are”.

Bahrich’s anger is underscored by a desire to support those who speak up about abuse, which is why all proceeds generated from the first week of downloads of the single on Francis Of Delirium’s bandcamp page will go to Femmes en Detresse, a Luxembourg domestic abuse charity that provides protection and therapy.

Listen to ‘Equality Song’ below and follow Francis Of Delirium on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Lynn Theisen

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: ALA.NI – ‘Lament for Emmett Till’

A poignant, deeply moving recognition of enduring grief and racial injustice, Paris-based, London-born artist ALA.NI has shared ‘Lament for Emmett Till’ to help mark the 65th anniversary of the 14 year old African-American boy’s death. Her pensive vocals and gentle instrumentation allow listeners to revisit the tragedy of Till’s story, and to question why racial injustice still has such a frighteningly profound presence in modern society.

Taking its title and lyrics from a 1955 poem of the same name by the radical activist, journalist and organiser of the first Notting Hill Carnival, Claudia Jones, ‘Lament for Emmett Till’ explores the brutal kidnapping and lynching of the 14 year old after he was wrongfully accused of sexually harassing Carolyn Bryant, a white female clerk, at a Mississippi grocery store.

When his murderers were acquitted of the crime – despite confessing their guilt in a paid magazine interview only months later – Till’s mother decided to have an open casket funeral so others could see the horrifying violence he’d endured, which lead to him becoming a posthumous symbol of The Civil Rights Movement.

The FBI have since reopened the case and are seeking to make lynching a federal crime, but a Republican senator is controversially blocking the bill and Carolyn Bryant herself admitted in a 2007 interview that she had lied about the events that led to Till’s murder. There has still been no formal apology, no compensation, and no conviction for Till’s murder.

ALA.NI’s single acknowledges this injustice, and is supported by the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, which she is an official ambassador of. The foundation is currently asking the public to sign a petition demanding justice for Till and, specifically, that the FBI release the findings of their recent re-investigation into his murder as a matter of urgency. ALA.NI’s track is accompanied by a monochrome video that shows pictures and press clippings from the time of Till’s murder, and will prompt listeners to sign the petition (which you can do here).

“We find ourselves at a pivotal point in world history, where we must act now and fast, before all is too late. This is our last chance to fight for rightful equalities before the fascists take over,” ALA.NI explains. “I’m reaching out to the people to seek justice for Emmett Till. Knowing the power of music, I hope it can be used as an effective tool to bring the much needed awareness to this long-overdue murder case. Justice for Emmett Till will set a president for the systematic reform that must take place, that we can no longer afford to ignore and wait patiently for.”

Watch the video for ‘Lament for Emmett Till’ below.

Follow ALA.NI on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Alice Dellal

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut