Archive – Razed To The Ground. Downtempo, downbeat, downtrodden.
Having thought I’d covered the alphabet of new songs by bands I didn’t really know, I realized I’d started at ‘B’ – so this is to fill the gap.
Archive – one of those bands whose one word titles are gnomic and undescriptive enough to have no baggage when I first started listening tonight. It’s all synths and low bass tones, with pitter patter hi hat drumming – atmospheric soundscape without much melody, a few strings towards the end, and all supporting a rapper.
That is, a rapper who first starts up about halfway through the track, after a minute of synth sounds and then another minute accompanied by beats. Two minutes of a rap and then a minute and a half of instrumental beats.
It’s a sombre rap, pessimistic on a personal and a wider, social level – ‘a threatening future awaits’. It doesn’t take much to link the lyrics to the effects of climate change and the enormous changes needed to ‘future-proof’ the planet. Changes that don’t seem likely in the current political climate.
It’s hard to challenge the inertia of doing the same thing as you’ve always done, particularly when that brings comfort, ease, respite from the stresses of life and work – why not drive, eat lots of red meat, chocolate, drink alcohol? It feels good and you only live once. Climate change activists rely on extreme forecasts to try to provoke people out of their stupor to act, but it is too easy to be the frog in the slowly cooking pot, not realizing the comfortably warm will soon turn hotter and hotter. Indolence prevents action, particularly when the outcomes of a warming climate are still only happening incrementally.
Guides to better behaviour, sources of inspiration, examples of where I can be ‘led down the wide path’ before I am ‘steadily lowered into the ground’ all are welcome.