Americana has often been used to make political and social statements. ‘Couldn’t Breathe’ from Donal Hinely is a powerful, topical response to the world we’re living in. Musically and lyrically, Hinely takes a direct, straightforward approach in order to convey a simple message. Hinely’s distinctive voice and typically melodic playing make this all the more engaging.
Hinely explains the inspiration behind the song: “The song ‘Couldn’t Breathe’ is my inner dialog, my mind grappling with the shocking cruelty and inhumanity on display, trying to process the senseless and horrific murder of a human being on my TV screen. The video powerfully captures the outward hope and communal spirit of citizens peacefully protesting for change, exercising their constitutional right and doing their utmost to insure that the death of George Floyd—and so many others in a long history of hatred and injustice—was not in vain.”
Taken from the brand new album, ‘Diary of a Snowflake’, the song reflects a collection that speaks for those who despair at the unravelling of social norms and common decency, those who are repelled by racism and intolerance and those who hope for a better future. Seventeen albums into a career in which he has twice been a Kerrville Folk Festival finalist, Donal Hinely continues to produce consistently high quality music. However, this time round, thanks to the global pandemic, things had to be done very differently. In a hastily arranged home studio, with just a couple of microphones and an old laptop, Hinely recorded his guitars and vocals simultaneously, creating a complete, unedited live version of each song as the foundation to work with. The result is a finely crafted piece of work. Check it out.