Despite tender years, Andrew St James is just eighteen, the singer-songwriter’s soulful and rather epic track A Prayer For East Oakland is one that faces some pretty grim realties head on.
It is a song of murder, with lyrics formed around Psalms in the New Testament. It was originally a poem he wrote after a childhood friend was murdered during the summer of 2011 outside of his home in East Oakland. The song, despite its beautiful tune, takes a serious look at the rate of gun-related deaths in the bay area, specifically Oakland,
Talking about the song, St James says “There were 110 reported homicides in Oakland during 2011, rising to 131 in 2012. Almost every night of those two years, the first ten minutes of the nightly news would be attributed to reports of gun violence in Oakland. Reports of toddlers being shot and killed in random acts of violence were forgotten along with the weather report. The memory of those 241 people, the majority of them African-American, has been lost on the outside world, disregarded by people of privilege, and forgotten by people with power.”
Powerful stuff indeed. Download it here.
Doldrums, the debut album by Andrew St. James, is out now via the Island Jar / Fortune label.Follow @madmackerel