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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Television’ By Lula Wiles

Lula Wiles is an Americana trio that skillfully employs traditional music forms to provide poignant commentary on current issues. On May 21, they are releasing “Shame and Sedition,” the follow-up to their exceptional 2019 album What Will We Do.”

The album was recorded on native Wabanaki land in New England, which carries additional weight considering trio member Mali Obomsawin is part of the Abenaki Nation.

The evil of colonialism is a subject that they previously addressed on “Good Old American Values,” a scathing satirical critique of America’s long history of subjugation of Native Americans off “What Will We Do.” Such themes are further explored on their upcoming album.

The motivation behind the project is highlighted in the following press statement from the trio: “Each song grew from personal revelations or yearning for collective reckoning, materializing into proclamations against powerful oligarchs, toxic relationships, media narratives, and the callousness capitalism demands.”

The lead-off single “Television” addresses false media narratives and how the media is used as a tool by the oligarchy to sow seeds of division. (“It’s a sharp knife between greed and ambition. You start to question what you’ve been given. Everybody’s buying when they’re selling division. And it’s all waiting for you on your television.”)

The lyrics also point out how the media promotes the battle between Republicans and Democrats, but neither side of the political aisle has the best interest of their citizens. (“It’s a tightrope walk between red and blue. Watch the Friday night fight, the riveting show. They’re fighting each other, who’s fighting for you?”)

The media is used to prop up the status quo. (“Everybody’s armed to defend the old position.”)

Lula Wiles makes it clear that the first step to dismantling oppressive systems is to stop putting blind trust in the tools that prop them up.

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