UK indie punks The Subways may have been away from making music, but it was the Black Lives Matter marches in the summer of 2020 that inspired guitarist Billy Lunn to write the new single “Fight”. Having signed to Alcopop! Records, the video is now available and the vinyl released on 30th April. Lunn attended the march with a friend who had never protested before. Her response as a black woman to her participation demonstrated the importance of solidarity at these events.
It’s a confrontational song covering so many questions and issues in just over 2 and a half minutes. The lyrics provide a wake-up call that oppression exists and we must fight alongside those victimised as allies. Lunn feels that a number of supposedly socially-minded bands remained silent on the Black Lives Matter issue and that this is simply not acceptable. As he explains: “Though the Black Lives Matter movement has been around since 2013, George Floyd’s murder was a catalyst, and I felt that it required something beyond poetics and abstract references in song,” he continues. “That it took George Floyd’s murder being filmed and distributed online for society-at-large to finally, viscerally comprehend systemic racisms presence is unacceptable. And I realised my own complicity in this ignorance. I therefore felt it crucial that the band’s first offering from the new album be a necessary use of our privileged platform.”
It’s a powerful return from The Subways. The lyrics are gripping, smart and vital. They are delivered with a guitar riff that never lets up through the whole track, and the pounding drums provide the beat of a march. Just read through this:
“Your reverence for genocide, for slavers, and for power
Is prologue in the story in which we tear down your towers?
If poor hands built empires while you cracked the whip,
Don’t cry, now, when they decide they’ll turn them into fists,
And raise them in the air so every nation’s leader sees,
The multitude will raise the heat to a billion degrees.
[beat] I guess until that crucial time will come around,
You’ll hear our voices singing, with our multi-culture sound.”
This is the first track to be taken from their recently completed forthcoming new album. Founding member Josh Morgan left the band in October 2020 shortly after studio sessions were completed.
Do check out The Subways Bandcamp page as they have a variety of bundle options with the vinyl 7″ release of “Fight”, including an interview between The Subways and Nova Twins on the B side. Also included is an exclusive political activism zine created by the band. It’s good to have The Subways back, we need more voices like theirs to confront the issues that matter.