After weeks of campaigning commercials, polarizing televised debates and dinner table discussions, midterm elections are in full swing. Millions of voters across The United States are flocking to the polls to exercise their ‘Murican rights, creating a buzz throughout the nation that promises progress. Millennial voters are expected to turn out in record numbers, switching the perception of an apathetic generation to the next wave of leaders. Regardless of political affiliation, the midterms are a time to listen to each other, come together as a nation and take action toward redefining what the representation of our country really looks like. In the spirit of election day, we’ve taken the liberty of curating six songs to inspire you while you’re waiting to fill out your ballot.
YUNGBLUD - “21st Century Liability”
YUNGBLUD’s passion is contagious. The North-Londoner is known for his controversial lyrics, touching on medication, gun violence and consent in his debut album, 21st Century Liability. YUNGBLUD is a train careening out of control, smashing into the alternative rock sphere with unparalleled spunk. The title track of his album will put a zip in your step as you make your way to the polls. Stay tuned for our “All Eyes On” NYC performance with YUNGBLUD coming soon.
RAY BLK - “Got My Own”
Another London artist, RAY BLK has achieved the perfect blend of socio-political lyrics and healing harmonies found in R&B hits of the early 2000s. Her 2018 album Empress is packed with empowerment anthems, inspiring young listeners to dream of a better future. Her song “Got My Own” will put a fire in your belly with the line,
“Call me Mrs. President cuz I’m a boss. Call me a dentist everyday I gotta floss.
Pay all my bills and I buy all my meals, don’t need anybody’s money.”
grandson - “War”
Grandson is a voice for the outraged. He uses gritty, hard-hitting rock to express his disgust at the state of our government. “War” touches on white supremacy, civil tensions and classicism, and the cover art says it all. Grandson also champions young voters to take action, recently playing “The Midterm Massacre” show with YUNGBLUD and Arrested Youth to encourage participation.
Tanerélle - “In Women We Trust”
What would this list be without a female empowerment banger? Tanerélle is a promising up and comer, singing of the distinct struggles that accompany womanhood. Her dreamy sound echoes early Lana Del Rey tracks, but contains a sizzling confidence that makes her all the more striking. Her song “In Women We Trust” details a woman ready to take on the world. She sings,
“Sugar and spice makes everything nice
But nice don’t make no money
As a little girl all I wanted was the world
Now I’ve learned how to play in the big leagues”
Ivy Adara- “Currency”
Ivy Adara is an Australian pop songstress with an affinity for capturing youthful sentiment in her lyrics. Her song “Currency” is sitting at over 7 million streams on Spotify alone, serving as inspiration for the next generation to focus on love rather than money. This is a good one to listen to if you need a boost from Election Day blues.
RAT BOY- “NO PEACE NO JUSTICE”
RAT BOY has a youthful, punk energy that urges listeners to ask more from the world around them. “NO PEACE NO JUSTICE,” a track from his forthcoming album INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN, is the perfect soundtrack for battling election day crowds. RAT BOY is an artist for the common man.
Noname - “Blaxploitation”
Noname challenges conventional song structure with free-flowing verses, fusing poetry with music. The Chicago-born up and comer has over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, which is a testament to the power of her lyricism and conversational delivery. Noname speaks to religion, identity and the Black Experience. Want to be more politically woke? Listen to “Blaxploitation.”
MUNA - “I Know A Place”
Dance your way through election day crowds with MUNA, a female-fronted dark pop power trio based in Los Angeles. They’re best known for their songs “Winterbreak” and “I Know A Place,” which uses gun violence as a metaphor for vulnerability. Their lyrics drive their music, singing,
“I know a place we can go, where everyone gunna lay down their weapon. Just give me trust and watch what’ll happen.”
Not to mention, the way lead singer Katie Gavin sings “weapons” is oddly satisfying.
Duckwrth - “SOPRANO”
If you haven’t yet noticed, we’re obsessed with Duckwrth. The up and comer is known for his blending of R&B, hip-hop, funk and soul, separating himself from the pack with unbridled lyricism and expressive vocals. His latest release, “SOPRANO” is a piping hot track. He leads with the line,
“My tongue is a weapon, 40 caliber shooting at the heavens.”
We recommend you set “SOPRANO” as your alarm to wake up the right way.
Buddy - “Hey Up There” (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
“Hey Up There” featuring Ty Dolla $ign is a song for the dreamers. Buddy, a young artist from Compton, raps with an infectious underdog mentality. His debut album Harlan & Alondra Listen touches on police brutality, neighborhood dynamics, sex and love and coming of age as a person of color in the United States. Listen to this one after you’ve voted and allow yourself to imagine how good the future could look.