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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Blankenship’ By DIIV

The following post originally appeared at Ongoing History Of Protest Songs.

“Children lead the cry.”

The above lyric is from “Blankenship,” the latest single from the indie rock band DIIV upcoming third album “Deceiver,” which is due out October 4. The line points to the rise of climate activism among youth throughout the world.

Even though the band hasn’t made an official statement, the tune appears to refer to Don Blankenship, the climate change denier and former CEO of Massey Energy Company, the sixth-largest coal mining company in the United States.

Blankenship was CEO during the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 miners on April 5, 2010. He was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $250,000 for conspiring to violate mine health and safety standards.

Whether it is specifically about Blankenship or not, “Armageddon is a product, and one we choose to buy. Dwell on that for a moment, with paradise on fire,” makes a clear link between capitalistic greed and environmental destruction.

Along with the song, DIIV also released a poignant music video. “For a problem as global and looming as climate change, we wanted to make something very simple and claustrophobic,” director Scott Stout said of the clip to Revolver. “To me, the nightmare scenario of being trapped alone in a vast arid desert devoid of life is terrifying and hopefully captures that feeling well—as beautiful as that landscape may be.”

The song and video may be ominous, but artists like DIIV are contributing to a cultural awakening that will hopefully spur greater action to address the impacts of climate change.

Watch and/or listen to “Blankenship” by DIIV:

CJ Baker

CJ Baker

CJ Baker is a lifelong music fan and published writer. He recently started a website chronicling the historical developments of protest music: ongoinghistoryofprotestsongs.com, and can be found on Twitter @tunesofprotest