Our world is changing. People are no longer staying quiet out of fear from what is unjust. They are standing up and fighting for what’s right. However, there are still so many people who don’t act. The problems don’t directly affect them, so why should they do anything to stop it? Los Angeles band Soul Scratch’s “Look How Far We’ve Come” is the empathetic cry for our world to join together and fight for what is right.
“Look How Far We’ve Come” – Soul Scratch[youtube=https://youtu.be/EPNtFNkJKCw?t=0s]
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Look How Far We’ve Come,” taken from Soul Scratch’s debut album Pushing Fire (released 1/13/2017 via Colemine Records). Soul Scratch vocalist and lyricist Dale Spollett speaks of the track, “When we wrote this song, we were unaware of the multitude of verses that could be added by this point in time. The problem of police violence and systemic racial abuse isn’t just for a select few to deal with. It is something that we as a people need to band together and change. That starts with raising your voices and acknowledging that there is a problem and taking a stand to change it. We hope we can shine some extra light and awareness on this far too common tragedy and in whatever way help to bring about a change.”
The song begins with a tight rhythmic guitar and drum kit, joined by horns, building up before settling in to the bluesy and soulful swing of the song. Spollet’s sharp and breathtaking vocals cut in, containing mountains of emotion, demanding the attention of the listener.
It was cold in the morning
When the dust settled down.
Mama’s tears start flowing
Her baby boy’s dead on that ground.
A man looks her in the eye, says
“Nothing I can do.
He was just doing his job,
what he was trained to do.”
True to the blues style, the first verse dives right into a story. The story is real, raw, and can’t be ignored. Soul Scratch is able to take this huge social issue and make it feel so personal. They’re able to do that because to them, it is personal. They hear these stories and truly feel the hurt that has been placed amongst these families. So much so, that they dedicated a song to it, sharing real life stories, and imploring listeners to practice the same empathy they are practicing themselves. The lyrics truly capture how tragic this problem is – it’s unfair and unjust.
The music shifts going into the chorus and what proves to be the main message of this song. The horns are bright and rhythm picks up. Shifting our mood from sullen to hopeful, Spollet wails,
Look how far we’ve come
Still got a long way to go
Gotta stick together now
Keep that change pushing on.
The beat slows down for Spollet to tell the story of the second verse. This verse is their plea for us not just to listen, but to also hear what they are saying. They are trying to turn apathy into empathy. The problem is real, and while we can’t fix what has already been done, we can help prevent it from happening again.
On the streets of New York City
Man cried out that he can’t breathe.
But ain’t no one seem to pay him no mind
Just another life lost to the beat.
Time to wake ourselves up now
Cause this ain’t no bad dream.
I feel like people need to cry out
But we’ve forgotten how to scream.
The horns begin to build as the soulful blues anthem prepares for its epic ending. The horns scream for joy as Spollet gives everything he has to these last words. The sound truly presents a feeling of unity, and what it can feel like when we come together, which is what the song is all about.
Look how far we’ve come,
Still got a long way to go,
Gotta stick together now,
Keep that change pushing on
Got to raise ourselves up,
all standing hand in hand.
nothing’s gonna change until you make it.
talking about Love.
Where’s all the love gone?
Nothing’s gonna change until you make it.
Johnny Chou, Joel Givertz, Adam Greenberg, Matt Reale, Dale Spollett and a host of musicians make up Soul Scratch, a self-proclaimed “soulful sextet is a hard hitting groove machine, built in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, on a mission to save the world from mediocrity.” With “Look How Far We’ve Come,” they are clearly staying true to this mission. While the song holds a message that is tragic and sullen, the band is nothing of the sort. The sound of the song makes you feel hope: It makes you feel that, if you join in to fight this problem, maybe one day it won’t be a problem anymore. Soul Scratch say they are “on a quest to bring good times, quality get-down and their own special brand of soul to every corner of the country.” Be sure to keep a look out, and to join them, to fight for what is right (and to have a good time while doing it)!
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cover © Elko Photography