55 American and British artists join forces for a benefit album

More than 50 artists from the United States and the United Kingdom have united for a new benefit compilation in support of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and Palestine Legal.

The digital album, titled Mercilessly accelerating rhythms – Artists united for a free Palestinecontains 55 previously unreleased songs by independent musicians from various genres ranging from ambient electronic to jazz.

The title comes from the poem by Jamaican-American author and anti-apartheid activist June Jordan, who died in 2002. I must become a threat to my enemiesThe poem was written in honor of Agostinho Neto, former President of the People’s Republic of Angola in 1976.

Organizers on the album’s Bandcamp listing have written: “We as Artists United for a Free Palestine see retaliation as a variety of tactics; as mutual aid; as solidarity with the Palestinian people; as direct action, if necessary; as an immediate end to the Israeli occupation forces and a free Palestine forever; as a liberated world.

“Our duty as artists is – and always will be – radical care; the least we can do is send aid to those facing and fighting the genocide in Palestine, and to those organizing access to lawyers and legal support for those who need it.”

Artists contributing to the compilation include singer-songwriter Phil Elverum, whose musical projects The Microphones and Mount Eerie have been praised in alternative circles since he began releasing music in the 1990s. His 2017 album A crow looked at me was the best-selling and most critically acclaimed film of his career, landing in the New York Times Top 10 of the year. The benefit album features his new song, & as early as), under the name Mount Eerie.

Other notable contributors to the compilation include regular independent rock musician Kyle Field, who releases music under the moniker Little Wings; rocker John Andrews; folk musician Libby Rodenbough; Jason Evans Groth of Magnolia Electric Co. and more.

Numerous projects benefiting Palestine have been launched in the past six months. Also in the independent music world, American singer-songwriter Adrianne Lenker released a solo EP ahead of the release of her latest album, with all proceeds also going to Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

Film industry artists also recently joined forces for the Cinema for Gaza initiative, a 10-day auction that raised $315,000 for Medical Aid for Palestinians, a British charity that provides medical services in Gaza.

Contributors to the auction included Tilda Swinton, Ramy Youssef, Annie Lennox, Joaquin Phoenix and Jonathan Glazer.

The death toll from the ongoing conflict in Gaza has reached 34,622, with 77,867 injured.

Updated: May 4, 2024, 10:09 AM