Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Picks: Free Palestine

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It’s our Bandcamp Picks of the Week, this week highlighting a number of compilations and releases whose funds go directly to organizations and charities who are currently helping people in Gaza. We will try and update this list periodically as time goes on with other charity compilations on Palestine-specific releases!

For Palestine Cover

Various Artists – FOR PALESTINE 

Organized by Ceci Sturman and Hannah Prezuinsky of GUNK

GUNK is a “NYC indie music show paper and online blog” run by Ceci Sturman and Hannah Prezuinsky (which you can subscribe to here). They were quicker than most to release a compilation, with FOR PALESTINE dropping on November 15th, 2023, and “100% of donations of For Palestine [supporting] Palestinian organizing efforts worldwide and relief in Gaza, splitting between the Palestinian Youth Movement and Anera’s rapid response relief aid.”

Prezuinsky records under the name h. pruz and released a devastatingly beautiful album entitled NO GLORY earlier this year. They have a poetically dizzying acoustic song called “force” available on this comp. Sturman also has a raw, heartbreaking ballad titled “One (Patient Guy).” That’s in addition to 50 other songs including demos from the always beautiful Mutual Benefit and underrated Maine singer-songwriter Dead Gowns, and unreleased material from artists like Frankie Cosmos, Told Slant, and PFFU. A shout out to two songs in particular: Eli Winter’s cutting homespun take on Judee Sill’s “Emerald River Dance” and the actively searching harmonies of Why Bonnie’s “City Slicked.” You can give it a listen over on Bandcamp!

Musicians For A Free Palestine Cover

Various Artists – MUSICIANS FOR A FREE PALESTINE

Organized by Andy Molholt (of Speedy Ortiz), Maya Bon (of Babehoven), and Raquel Denis

Released on April 16th, MUSICIANS FOR A FREE PALESTINE exists behind a paywall with a very specific price: $36.

“This is because the price of a 10 gigabyte 30 day eSim purchased through the instructions provided at gazaesims.com is $34 USD. For full transparency, Bandcamp takes a 15% cut of digital sales. On Tuesdays, Nomad, the company responsible for selling the eSims, has a 10% discount, whereupon they cost $30.60 USD. 15% of $36 is $5.40, and 36 – 5.4 = 30.6, so charging $36 per compilation download ensures that 1 download = 1 eSim purchased.”

You can preview a few of the songs from some of the notable names on the tracklist, including new ones from Babehoven and Frankie Cosmos, and demos from Downtown Boys and Horse Jumper of Love. But other highlights include a solo cut from Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi that sounds kinda like Car Seat Headrest (complimentary); a Remember Sports song that cuts to the online id of what that band does best; a stunningly heartfelt cover of Eurythmics’ “Here Comes The Rain” from Slow Pulp; a fuzzy, late-night prom song entitled “Comfortably Lie” from Shamir; and an urgent rocker from famous nice guy Ted Leo called “How Can I Tell You It’s Not Fair,” among over 60 more. It’s an obvious must for fans of the last decade of indie rock writ large. You can buy that over on Bandcamp!

MERCILESS ACCELERATING RHYTHMS Cover

Various Artists – MERCILESS ACCELERATING RHYTHMS: ARTISTS UNITED FOR A FREE PALESTINE

Organized by Brooklyn-based label HATETOQUIT and band Hiding Places

Brooklyn tape label HATETOQUIT is relatively new, with only a few releases under its belt, including assisting with Self-Help’s excellent 2022 technicolored pop album WHEN YOU WEAR MY CLOTHES. Along with grinding soft rockers Hiding Places, they’ve compiled MERCILESS ACCELERATING RHYTHMS: ARTISTS UNITED FOR A FREE PALESTINE, a 50+ song deep compilation that features music from, among many others, Fust, Super Infinity (Rob Grote of The Districts), H. Pruz, and Phil Elverum.

