Buffy Sainte-Marie was originally known as a folk musician, but the title track from her new album Power in the Blood finds her substantially breaking away from that mould, as she's emerged with the futuristic electro cut that serves as the record's title track. Hear the premiere for yourself here at Exclaim!
The song is a cover of Alabama 3, and it sports an energetic pulse that is overlaid with vocoded robo voices along with organic singing from Buffy. This isn't the first time she's worked with electronic sounds, but it makes the 74-year-old sound extremely modern.
Read a statement from the vocalist below, and hear the track at the bottom of this page.
There are two ways to look at the word "Power."
One way refers to the power to kill and control things by force, as in the feudal system whereby a hierarchy of merchant racketeers control our lives, our safety, our food, our communication, our environment, and our future.
And the other way refers to the power in our own DNA to make choices, to steer elected politicians, to offset the stagnation of feudal thinking, and to mutate into a smarter human race.
Alabama 3's original version was already a great song, although very violent, expressing their kind of rage against the machine: There's justice in the sword, and when that call it comes I will be ready for war. In my version, although I'm raging against the same things, I updated the issues and spun the intention into a peace song: There's justice in the soul; and when that call it comes I will say No No No to war.
By the way, Alabama 3 and I are mutual fans. They not only approved my turning "Power in the Blood" into a peace song, but they also let me incorporate some of their stems and vocals into my version of the song.
Power in the Blood arrives on May 12 through True North Records. See all her upcoming tour dates here.