Protest music has earned a greater popular relevance over the past year than it has known perhaps since the late 1960s, and who can blame the artists creating it? Reactions to the candidacy and election of Donald Trump have been particularly prominent and scathing; a marching chant from Fiona Apple and a new song from Gorillaz (ending a six year hiatus) have been released in the past two days alone.
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With less than twenty-four hours to go until Trump’s inauguration, indie rockers Arcade Fire have entered the fray with ‘I Give You Power,’ a collaboration with legendary soul singer Mavis Staples. The track rides a heavy industrial beat and features a simple but evocative refrain that repeats with growing intensity, serving as a warning to a nameless leader.
“I give you power over me / I give you power, but I got to be free / I give you power and now I say / I give you power, I can take it away.”
The track is the first new music from Arcade Fire since 2013’s acclaimed ‘Reflektor.’ The group is reportedly at work on a new album, but no details accompanied the release of ‘I Give You Power,’ only a message that read, “It’s never been more important that we stick together and take care of each other.” Hear, hear.