lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: the rise of the black messiah

2015-05-20: spotlight on indigo girls' amy ray, pollstar:

some songs, like on this record, you can definitely hear it, there's layering. we might have gotten the core - bass, drums and vocals, for "happy in the sorrow key" but then we laid in track-by-track the strings, the horns, emily's part ... anything else that went on. but on a song like "the rise of the black messiah" ... emily and the violin, her guitar, were done afterwards, but all the other stuff, the performance, was one take. in fact, i'm even standing in front of the drummer, singing ... playing my mandolin. it's really live.

"southern california," though, emily's song, is layered track-by-track. i went in there and built my guitar part, built my harmonies, didn't even know what i was going to do at first.


2015-06-18: indigo girls bring full band to asheville's orange peel, the asheville citizen-times:

as far as the songwriting on the new album, ray says "there's been no shortage of things to draw on." among them, "the rise of the black messiah" was inspired by the angola three case, one of whose inmates wrote her a letter from prison seven years ago, while the passing of her father in the same 10-day period in which her child was born influenced "happy in the sorrow key" and "fishtails."

"i started those songs years ago and picked them back up with new information from those new events," said ray, who writes separately from saliers. "after playing for so long together and not having a new record, it was good to dig back together and work on arrangements and refamiliarize ourselves."


2018-04-18: indigo girls' emily saliers talks empathy, creativity and new projects, pride source:

are you ever surprised that a song you may have written a long time ago becomes topical again with age?

i know what you mean. i feel like a lot of times, the subject that we write about are things like systemic oppression, systemic racism, a long human history of conflict and war or refugees. these are really, really deep problems that the human race faces, and so even if the song was written 10, even 20 years ago, it's going to still be relevant today because we're still working on those issues. we may timestamp a song by listing something specific like, for instance, amy mentions karla faye tucker in "faye tucker" so you could look at the time that karla faye tucker was executed and look at the time there, but you have the same issues showing up in "rise of the black messiah." where black inmates who were what most everybody believes to be wrongly accused of something they didn't do and then put in solitary confinement for decades. just supreme injustice.

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