Protest music often feels like a very insular thing; our interests are usually guided by the personal, and we tend to be drawn to issues that are close to us. Think global, act local after all. But here’s something that may surprise you: people in other countries aren’t totally satisfied with their governing bodies either. Enter Kate Tempest, probably the best person to linguistically illustrate the frustrations facing the world from inside the walls of the last great empire.
On “Europe Is Lost”, a song originally penned for a 2016 release, Tempest mixes no words when describing the hypocrisy of our leaders when it comes to most all topics, including The War On Terror:
It’s big business baby and its smile is hideous.
Top down violence, structural viciousness.
Your kids are doped up on medical sedatives.
But don’t worry bout that. Worry bout terrorists.
The water levels rising! The water levels rising!
The animals, the polarbears, the elephants are dying!
Stop crying. Start buying.
But what about the oil spill?
Shh. No one likes a party pooping spoil sport.
And the dalliances of politicians:
Caught sniffing lines off a prostitutes prosthetic tits,
And it’s back to the house of lords with slapped wrists
They abduct kids and fuck the heads of dead pigs
But him in a hoodie with a couple of spliffs –
Jail him, he’s the criminal
After all, who doesn’t love a good pig-fucking reference in their protest songs?
Even those who may disagree with Tempest’s message (don’t know how you could), her epic lyricism and flow over producer Dan Carey’s cold, industrial beat, is enough to impress even the most passive activist.
You can stream “Europe Is Lost” below, and head over to YouTube for a full list of lyrics.