Algiers‘ sophomore LP The Underside of Power is out now on Matador Records and it will have our vote as one of the best albums of 2017. “Cleveland” is a gospel meets techno protest of police violence focusing on that cities’ tragic murder of 12-year-old resident Tamir Rice. As the band’s frontman Franklin James Fisher explained in June when the track was released:
“A recurring theme in our music is the idea of injustice and the bitter understanding that obtaining justice in this world is all but impossible–particularly for black and brown people.”
The video for “Cleveland” was directed by Fisher, Marisa Gesualdi, and Sam Campbell. Shot “between Staten Island and the Pink Houses project in East New York, where Eric Garner and Akai Gurley were killed at the hands of New York City Police Department,” the glitchy, security cam-like footage features the singer’s impassioned and fiery delivery alongside a host of collaged archival footage. In addition, it makes great use of text, intermittently displaying parts of the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program with slogans like, “We Want An Immediate End to Police Brutality and Murder of Black People”, as well as listing the names of those killed by violence. It’s a powerful tribute to those who have been lost and a rousing reminder that the struggles for justice are dire and on-going.