Political music: 11 of the best new albums - and why you should hear them


Here's this month's radical record round-up, which actually features more than 20 albums (count them). What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment below, on or .


At the start of the month, a photo of went viral, unleashing empathy for asylum seekers worldwide. Among those to react were musicians including to raise funds. Welsh artists also banded together to put out the . It included also came out recently. But one artist speaking out for refugees before Kurdi's death was Nerina Pallot, whose video clip for "The Road" features refugees trying to cross from France into Britain. With a half-French father and an Indian mother, Pallot is the beautiful result of multicultural immigration herself. She has a son not much older than Kurdi, but on the song "If I Had A Girl", she imagines she had a daughter instead, singing: "If I wear my skirt short, don't mean I don't have a brain. And if cover myself from head to toe, don't mean that I'm in chains."


The family of drowned toddler Alan Kurdi were fleeing their hometown of for resisting ISIS attacks. Just days before Kurdi's death, US singer-songwriter David Rovics released his latest album, featuring a song dedicated to the city. On "Kobane" he sings: "A city full of Kurdish people divided from the rest. Cut off to the east, forsaken by the West. The only sensible thing to do was run away. But instead thousands stood and fought. Kobane." as she filmed the video for her new song "Revolution" near Mosul in Kurdistan. As for those caught in the crossfire worldwide, : "We plead for water they feed us sand. We demand land but there is none. Except over there where no one is allowed to roam. Borders enforced by gunpoint. For every citizen a guard. For every non-citizen, two guards."


After socialist in a shock landslide win on September 12, the first thing he did was attend a rally for refugees. Two days later at a Battle Of Britain memorial and was pilloried by the press, who seemed as unable as ever to join the dots between of the , imperialistic wars and refugees. It could have been worse, Corbyn could have been singing the words to "Queenie" from this year's album by British rappers Regime: "She's an arms dealer, she's got a lot of funds. And a gun shotter, she's shot a lot of guns. And a bomb seller, big player on the scene, saying God save us all from that mean old Queen." four decades ago, also showed he'd lost none of his subversive sense of a good tune with his , released on September 4.


The first full-length album in nearly a decade by British Asian soundclash specialists Fun 'Da' Mental, released just a fortnight after Alan Kurdi's drowning, proved disturbingly timely . The lyrics to "Colour Of Rain" say: "This is for the mothers that scream and cry. This is for the child that never sees the light. This is for the broken man lying across the sea. And this is for me and you. Never to fall and die." In a talked right through his career, from his punk days drumming with Southern Death Cult to forming Fun 'Da' Mental in just seven days, becoming a globe-trotting documentary maker and being visited by MI5. He insists he's "a crap musician with great ideas", but Fun 'Da' Mental also have huge tunes, from the incendiary two decades ago, to the infectious "War Again" on the new album.


Fun 'Da' Mental are often referred to as "the Asian Public Enemy", but the real Public Enemy also released a new album this month, which is equally scathing about border control. Released on September 4, it captures the rap legends playing a one-off intimate gig to just 125 people in the London studios where Amy Winehouse recorded Back To Black. Introducing the track "Shut 'Em Down", Chuck D says: "I'm an Earthizen... I'm not a citizen of any damn government... One world, one people, one earth. And if anyone denies that shit, we're gonna shut 'em down." Multi-instrumentalist Flavor Flav excels on his emergency number parody track "911 Is A Joke", which has taken on a whole new meaning since the attacks of September 11, 2001 - or 9/11. Just a week after the album's release, as most of the Western media were rolling out the usual 9/11 memorials, investigative journalist since 9/11.


Public Enemy collaborator Paris deliberately chose September 11 as the release date for his radical new double album on his own label, Guerrilla Funk. he says. "It was initially started as a safe haven for artists who found that many creative outlets were no longer available to them because of the wave of fear-induced 'pseudo patriotism' at the time." Paris went on to send up the infamous Ku Klux Klan film Birth Of A Nation on his collaborative Guerrilla Funk album with Public Enemy, . with his album of the same name. But Paris has got Public Enemy's Chuck D back on his new album, which also includes many of his label signings, including powerful female duo The Conscious Daughters. If you like Paris's hard-hitting politics and super-heavy funk, you should also go local by checking out .


Showing all the sass of Guerrilla Funk's Conscious Daughters are gives patriarchy a kick in the pants. The song would no doubt elicit a smile from veteran activist and folk singer came out this month, including Irish language advocate at the same time. Promoting her album, . As if to illustrate her point, and pals kicked off the and tour this month with "non-male" line-ups across the country to counter the looming male-heavy festival season. But just as , The how similar festivals are copping naive claims of reverse-sexism in the US. As for the term "non-male", .


One band who know "gender is not simply a male-female binary" are Florida punks Against Me!, whose singer Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender on their . The highlight of 23 Live Sex Acts, recorded live on the Transgender Dysphoria Blues tour, is when Grace stops the whole show to heckle a security guard who is trying to eject a fan. Released a couple of weeks before 23 Live Sex Acts was , a follow-up album to a compilation released by Australian musicians to promote marriage equality. But if you like your queer music with more radical politics, check out , named after Max Weber's definition of capitalist bureaucracy and released on September 25. Although the EP projects his politics through the song titles rather than lyrics, Rizzla is a rarity in the generally apolitical dance music scene, and hailing Black revolutionaries.


Also hailing Black revolutionaries are Canadian collective The Souljazz Orchestra, whose new album is inspired by the disco music of Francophone Africa - Coupé-Décalé, Zouglou, Ndombolo, Zouk, Compas - and the politics of Occupy and Black Lives Matter. say the band. "It's obvious there's a real thirst for social justice and positive political change throughout the world today." A similarly powerful product of multicultural immigration are the London-based . They started in Nairobi, which was under a cloud of oppression as an execution had just taken place, then headed out to Nyanza Province, where the locals dance all night to Luo music while glugging down a poisonous brew that translates as "Kill Me Quick".


The Souljazz Orchestra's fellow Canadian, by noting how Indigenous people in Canada, Australia and elsewhere are on the frontlines of the fight for global climate action. The family of drowned toddler Alan Kurdi have been by those pointing to the . Kurdi's father has hit out at Stephen Harper's Canadian government for allegedly rejecting his family's asylum application. As Canada's election looms, , including D.O.A's Joey Shithead, who is a Green candidate. "Pipeline Fever" from D.O.A.'s new album shows he's probably too worthy for the job. Not making the list, but just as worthy, is , who leading the fight against a pipeline that threatens her farm.


Stephen Harper's political ally, Tony Abbott, was replaced in a coup on September 15. A few days later, the new government, led by , released a could be in danger of turning into dangerous radicals. Perhaps the report's authors had listened to the new album by Melbourne grindcore band The Kill, which seethes: Cheer up Tony, at least you haven't had a . Yet. But the last word goes to and said they'd split up when he went. Releasing their final song on his exit, they said: "We may have to start a protest folk band called 'Turnback Turnbull' or something!" Amen to that.

For more political albums, . For Green Left TV's political music playlist, .

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