With the world ready for the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi; anxiously awaiting the wonder of sports, and to watch the best of the best from each country, indie folk collective, The Fugitives, feel the importance of keeping a very significant issue of the games in the front of people’s minds. “Like many people, we looked on in dismay as the Russian government implemented anti-gay propaganda laws last year,” says Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod, who head the Vancouver-based group. “At the same time, we were pretty humbled and inspired by many of the people who protested and stood up against them.” That inspiration led to a new song, New Year’s In Sochi, and the release of a new heartfelt and moving video that accompanies the track. Watch the video here today.
New Year’s In Sochi was featured on the Light Organ Xmas EP, which was released in December 2013. The song was written about Dmitry Isakov, one of the first people arrested under Russia’s new anti-gay propaganda laws. He went into a city square with a sign advocating for equal rights for gay citizens, and was arrested, beaten, and fired from his job. When he was released, he went back the very next day to the same spot with the same sign.
“We were struck by the bravery and simplicity of it, as well as his resolve to continue the protest as soon as he was released by the authorities,” the band comments. “It provided a sudden jolt of perspective. The two of us walk around pretty steeped in privilege. We deal with basic Canadian musician problems: paying rent, getting inspired, being annoyed by long drives across the Prairies. We don’t have to deal with the daily violation of our human rights, or getting arrested and alienated from our community for expressing a belief in equality.”
The powerful video is a reflection on Dmitry Isakov’s actions, and shows a group of people holding their own signs, telling Isakov’s story and championing for equality and change.
The band continues, “unfortunately, the situation in Russia isn’t rare. There are 78 countries with anti-homosexuality laws. But the fact that the Olympics are in Russia, really gives the international community an opportunity to focus on this issue and get the awareness out that these kinds of laws are backwards and cannot stand. We wrote an uplifting song, and there’s a bit of an upbeat tenor to the video, because we like to believe change is coming, and hopefully very quickly.”
The Fugitives released their new album, Everything Will Happen, in October of 2013, via Light Organ Records. New Year’s In Sochi is available on iTunes now, and is also available as a free download within the limited edition CD version of Everything Will Happen. The band will also be hitting the road in March supporting Buffy Sainte-Marie.
|February 28 – St. Albert, AB – Arden Theatre (with Chic Gamine)|
|March 2 – Red Deer, AB – Bo’s|
|March 4 – Winnipeg, MB – West End Cultural Centre*|
|March 6-7 – Swift Current, SK – Sky Centre*|
|March 8 – Lloydminster, SK – Vic Juba Theatre*|
|March 9 – Bruno, SK – Bruno Arts Bank|
|March 10 – Saskatoon, SK – Broadway Theatre*|
|March 13 – Moose Jaw, SK – Moose Jaw Cultural Centre*|
|March 28 – Vancouver, BC – Hard Rock Café|
|*dates w/Buffy Saint-Marie|