Cause Song Spotlight

Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan addresses white privilege in his tell-it-straight folk single “I Live On A White Cloud." After George Floyd's murder and the global outrage against systemic racism, he was prompted to look hard at himself and his own advantages as a white man.  “I thought, ‘If I watch all this go down, and shake my head but say nothing, I’m just as guilty as anybody else,’” he explains in a press release. “I recognized my life has been easier — even in its difficulty from time to time — because of what I am.”   Watch the video hereKaren Bliss

Philadelphia-based rapper Meek Mill's frank new single "Otherside Of America" bluntly confronts the anti-Black racism that so greatly impacts the United States and much of the Western world. The song begins with a sample from an infamous Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign speech in which he targeted African-Americans, before Mill begins to rap about his violent, often difficult upbringing. The song ends with a quote from a 2018 interview with Mill on CNN where he said, "I grew up in America in a ruthless neighborhood where we are not protected by police...we grew up around murder...I think you would probably carry a gun yourself. Would you?"  Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy.

One of the most basic tools in combating the current coronavirus pandemic is the simple act of frequent, thorough hand washing. To help support this potentially life-saving habit, the children's entertainers at Sesame Street have just released "Washy Wash Song | How To Wash Your Hands," a short video jingle designed to encourage effective hand washing. In the animated clip Sesame Street star Elmo shows off some best hand washing practices while listeners are encouraged to sing along to lines like "move your hands and fingers in the places in-between, using soap and water makes your hands so clean." The song, which was released on YouTube on March 30, received almost 60,000 views in its first hours online. — Aaron Brophy

West Palm Beach, Florida indie rock band Surfer Blood's new song "Parkland (Into The Silence)" reflects on the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida which resulted in 17 deaths, and is being used to bring attenton to gun control organizations March For Our Lives Everytown For Gun Safety. Surfer Blood's John Paul Pitts says the song is a testament to the students' couage. "Even though we haven't seen any meaningful legislation, these students were able to move the conversation into new territory." Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy.

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"When You Think No One Loves You," the new single from Scottish-Canadian singer-songwriter David Leask, is about confronting what he calls "an epidemic of loneliness," insisting in the final lyric, ""I'm just telling you, somebody does." The video follows the small sad moments of three unconnected people, an elderly widower, a single mom, and a bullied teen.  Says Leask, "My hope is that the video can raise awareness for and give comfort to as many people as possible who are feeling lonely and unloved in this world, whatever the reason may be.” Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy.
 

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Céline Dion may be best known these days as a Vegas residency legend and walking meme for living one's best life, but the "My Heart Will Go On" singer doesn't always sing about love. The singer's 2007 work "Skies of L.A." planted a flag for environmentalism by tackling air pollution. The song from Dion's album Taking Chances was written by the Tricky Stewart and The Dream and features a protagonist looking at Los Angeles' fog-filled skies and lamenting, "I don't know if tomorrow has a day / I don't know if the rays will shine my way again." Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy
 

When a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year Calgary-based balladeer wanted to show her support with a song. The result is "Running" from Kai's same-named, just released four-song EP. Kai's friend is an elite runner who started competing for 101 kilometre ultra-marathon less than a month after having double mastectomy and "Running" is meant to soundtrack this race. "I will sending her off with this song at the starting line and waiting for her at the end," says Kai. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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Vancouver, B.C. hardcore punk band D.O.A. have been combating injustice for four decades and their recent video for "Time To Fight Back," from the 2018 album Fight Back, makes it clear they don't intend to stop now. The video salutes activists and change-makers like Bernie Sanders, gun control activist Emma González and the late Nelson Mandela while reinforcing the message to "fight back" against despotism in all forms. Lead singer/local politician Joey Keithley has long been a passionate supporter of progressive and environmental causes and with this song — and the band's long-time rallying cry "TALK - ACTION = 0" — D.O.A. continue to fight back for a better world. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy
 

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Ex One Direction member Louis Tomlinson is hoping his new pop ballad, “Two of Us,” helps others, just like it provided a kind of therapy for him. Written in memory of his mother, who died of leukemia in 2016.  the 27-year-old  sings, “I will be the best of me, always keep you next to me. I'll be living one life for the two of us." In a press release, he says, “I don’t mean to be too soppy about it, but if ‘Two of Us’ can help just one other person who's going through the tough time that I went through, then that would make me really happy.” Buy it here. — Karen Bliss

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The Killers' have released a new song called "Land of the Free" that directly confronts the Donald Trump vision of the United States, complete with references to the America's prison-industrial complex, gun violence and the controversial border wall with Mexico. Brandon Flowers, the lead singer for the Las Vegas-based band, said in a series of comments across social media that Trump's divisive policies and things like the Sandy Hook Massacre and the killings of Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin were what prompted the band to create "Land of the Free." Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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