We’re releasing our new video for “Shake These Trees” on Juneteenth 2021.
The incendiary but eminently danceable track features The Specials’ founding member and guitarist, Lynval Golding, on guest vocals. His presence adds texture and authenticity to the line, “I can’t breathe”, which was written shortly before the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and his duet with Ming – an American woman of part East Asian descent – resonates with the cross-cultural, always timely issues of racial and sexual justice.
For this reason, we wanted to time the video release with “Juneteenth”, the historical marker of the emancipation of slaves in the United States. For the second year in a row, inspired by Bandcamp, we will be honouring the date by matching their music or merchandise sales on that platform (for the week of June 19th – June 26th) with donations to both the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the British race equality think-tank The Runnymede Trust.
The video, which was directed by Jay Hillyer at Yellow Bean Studios in Leicester, will premiere on our YouTube channel at 19:30 (UK time) on Saturday, June 19th.
“Using allusion in the lyrics, Project Blackbird conjure up a glorious wonderment for the world and command a gentle anger for its injustices but do it through the lyrical caress of poetry rather than blunt prose. This is true of all but ‘Shake These Trees’….Golding’s repeated cry of ‘I can’t breathe!’ is a chilling reminder of a moment in history that will never lose its awful power to shock” (Paul F Cook, Joyzine)
“‘Shake These Trees’ is another stand-out moment on the record….Disco rhythms set an uncanny scene for images of police brutality that have become all too common place in today’s society” (arunariver, Unrecorded)
“I’ve never heard [Lynval] sing quite like this, understated, very much in tune with the melancholy in Ming’s voice & absolutely perfect for the song” (Andy Holdcroft, Hot Music Live)