Billy Bragg, currently in North America for the first leg of his ‘Bridges Not Walls’ tour, has released his new single Saffiyah Smiles which you can see the video to below. The song is a rousing Hammond-drenched country soul shuffle written by Bragg and was inspired by the bravery of Saffiyah Khan who smiled benignly in the face of the incensed leader of the far-right group the English Defence League at an anti-immigrant demonstration in Birmingham (UK) in April ’17; a photo of her action immediately went viral on social media.
Following the single release, the mini-album, ‘Bridges Not Walls‘ will be released featuring all of the singles he has released over the summer plus two other tracks. Bragg says of the new record: “Life comes at you real fast these days. What’s a singer-songwriter to do when events keep challenging the way that we see the world? Before we’ve had a chance to digest one startling development, along comes another to throw us off balance again. I’ve been grubbing up songs for the past 12 months, but without the time to get an album together due to other projects, so in an effort to keep pace with these chaotic times I decided to start dropping tracks as they became ready across the summer culminating in a mini album. As always, they’re my way of trying to make some sense of what’s going on. And there’s been a lot going on.”
‘Bridges Not Walls’ track listing
1. The Sleep Of Reason
2. King Tide And The Sunny Day Flood
3. Why We Build The Wall
4. Saffiyah Smiles
5. Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted
6. Full English Brexit
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