Album of the Week – Land of Hope & Fury

The protest song lives on. Land of Hope & Fury is a new album of protest songs born out of what the project organizers describe as crushing disappointment with the results of the May 2015 UK general election. This cathartic release, out now on Union Music Store features 16 great songs from UK musicians in various stages of their career, that focus on issues such as inequality and disenfranchisement that are as relevant to life in 2015 in Canada and the US as they are to life in the UK. The album, featuring a who’s who from the UK folk and roots scene… is very strong, and very thoughtfully sequenced. I really didn’t appreciate any lagging across the 16 tracks on offer.

Standout cuts for us include Luke Jackson with “Forgotten Voices”, Emily Barker with “Doing the Best I Can” and The Mountain Firework Company with “Filthy Lucre”, though how can you pass up great songs from Mark Chadwick, Lucy Ward, Will Varley, Plumhall and others?

This album serves two purposes for us – there are some great songs on here that really resonate when you consider real world issues like homelessness, treatment of veterans & refugees and inequality – challenges that current world leaders do not seem to be able or willing to get to grips with – and it encourages you to check out some artists who may not be instantly familiar but are definitely worth exploring in greater depth.

All proceeds from Land of Hope & Fury will be donated to charity 38 Degrees.

This is what Jamie & Stevie Freeman have to say about the project:
“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.

We didn’t want to profit financially from the album, so we looked for a suitable beneficiary that was aligned with our frustrations, but not bound to one set of policies. Politics had let us down, so a campaigning group from outside of the political system seemed like a good choice.  We felt 38 Degrees’ mix of online petitioning and real-world action was just right for Land Of Hope And Fury, and they were delighted to take part. We couldn’t be happier to have them alongside us.”

We’re working on an interview. Stay tuned.

For more information, visit unionmusicstore.com/label/land-of-hope-and-fury.

About the author

JAN HALL

Host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan Hall started in Radio in 1993 at WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Folk Roots Radio (formerly Royal City Rag) debuted on CFRU 93.3fm in August 2005 before developing into a syndicated radio show. As the host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan focuses on bringing new folk, roots and blues music and the voices of upcoming and independent artists to the airwaves. Jan is also a much sought after stage host and festival emcee.

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