FolkWords Reviews

‘Land of Hope and Fury’ – Various Artists - songs that hit hard, precisely as intended

(July 14, 2015)

'Land of Hope and Fury’ is both a project and an album from Union Music Store, focusing on the power of music and song to unite people. Inevitably, the political element of this album sits at the forefront, especially land of hope and fury – various artistswhen the press blurb states: “Exactly one month after waking up to the most shocking election results in recent memory, we were sitting looking at 16 songs contributed by artists from across the country to make their voices heard in the wake of that election.” However, this isn't an album of negativity its songs of protest also inspire hope.

Reaction against the results of the election process aside, this is an album that’s well worth some of your hard earned coin. This collection of ‘protest songs’ proves the genre never died it just morphed from observing the injustices of clearances and land enclosures, through war and conflagration, to mendacious bankers and conniving politicians – nothing new there. The contents range from the utterly moving ‘Forgotten Voices’ by Luke Jackson and Mark Chadwick’s special adaptation of the classic ‘No Change’ through possibly the gentlest of protest songs, ‘Lullaby’ from Moulettes and Lucy Ward’s penetrating ‘Bigger Than That’ to the lyrical perception of Dreaming Spires with ‘Follow The Money’ and the acid sharp observation of ‘New Homes’ from Phil Jones.

These songs hit hard, which is precisely as intended. The ‘hit’ ranges from soft to powerful, either by making you think or calling you to action, among the hardest hitters are The Jamie Freeman Agreement with ‘Homes For Heroes’, Will Varley’s highly emotive ‘The Sound Of The Markets Crashing’, and the hope-filled observations of Grace Petrie’s ‘If There’s a Fire in Your Heart’ and the heartfelt ‘A Little Redemption’ from Danni Nicholls.

As well as being a retail outlet and music events promoter, Union Music Store, the brainchild of Jamie and Stevie Freeman, is also a record label working with artists in a creative partnership. All profits from the sale of ‘Land of Hope and Fury’ go to 38 Degrees, an independent British not-for-profit political-activism organisation campaigning "for fairness, defending rights, promoting peace, preserving the planet and deepening democracy in the UK”. For the unaware, 38 Degrees takes its name from the critical angle at which the incidence of a human-triggered avalanche is greatest, says it all really.

Find Union Music Store and ‘Land of Hope and Fury’ here: unionmusicstore.com/land-of-hope-and-fury

Review: Tim Carroll

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