Some people say there is no protest music anymore.
The truth is a bit different though. All around the world, there are so many people hurting, anywhere you look, and this seemingly never changes. But, there are also so many artists using their creative minds to start positive conversations about how things can change for the better. This can easily be seen by checking out the curated Shouts playlist and other protest music playlists.
How can there be a lack of protest music in a world like this? If one digs under the most upper layer of mainstream surfaces one can easily find a plethora of music by artists who are sick and tired of the lack of empathy in this world and who use their talents to be a part of a more compassionate world.
Uriya Rosenman is a rapper. He was born on the spot of this planet that now is called Israel.
Sameh Zakout is a rapper. He was born on the spot of this planet that now is called Palestine.
The two spent some time together. They talked. The argued. They became friends. Because in the end, we are all the same. We all poo. We all pee. We all breathe oxygen. And we all just want to live a kind life without nonsense and violence.
This is just one song of so many that are trying to make the world a better place.
In Turkey, rapper Şehinşah was recently detained by local authorities for allegedly insulting the president in two of his songs. Şehinşah wrote on his Twitter account: “On my way home, I was detained at the airport for insulting the President. I am in detention again.”
In another tweet Şehinşah describes his frustration over these continuous detentions and promises to soon release a protest song.
According to the State of Artistic Freedom 2021, published by Freemuse, several artists have been oppressed and attacked by Turkish authorities and “experienced legal prosecution under Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (Insulting the President of the Republic) and also the 1991 Anti-Terror Law (no. 3713/TMK). Both laws have been used to legitimise state repression against opposing ideas and individuals.”
Every now and then a band will put out an egregious thirty-minute song that could be considered an entire album, one totally epic movement, both, or something else altogether. Half-hour bangers tend to be the ambitious standard fare among the more patient and cerebral black metal and doomy post-rock contingencies—less so among punk bands who display such tight and compact riffage and boots-on-the-ground angst as Galicia, Spain’s Tenue. But the Galician three-piece continue to shatter tropes and expectation and synthesize styles on their blistering new work, “Territorios,” released internationally on March 31st on numerous labels and in various formats.
Calling to mind a vein of late 90s screamo and emo-crust like Circle Takes the Square and City of Caterpillar, Tenue’s sound transitions effortlessly from torturous shrieking clangor to somber and airy interludes that build and swell with supreme dexterity against a lyrical backdrop raging against corruption in Spain, the ongoing viral effects of Eurocentric colonialism and authoritarianism, and, to translate a line of Galician lyrics, the “tireless reproduction of the violence of postmodernity.” Suspenseful arpeggiation concedes to fuzzed-out, tremolo-picked crescendos, and about every six minutes or so listeners will find themselves chewing on a new hook or riff, wondering how they got there.
The great strength of “Territorios” is how gripping and compelling each individual movement is, and how naturally and smoothly each transitions to the next. It’s hard to point out single moments on an album that feels like every second is part of an epic crescendo; the modulation of tension and softness takes the listener to a plane in which time dissolves and recedes back to the timelessness of oppression and human struggles being shrieked behind the knotted veil of such intricate and atmospheric punk rock.
Rarely do rage and patience find such companionship in one another as they do on this album; this is a kind of musical maturity not often seen in screamo, and another reason why Tenue are in a league of their own. You, listener, will feel catharsis, exhaustion, rage, amplification, and augmentation in this album, amidst its blasts and d-beats, its frenetic rising and swelling and exploding guitar work. Tenue have taken the very real and tangible gross materials of punk rock and vaulted them to the stratosphere, where things are no less painful, despite the enormous and sweeping vantage point that few bands have captured in a single cut. Do yourself a favor and make a ritual of carving out half an hour in your day for such an emotionally charged musical experience.