Swale Release Powerful New Video, a Cover of Sinéad O'Connor's 'Black Boys on Mopeds' | Live Culture
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Swale Release Powerful New Video, a Cover of Sinéad O'Connor's 'Black Boys on Mopeds'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 4:45 PM

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Burlington's Swale have dropped a new video in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. A thoroughly researched photo montage, created by Swale guitarist Eric Olsen, shows every black woman and man killed by police between January 1, 2015, and August 1 of this year. The faces come and go at a terrifying pace, underscoring how the victims' lives were tragically cut short. The video features a newly recorded cover of Sinéad O'Connor's "Black Boys on Mopeds," tracked in recent sessions for the band's next album. 

As the blog Cover Me Songs reports, Olsen was inspired to create the video after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. "I hadn't seen any sort of aggregator of fatalities at the hands of police, so I started researching that," Olsen explains. "Collecting the data on all these people took some time, and by the time I was done, more people had been killed. So I added more."

The original song comes from O'Connor's 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, where it was a reflection on the killing of young black man Colin Roach. In 1983, Roach was killed inside a London police station, sparking a fury of protest and investigation.

Though the song was not written in connection with Black Lives Matter, it highlights the obvious and appalling trend of police brutality toward black people across cultures and time periods. The new video stands vigil and forces us to confront the insidiousness of racism and hatred, one face at a time.

Swale - "Black Boys on Mopeds" (Sinéad O'Connor cover) from Swale on Vimeo.

Swale's cover of "Black Boys on Mopeds" is available for download on their Soundcloud page.


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Jordan Adams

Jordan Adams

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Jordan Adams is the Seven Days music editor.

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