The 11-track album, titled Silence is Not An Option (turn this up), features songs from the label’s catalog by Brittany Howard, My Morning Jacket, Black Pumas, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Benjamin Booker (with Mavis Staples), Drive-By Truckers and a new songs from Emily King, “See Me.”
“ATO Records, an independent record label out of New York City, has been reflecting deeply on the injustices and inequality in our world. We recognize that music is not just an agent for change, but a space of solace,” the label said in a statement. “As we approach our 20th anniversary as a label, we remain proud to represent a diverse range of artists whose music imparts messages of inclusivity, justice, and equality. In that spirit, we’ve assembled an LP that showcases our extraordinary roster of artists and epitomizes ATO’s richness of musical diversity and talent.”
For the collection released on Juneteenth, the label specifically chose powerful anthems it says take on issues of “identity, community, social justice, and resistance.” The offerings include a track from Alabama Shakes singer Howard, “Goat Head,” about growing up in the South with a white mother and Black father and the Drive-By Truckers’ “What It Means,” a 2016 track written in response to the police shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. King wrote “See Me” just days before the album’s release in response to the massive, nationwide Black Lives Matter protests in response to the police-caused death of George Floyd.
“Feeling so moved by this powerful time,” King said in a statement. “Everyday watching the world demand justice. I wake up with sadness but also hope. Like people are starting to finally notice how deeply broken things are. Can you hear me now? Can you see me now? I started singing the words and they wouldn’t leave my head.”
Silence Is Not An Option is available today digitally and for pre-order on vinyl exclusively on Bandcamp, who are donating 100% of their fees to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. The limited run vinyl version will be pressed on recycled wax. ATO has pledged to donate 100% of net proceeds from the compilation to causes supporting the Black Lives Matter global human rights movement; vinyl will ship in August.
Click here to see the track list for the 38-song version of the album, with additional songs from Alabama Shakes, Amyl and the Sniffers, Allen Stone, Jim James, The Claypool Lennon Delerium, Soja and Okkervil River, among others.
Silence is Not An Option vinyl tracklist:
“Witness” – Benjamin Booker (featuring Mavis Staples)
“Colors” – Black Pumas
“Goat Head” – Brittany Howard
“See Me” (Exclusive) – Emily King
“What It Means” – Drive-By Truckers
“Pa’lante” – Hurray for the Riff Raff
“When You Come Back” – Vusi Mahlasela
“Paralysed” – Nilüfer Yanya
“Invisible People” – Chicano Batman
“I’m Amazed” – My Morning Jacket
“Vincent Tyler (Single Version)” – Nick Hakim