10 songs, 38 min, 5 min reading time.
A compilation of artists inspired by the climate and ecological emergency.
1) “The 1975” – The 1975
As if Greta Thunberg’s speeches weren’t inspiring enough, the 1975 put one to music and donated all the proceeds to Extinction Rebellion.
Single: “The 1975” (2019)
Label: Dirty Hit
2) “Teardrop” – Massive Attack
Grieving for the losses to the natural world being inflicted by our warming atmosphere, Massive Attack are leading the music industry towards carbon neutrality.
Album: “Mezzanine” (1998)
Label: Virgin Records
3) “Burn” – Ellie Goulding
Another fan of civil disobedience, Ellie played a set on the pink boat in the middle of Oxford Circus last April!
Album: “Halcyon Days” (2013)
4) “Elegy For The Arctic” – Ludovico Einaudi
I recommend that you watch the performance of this piece in the midst of floating blocks of arctic ice. Here’s to them still being there for our grandchildren.
Single: “Elegy For The Arctic” (2016)
5) “Karma Police” – Radiohead
When Thom Yorke was hacked last year, the thief asked for £150,000 to return hours of unreleased songs recorded during the production of OK computer. Instead, Radiohead put them up for sale and donated all proceedings to Extinction Rebellion. Well played boys.
Album: “OK Computer” (1997)
Way back in 2006 before it had become cool to daydream about a cooler planet, the cream of Cuban music collaborated with an all-star cast to create Rhythms del Mundo, an album aimed at raising money and awareness to combat global heating. I picked Chris Martin’s hit for the relevance of its ticking clocks and because Coldplay has also pledged not to go on tour until they can figure out how to make it have a positive environmental impact. It’s not on Spotify, but well worth seeking out on YouTube, or even better, buying the record. It was go-to cooking music in our flat last year.
7) “Up From The Skies” – Jimi Hendrix
Released in 1967 (!) Jimi reflects on the “smell of a world that is burned…maybe it’s just a change of climate”. A change of climate indeed.
Album: “Axis: Bold As Love” (1967)
Label: Experience Hendrix
8) “3 Minute Faltz” – Little Comets
Runpip sent a delegation to go see these avowed Geordie lefties last autumn at Scala in London and their latest single stayed with me.
Single: “3 Minute Faltz” (2019)
Label: Robert Coles
9) “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” – Marvin Gaye
Writing in 1971, before the realities of global heating were known outside the boardrooms of Exxon Mobil, Marvin Gaye knew that the harm we were inflicting on our environment would come back to haunt us.
Album: “What’s Going On” (1971)
Label: Motown Record Company
10) “When A Fire Starts To Burn” – Disclosure
I realise this is about my tenth reference to XR in as many songs of a playlist that is supposed to be about the climate crisis, but I was locked on to the stage in Trafalgar Square on which this was being performed last October, so it has a special place in my heart.
Album: “Settle (Deluxe Version)” (2013)
Label: Universal Island Records
Written by Neil Young, in concert, he has updated the line to “look at mother nature on the run in the twenty-first century”. This cover was one of my very favourite songs growing up. Back then “I dreamed I saw the knight in armor coming” to save us from our predicament. It is time to recognise that no one is coming; we have only ourselves to fight for the future of our civilisation.
Album: “Trio II (Remastered)” (1999)
Label: Asylum Records