“When I was a kid, my dad was in this tiny fringe political group called the Democratic Socialists of America” explains songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman.
“That was considered extreme, something I didn’t tell my friends about. Now my generation has had to wake up to the intensity of our own economic oppression. We sit around talking about how anyone affords to buy a house, and how we can get rich people to pay for our albums”, she laughs.
Baiman finds hope in this shared experience as a mechanism for activism. On Common Nation of Sorrow, Baiman’s third LP, she tells stories of American capitalism, and the individual and communal devastation it manifests. “The reality is that the vastmajority of us are being taken advantage of by the same brutal economic and political systems. Maybe that shared oppression is a place in which we can meet and fightback”, she explains.While she has had no trouble with lyrical honesty in the past, Baiman’s previous records,“Shame,” and “Cycles,” have been experiments in musical growth and change. On “Common Nation of Sorrow”, she has found a production style to match her straightforward writing. Baiman displays a certain self-awareness and comfort with the inability to be all things, while simultaneously pushing to new heights with her message, and delivering a heartbreaking, albeit beautiful, assessment of her country.