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Hear Arcade Fire's New Song With Mavis Staples, 'I Give You Power'

The months leading up to the 2016 presidential election were filled with one-off protest songs, most of them directed at eventual winner Donald J. Trump. The months since, as you might imagine, have been no quieter. The occasion of Trump's inauguration Friday is inspiring weekend demonstrations and benefit concerts across the country, and more protest songs keep rolling out right alongside them.

With less than 24 hours to go before Friday's big event, Arcade Fire is teaming up with Mavis Staples to release a new song titled "I Give You Power" — available only via Tidal, a streaming service in which the band has a financial stake. And, though Trump's election has no doubt stoked strong opinions among all the musicians involved, this particular song sticks to the bare essentials like throbbing synths, a jittery beat, and a few general phrases that lead to an unmistakable message for all elected officials: "I give you power / I can take it away."

Listen now, via Tidal:

Though "I Give You Power" appears to be a one-off single (with all proceeds going to the American Civil Liberties Union), Arcade Fire will also release a DVD of its 2015 documentary film, The Reflektor Tapes, on January 27.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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