I don’t know about you, but I don’t watch the news.
Rather, I try not to watch the news in an effort to avoid the depressing miasma of terrible things happening in the real world. Sometimes, however, I am compelled to pay attention.
There has been one story recently that had me wondering what I could do to make a difference.
If you have been paying attention to the international news in recent weeks you’ve heard about the current refugee crisis in Europe. Some of the stories are so tragic while others are triumphant. Regardless of where you stand on immigration in any form, its hard to ignore the images coming out of this humanitarian crisis. If you don’t know the story or you want more information you can find it here.
‘It is high time to act, to manage the refugee crisis, because there is no alternative. No rhetoric – action is what is needed for the time.’
President, European Commission
Before we get into this too far let me take a moment to extol the greatness of the Welsh music scene. Wales has a rich history as a country and along with the rest of the UK has been a large contributor to the music world over the years.
“I was one of those who shed tears at the harrowing images. As a father it broke my heart. I wanted to do something but like many of us felt utterly powerless.” – David Owens
David Owens is a music writer and journalist for WalesOnline. After seeing the images on the news of drowned refugee children David was drawn to action. He reached out to some of the leaders of the Wales’ music scene, some names you know and some you need to learn. What happened next is remarkable in this business, which is so often filled with ego and selfishness, the music community of Wales stepped up as a whole. In less than seven days the people who came to be known as Welsh Rock for Refugees put together and released an album called “Reach Out”.
Reach Out is special for a couple of reasons. First and foremost — As always with me — is the content of the record. The album is full of donated tracks which in and of itself is uncommon, but contains never before released remixes, new music that is yet to be released, and older pieces that have fallen out of rotation. These are rare songs that you don’t often hear from these artists.
The second thing that makes Reach Out truly special is the lineup of artists. International Superstars like Stereophonics, Charlotte Church, and Mike Peters of The Alarm, stars on the rise like Climbing Trees, Manic Street Preachers, and Super Furry Animals, and names you probably don’t know but you should like Amy Wadge, Pale Blue Dots, and Ellie Makes Music, even Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon have contributed songs to Reach Out.
The 30 artists on this album are an eclectic group that spans the diverse landscape of music in Wales, including EDM, Folk, Straight ahead rock, and even Opera and Spoken Word.
The major reason that Reach Out is special is that no one is making any money on the venture. Available for download only, 100% of the profits from this record go to a non-profit called Refugee Action. For thirty years Refugee Action has been there in the UK and Europe to help those who have fled from the most dire of conditions and who are seeking a better life. This most recent crisis in Europe has pushed Refugee Action to its limit trying to help as many people as possible.
Normally I would tell you about several tracks on the album that I like in particular but that seems to take away from the point of the record as a whole. Instead give the whole thing a listen and do some research into the artists you like best. Every one of them is worth it.
Here is a complete track list.
1. Frisbee – Super Furry Animals
2. New Loafers – 60ft Dolls
3. Roll On Up – Houdini Dax
4. You Taught Me – The Joy Formidable
5. Thinking Out Loud – Amy Wadge
6. 5c Cotton 40c Beef – Cian Ciaran
7. Graves – Climbing Trees
8. Devastation – Pale Blue Dots
9. The Surgeon – Euros Childs
10. Sbia ar y Seren – Georgia Ruth
11. Lines & Angles – Ellie Makes Music
12. Vast – Gulp
13. Chwyldro (R.Seiliog remix) – Gwenno
14. You’re My Star (Live) – Stereophonics
15. Miller (Live at The Gate) – Zervas & Pepper
16. Caer O Feddyliau – Kizzy Crawford
17. Refugees In The West World – Mike Peters
18. Box – Charlotte Church
19. Hippos – Cerys Matthews
20. Lost Tribes (Tomas Barford Remix) – Gruff Rhys
21. Alcohol Kiss – Trampolene
22. Goldrush (Acoustic) – Paper Aeroplanes
23. Guillotine (featuring Lillian Todd) – Sion Russell Jones
24. Rhodd – Iwan Rheon and Aled Rheon
25. Safe In Place – Grant Nicholas
26. Liberty Rd – The Earth
27. No Borders – Zefur Wolves
28. Redesign – Jayce Lewis and Gary Numan
29. Molly (Acoustic) – The People The Poet
30. William’s Last Words (Underworld mix r37br11) – Manic Street Preachers
You can only buy Reach Out in one place, and that is Bandcamp. The cost of the record is a minimum donation of £10 or about $15.50. That seems like a lot of money, but it can do a lot of good towards helping to provide crucial services for these displaced people.
As Always Iam Indie can be reached at Iamindieblog@gmail.com and @Iam_Indie on Twitter. Let me know what you think I’d love to hear what your favorite tracks on Reach Out are. If you have a suggestion on something I should see, read, or hear let me know .