The compilation’s title, MERCILESS ACCELERATING RHYTHMS, is based on anti-apartheid artist, leader, and writer June Jordan’s poem “I Must Become A Menace to My Enemies,” which was dedicated to Agostinho Neto, former President of The People’s Republic of Angola: “I plan to blossom bloody on an afternoon / surrounded by my comrades singing / terrible revenge in merciless / accelerating / rhythms.

“Our duty as artists has—and always will be—radical acts of care,” they say in the press release. “The least we can do is send any aid possible to those facing genocide in Palestine, and money to folks on the frontlines of organizing action to get access to lawyers and legal support.” A few choice highlights worth shouting out across MERCILESS ACCELERATING RHYTHMS include a demo for a hypnotic new song called “Free Willie” from villagerrr (whose latest album TEAR YOUR HEART OUT has some of 2024’s best folk rock tunes), a quivering lo-fi blues song entitled “candle wax” from Asheville act State Park Ranger, the quivering bedroom pop cut “Hard To Believe” form artist Oh Vinnie, and They Might Be Giants-ish power pop song “International Waves” from Groakus (Jason Evans Groth of Magnolia Electric Co.). All proceeds made from sales on Bandcamp and streaming proceeds from DSPs will be donated directly to Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and Palestine Legal. You can check it out here on Bandcamp!

Casefire Compilation Cover

Various Artists – CEASEFIRE [NRFVA00FP]

Organized by NR Magazine

Organized by London electronic publication NR Magazine and released in early April, CEASEFIRE costs a minimum €15 fee with all proceeds (after fees) being donated to the Middle East Children’s Alliance. Subsequently, you can make a tax-deductible donation that supports a number of other Palestinian causes while still getting the comp—details for that can be found in the liner notes at the bottom of Bandcamp. At 37 songs, CEASEFIRE is a lot to digest. The mix of big house and techno tracks and some nifty trance cuts was curated by NR Mag, as well as radio show Formula. Harder-hitting rave dispatches like Peppe Amore’s “Tempo” and dxrvo’s “Drone Clock” are spacy highlights, and the gnarlier, louder songs on the compilation are highlights, but give me GEISTFREI’s “Fragile Resonance” any day, a dream trance cut that will have you floating. At over three hours of music, buy it and play it front to back at your next party. You can check it out over on Bandcamp.

A Homeland Denied Compilation Cover

Various Artists – A HOMELAND DENIED: A COMPILATION FOR THE PALESTINE LIBERATION

Organized by Mario Garofano from Malignant and Ozan Güner from xRISALEx

Featuring 121 hardcore and metal acts from across the globe, A HOMELAND DENIED: A COMPILATION FOR THE PALESTINE LIBERATION is nothing if not all-consuming—ranging from emerging artists (Mario Garofano and Ozan Güner, who organized the record, used it as an opportunity to debut their new act Maran) to established names like Racetraitor, Twitching Tongues, END, and more. All profits will be donated to MECA for Peace to send humanitarian aid to Palestinian youth in Gaza, and at just a €10 entry fee, that’s a lotta music. I won’t even pretend to try and tell you I’ve heard all 121 songs, but a powerful Thou demo and a circle pit-ready cut from Terminal Nation were what got me in the door. The loose highlights on a first pass include the piss-and-vinegar queercore of Shooting Daggers’ “Not My Rival” (give their latest album LOVE & RAGE a listen), the screamo ascension of Every Promise Kept’s “Unfathomable Inhumanity,” and Tears Of Joy’s bass-heavy crust punk rocker “Bastard.” It’s the kitchen sink and then some. Catch it over on Bandcamp.

CJ Simonson
CJ Simonson is Merry-Go-Round's Editor-in-Chief and representative for all things Arizona. The only thing he knows for certain is that "I Can Feel The Fire" by Ronnie Wood is the greatest closing credits song never used in a Wes Anderson movie. Get on that, Wes.

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