“Declare emergency. A man-made catastrophe.”
Those words resonate so deeply with me today.
I wrote them as the opening lines to our new song, “Agua Mala”, about the Flint Water crisis. Really though, they apply to a lot of the problems we find ourselves waist-deep in today. I know a lot of us have had a heavy heart over the last few months. We have good days and bad days. Some days we march. Some days we escape. I know. I feel it too.
Henry and I felt it when Michigan decided emergency managers were a good thing. We felt it when news broke of lead in Flint’s drinking water. How in the ever-loving hell could something like this happen in the USA? How did neglect run so rampant? WTF? Almost three years later, and nothing significant has improved. Flint is still without clean drinking water and very little accountability has been taken by lawmakers. This shit makes you want to scream.
All the shit that has happened makes you want to scream!
Henry and I are no strangers to the topical song. As children of political refugees, politics were ever-present growing up. Election years tend to especially bring out the tunes (Fan The Fury). We’re constantly reading books including ones on our Cuban refugee roots that influence our songwriting (Exile).
The latest record was also written during an election year, and you can bet you’ll find hints of that on it.
So it’s no surprise that we eventually wrote a song about the Flint water crisis. This disaster really settled itself deep in us. It is clear these people have been abandoned. We wanted to write a song that might give them a voice. We wanted the chorus especially to be BIG. We wanted it to sound like a crowd of people, like the citizens of Flint in one united voice. It couldn’t have been a better song for us to collaborate on with our brother- and sister-in-musical-arms, Tom and Kendra of Cold Blood Club. They felt just as deeply about Flint, making it natural for us to get together on this one.
I am heartbroken over the potential health concerns that will inevitably arise from lead poisoning. And for what? To save a few bucks? Man, you just can’t bear it…
Everyone involved in “Agua Mala” has given their time free of charge, so that we can donate all the proceeds of this song to The United Way Genesee Flint Water Fund starting February 9th.
We’ll be posting links for listening soon, but if you’re in NYC please consider coming out to show support for those whose voices haven’t been heard.