For Australia-based South Sudanese singer/songwriter Gordon Koang, the direct route was the best one. After a year of canceled shows, living in the outskirts of Melbourne, unable to play in Australia and unable to visit family in Africa, Koang and his cousin Paul Biel wrote a song directed right at the scourge of 2020 (and also a lot of 2021).
Bob Dylan, even at his most direct early days, could never have approached this one.
Gordon Koang is no
stranger to addressing dark topics in his songwriting, drawing out
hope in the face of the civil war that displaced him from East Africa
to Australia (where, fortunately, African music is still
Penned in July of
last year, the song thankfully already has the feel of an artifact of
the era, but the grief and frustration of the global pandemic are
bound to linger even once—or if—worldwide vaccination levels put
COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.
The song comes out on a double-A-sided release Aug. 4 via Music in Exile.