I’m a big fan of Tracy Shedd, The Band and the Beat, and Fort Lowell Records– all efforts of some combination of Shedd and James Tritten. They (in Fort Lowell form) have a new compilation coming out called GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The label explains that “The project, focused on Wilmington, North Carolina, is a response to the racial injustice continuously displayed by law enforcement across the United States of America. Friends of the formerly Tucson, Arizona-based label involved with GROW have donated their own talents to allow 100% of the sales from the record to endow the New Hanover County NAACP with working capital to help Fort Lowell’s newly adopted local community. GROW is an effort to help address the dire effects of racism in America.”
The song is an icy, stark, downtempo electro framework with Shedd’s inviting vocals lifting the proceedings. “Are you listening?” she asks over a rubbery bass guitar, Casio-esque tinny synths, and distant tambourine clink. “Holding space / make it a better world” she croons over the chorus, as the instrumentation cheers slightly to meet the hopeful lyrics. The song isn’t long (2:59), keeping things tight and urgent. This is especially reflected in the coda of the song, which shudders to a sudden halt, leaving the listener with a sense of incompleteness that fits the lyrics. The accompanying video focuses on moving shots of horses and plants (particularly flowering ones, plus the spiky/beautiful aloe plant), but with a cold, desaturated color palette reflecting the dim light of the song’s sonic world. It’s a unique, interesting song with a tightly connected video.
You can also listen to “Holding Space” via SoundCloud:
“Holding Space” officially releases Friday, October 16th. The full album of GROW will be released on Friday, October 30th.