As I watch news of the snap general election, the dismantling of the NHS, Trump, Brexit (don't mention Brexit!!); I can't help but wonder if the young songwriting community are watching and wondering what is to become of us, picking up their note pads and furiously writing about it all.
It's in my nature to crave a new age Sex Pistols/Rage Against the Machine/Billy Bragg type movement, 'Rebel Rock Music' is the correct term, I believe; so recently I've been digging around to see what's going on out there. We already have some really strong examples of already established musos getting involved and you don't have to go to far afield with Southend's very own producing some topical work.
However, I can't help but wonder if in a world where the music industry has seen struggling artists, struggle more than ever in the face of the digital revolution and the age when the TV talent show rules the airwaves, will these important records actually be brought forward like they were in times gone by? Or will the mainstream media to their upmost to discredit the artistry to keep them in the shadows?
The answer to both of these questions is 'yes'! Since I began working on this article the song 'Liar Liar' has climbed and is currently sitting in the top 3 in the UK singles chart, despite not being playlisted by any of the mainstream radio stations.
In an effort to bring this song and more to the forefront, here are three artists you might not have heard of, with something to say;
- Ren Stedman; a regular on the Southend music scene. His latest track 'State of Unfair' includes lines like "And it can't be fair that for working all week, I'm barely breaking even or making ends meet" is a blatant observation of an unbalanced society. You can listen and download the track via Ren's bandcamp page, by clicking here. This page also includes the lyrics.
- Novelist. Grime generally describes politics of a community, rather than at the ballot box: Never more present than in last year's 'Street Politician' (Click here: WARNING explicit lyrics)
- Captain Ska. This is the song likely to hit the top spot this week. 'Liar Liar' has a pretty obvious message!