Today, Denver’s alternative hip-hop band Flobots release protest song “Pray” (Extended) from their forthcoming new album, NOENEMIES. “Pray,” written and recorded in early 2016 prior to the country’s recent presidential election, is a call to action to address head on the toxic legacy of racism and division in the United States.
“Pray” (Extended) is available for download at all digital service providers.
To deepen the conversations provoked by “Pray” (Extended), Flobots will host a Facebook Live Q&A on January 30th at 7 PM MST. Click here to RSVP and submit questions for the band.
Drawing inspiration from a traditional southern style of group singing called Sacred Harp, “Pray” imagines a community recoiling in horror from its own participation in racism and singing out in collective repentance. It is a call to action – an invitation for today’s communities to grapple with racism together to move toward shared liberation.
"Pray," samples an Alan Lomax recording of the Sacred Harp song “Antioch”. After recording the song in the studio, Flobots then recruited a local Denver Sacred Harp group to sing re-imagined lyrics of “Antioch” as an introduction to the extended version of “Pray.”
“When I first heard Antioch, it felt like an exorcism…” says Jonny 5. “Digging deeper, we realized that the entire culture of Sacred Harp singing fully embodies the spirit that has fueled the direction of our new music. Songs of power. Songs that celebrate community. Songs meant to designed to be experienced, not performed. Songs meant to be sung out with strength”.
Indeed, each track on NOENEMIES is a unique, present-day protest song. Of all of them, “Pray” is perhaps the most unyielding protest - because of the harsh and heartbreaking truth of its lyrics, and because of the self-reflection it demands of us if we are listening. “Right now we need music that provokes and challenges us,” says Flobots’ Brer Rabbit. “When the stakes are most high, it takes provocation for us to do the right thing. Without it we stay comfortable and silent.” On NOENEMIES, to be release in Spring 2017, Flobots are not speaking their minds, they are singing them.
In celebration of the release of NOENEMIES, Flobots and Denver’s Wonderbound dance company will partner for a unique live performance collaboration - Divisions. Set to Flobots performing live renditions of songs from NOENEMIES, Divisions promises an intimate first encounter with Flobots’ brand new music, and an immersive exploration of the power of collective movement. See the complete Divisions performance schedule at wonderbound.com.