For a while now there’s been a hint that art, and music in particular, is becoming a bit sanitised. A vehicle for articulating a point, raising awareness, and just communicating with others, it’s a powerful vehicle of reflection and projection – especially when people are feeling that mainstream politics does not reflect their opinion.
And so on Land of Hope & Fury Jamie & Stevie Freeman, of Union, have curated a record that lets those voices be hard. They explain: ‘We woke up on May 8th to election results that left tens of millions of people feeling disenfranchised and without a voice. Rather than wait quietly for another five years before we got to have our say, we decided to return to the proud musical tradition of the protest song. Our votes might have counted for nothing, but we could still make our voices heard.
We contacted our many friends in the roots music world and asked them to contribute something to a compilation of contemporary protest songs, and the results were an incredibly diverse range of musical, emotional and political styles. Land Of Hope & Fury was born. 16 artists in total donated songs with 9 of them written specifically for the album. This coming together of people, all acting out of simple desire to make the world a better place, has been the single most encouraging aspect of this project, It is the proof that Margaret Thatcher’s suggestion that “there’s no such thing as society” is as wrong today as ever it was.’
Profits from the album will go to 38 Degrees, their mix of online petitioning and real-world actions being felt to be just right for Land Of Hope And Fury.
The mix of artists is intriguing and exciting. There’s Grace Petrie, who was so incensed by the election results she wrote and recorded a whole new album, releasing it the same week! Billy Bragg is one of her many fans. Folk darling Lucy Ward has two full length albums and is working on her third, gigging away with tenacity. Mark Chadwick lead singer, songwriter of Levellers re-wrote, updated the lyrics plus a new arrangement of his track on the day as soon as he was approached to take part and recorded it within a couple of days. And finally Will Varley, who walked across the UK on his last tour – Union met him on the road through Lewes on his way to Eastbourne – walking boots on, guitar on his back, upbeat and full of the love of the people and the land!
Union Music Store’s new album Land Of Hope And Fury is released on 10th July 2015.