As we are getting into the homestretch of 2017 and begin looking back, I thought it would be appropriate, after such a tumultuous year, to share my top five political/protest/socially aware songs that were released over the last 11 months. I know there are tons more, so please leave some of your favorites in the comments.
1. Mac MacCaughan – Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again) – this was a noble attempt at finding some hope at the end of 2016, after all the horrible shit that year threw at us, and an encouragement to fight the agendas of the “old white men” who were causing most of the problems. While it’s meaning unfortunately never lost relevance throughout the year, it remains one of the most memorable and still inspiring anthems of the Trump era.
2. Frank Turner – Sand in the Gears – Turner understands the despair caused by the election all too well, but turns these feelings into an uplifting call to action and resistance.
3. Anti-Flag – Racist – The catchiest punk song about racism and ignorance ever written.
4. Eminem – The Storm (Freestyle) – While not entirely musical, this freestyle condemnation of Trump is as raw as it gets. Em draws a line in the sand, daring those who call themselves fans of his and Trump’s to take a side.
5. The Drive-By Truckers – The Perilous Night – The Trucker’s continue their role following their excellent last album with another song proving they are some of the most powerful political songwriters out there today.
Passenger – A Kindly Reminder – Pleasant folk that tears into Trump in totally unsubtle ways.
Gorillaz – Ascension (feat. Vincent Staples) – Over an addictive dance beat, Staples breaks down America’s gun culture and institutional racism in four amazing lines; “I’m just playing, baby, this the land of the free / Where you can get a Glock and a gram for the cheap / Where you can live your dreams long as you don’t look like me / Be a puppet on a string, hanging from a fucking tree”