Not every song is born of inspiration and not every song is capable of inspiring. It seems that, in the case of this particular song / video combination we present you today, certainly both of these factors speak to the truth. What we have here is a beautiful cycle of creation rooted in hope, solidarity and, of course, raw talent.
LA-based songwriter Ethan Gold is no stranger to the music scene, having released volumes of music in his career as a solo artist. Now he presents his timely new single ‘Not Me. Us’, for which he offers a clever and telling animated video produced by Gold and Jay Ponti with editing and effects by Adam Laiben. This track itself was produced and engineered by Dave Tweedie (So You Think You Can Dance, No Doubt, Flipsyde, Akon).
This is a track that perfectly reflects our troubled times, inspired by the slogan ‘Make Sensitivity Cool Again’. While originally used as slogan in Bernie Sanders’ campaign towards the democratic primaries, it is perfectly fitting for the situation we all find ourselves in – whether in the USA, UK or elsewhere – during this time of inequality and unequal care and opportunity.
“I wrote ‘Not Me. Us’ as an anthem to reflect the times. I started with the then-current Bernie Sanders slogan “Not Me Us” – a simple phrase, a moral protest against the lack of compassion, lack of empathy, and narcissism that’s become a point of pride for current political leadership in many countries. As a person who’s primary political motivator is concern for our biosphere, I found this phrase very appealing, as it respects the interconnectedness of all life,” says Ethan Gold.
“Musically I went with a sound that’s more traditionally American. There’s a power in those idioms. I wanted to call out the hard fight everyone is having in the country, while also allowing everyone to feel, in a time where the dominant feelings are factionalism and fear, that the things which unite us could still be greater.”
But Ethan Gold seems to be on a larger mission than this one song can represent, his concerns extending beyond human connection and health care to for trepidation and hope regarding the natural world. Gold also recently released the stand-alone single ‘Never Met A World Like You’ with an incredible video offering many instances of visual proof of just how dire the ecological situation in the world has become and how far we need to go to put Earth back in balance.
The timing of this release to coincide with the first climate strikes was a big motivator for Gold to also perform at three L.A. rallies in late 2019 – the first time playing live since incurring a serious head injury in 2013. After a long recovery, he now credits the temporary dissolution of his cognitive ability with an upgraded inner power, creativity, and clarified mission: in a world that seems more and more combative, bringing sensitive people and quieter things – music and poetry and the living earth – back into their magnificence. The current single ‘Not Me. Us’ is born of these same concerns.
“There’s huge economic inequality destroying American life. A country that pioneered the notion of everyone being able to be comfortably middle class is now breaking into bitterness and division as a huge majority of the population is frightened, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and at the risk of bankruptcy from one unexpected illness or job loss. Even people working multiple jobs are having trouble making ends meet,” says Ethan Gold.
“So I put a mosaic of families in the song and video. A father who’s sick but can’t afford treatment. A son falling into hatred. A mother working two jobs but barely surviving. A young daughter hopeful. Proud grandparents who see their life’s work crumbling as their children slide down the economic ladder. We could all be all these people; this is every family. The struggles so many are having aren’t so different from each other.”
Following his acclaimed ‘Songs From A Toxic Apartment’ LP, released during his recovery, 2018 brought the release of the naive-electronic ‘Expanses (Teenage Synthstrumentals)’ and Gold’s tribute to childhood favorites ‘Live Undead Bedroom Closet Covers’. Gold also handled film scoring for Blumhouse supernatural thriller ‘Don’t Let Go’ and brother Ari Gold’s feature films ‘Adventures of Power’ and ‘The Song of Sway Lake’, which features John Grant and the Staves singing Gold’s songs.
Ethan Gold has just finished recording his upcoming double-album ‘Earth City’, which explores themes of longing — for human connection, for romance, for city nightlife, and ultimately for connection to the threatened natural world. Release expected later this year.
Music, lyrics, lead vocals, mixing and mastering by Ethan Gold
Produced and engineered by Dave Tweedie
Additional vocals by CJ Emmons, Byrd Ducket, Joe Bagale, Ali Coyle, Matt Baker, Elvis Perkins, Stacy Matulis, and Victoria Theodore
Guitars by Ethan Gold, Jay Ponti, and Dave Tweedie
Drums, percussion and bass by Dave Tweedie
Piano and organ by Victoria Theodore
Here is the aforementioned video for ‘Never Met A World Like You’
You can follow developments with Ethan Gold via his Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Get acquainted with his rich discography via Spotify.
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.