Emily Elbert performs "True Power"
Acclaimed indie singer/songwriter Emily Elbert is releasing a powerful new song to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.
Elbert’s funk-rock track “True Power,” to be self-released via online outlets Thursday, takes on President Trump and his administration head-on.
“I put a lot of heart--and fire--into the song, since I feel strongly that Trump needs to be called out as artfully and as honestly as possible,” says Elbert, who in “True Power” alternates between her own voice and Trump’s in calling out his greed and human rights shortfalls. Its chorus: “True power can’t be bought or stolen, if you build a wall of hatred, prepare to watch it crumble.”
Her first overtly political piece, “True Power” is a marked departure from Elbert’s usual subject matter.
“I’ve spent most of my musical life writing about the things that make my heart sing,” Elbert says, namely “love in its many forms, nature, human connection, the search for the divine--finding glimpses of it in places big and small. It’s been my goal to provide a source of joy and reverence through music.”
“However,” she continues, “I trust that sometimes the most loving choice is not just to focus on the positive, but to look fear and hatred in the face when they arise, and call them out for what they are. Being young, queer, a woman, an environmentalist, and someone who believes in equality and human rights for people of all races, faiths, and cultural backgrounds, I can’t sit back and be a silent witness to injustice.”
Elbert adds: “As disheartening as the past year of this presidency has been, I’ve also never felt as inspired or as called to action as I do now. For all of the division, I’m also witnessing people coming together and working in community, using their gifts in creative ways to make an impact; having difficult conversations about real issues; learning together; organizing and showing up. It gives me hope--and marching orders.”
“Donald Trump may have bought and bullied his way into the presidency,” notes Elbert, “but true power is in the hands of the people when they come together. That’s what this song is about.”
Elbert is dedicating all proceeds from “True Power” to the ACLU because “it feels only right that profits from a song about a narcissistic bully should go towards protecting the people whose rights he threatens.”
Guitarist Elbert recorded “True Power” live with bassist Solomon Dorsey and drummer Abe Rounds. With no letup in Trump administration activities germane to the song’s message, Elbert kept adding verses up until the night of its recording.
Known for her work as a solo musician as well as collaborations with Esperanza Spalding (on her recent experimental music recording and theater project Emily’s D+Evolution) and Dweezil Zappa (she wrote and sang background vocals on his latest album Via Zammata), Emily Elbert has played over 1,000 independent shows everywhere from Peru to Palestine, along the way releasing four albums herself.
Additionally, she co-wrote Bruno Major’s viral hit “Easily,” and is preparing for a forthcoming Florida gig in Phish bassist Mike Gordon’s band. Los Angeles-based, Elbert is in New York next week for a show at Rockwood Music Hall Sunday and a Paste live session on Monday, to be followed Nov. 3 with a sold-out show back in L.A. with Bruno Major and Raelee Nikole at The Echo.