Greetings Space Cadets, today we have a news update in the from of a letter from one of my favourite artists Nerina Pallot.
As promised, when I wrote to you last week, I have more news about what I’ve been up to and what I shall be up to. As you know, the new album is called ‘The Sound and the Fury’, and it will be released on September 11th.
The first song to be taken from the album is called ‘The Road’ and it’s not a song you have heard before. It was inspired in part by Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same name and its extraordinary story of the human spirit trying to survive insurmountable odds. At its heart ’The Road’ is a song about self determination. The video for it is unlike any other video I have been involved in, and I am deeply indebted to the director, Damian Weilers, for making something that is hard hitting and topical, and profoundly human.
I met Damian while looking for someone who was taking the music video medium and doing something different, informative and useful. We both agree that making videos is an opportunity to focus attention on important issues and that when certain issues become news, often the humanity at its heart is overlooked and people end up reduced to being problems to be solved. Shot in Calais over recent weeks it is a frank, impartial document of his experience, highlighting not only the desperate circumstances of the migrant camps but the sense of community they have managed to pull together in spite of their plight.
According to UN figures, there are currently around 59 million people forcibly displaced in the world – and trying to find somewhere they can call home. To me, this isn’t a political issue – it is a humanitarian one. While European governments argue, the pressure increases. On borders, on local communities, on lorry drivers who find themselves unwittingly carrying human cargo – but most of all, on those who have become stateless and desperate.
Damian went to Calais with an open mind, and came away moved by the kindness and openness of people who have nothing and just want the chance to work for a better life. People who for a myriad of reasons find the place they once called home unstable and dangerous, and that to stay would mean risking their lives.
From my own personal experience, Britain is a tolerant and accepting country. As I might have told you before, my mother and her family came here from India in the 1960s, and were able to make a life; to get an education, work and contribute to society, but it was not without its challenges, as I have written about before in songs like ‘English’. As the product of British multiculturalism, when I see migrants, I see hope and hard work. But most of all I see humans, like you and I.
We will have more news to announce in coming weeks, but just for now, I wanted to share this short film with you. This song was the first song I wrote for the album, and was the reason behind the journey of the Year of EPs.
With much love as ever,