“I’ve wanted to write a song like this for a long time,”says Jack River, the moniker of Holly Rankin, about her new single ‘We Are The Youth’–a propulsive, shimmering protest anthem that forefronts a new generation of advocates and activists fighting for change.
A lifetime in the making, the track draws from Holly’s long-held passion for climate and environmentalism movements. But it wasn’t until late 2019, performing at the School Strike 4 Climate rally on Gadigal land (Sydney), that inspiration struck. “I played to 80,000 young people, and I realised that I didn’t have an anthem for them, and myself –to express how we felt about the times,”says Holly.
The events of the last 18 months –and a culmination of Holly’s experiences –made her realise it was the right time to write and release the song. “At the same time as there is widespread climate injustice, there is ongoing abuse of power on many fronts in our society: against First Nations people, in the halls of parliament, and in workplaces everywhere. People are tired of it. We want change and action, and we are ready to work to build our way out of a broken system.”
We Are The Youth’bottles the moods of these movements –alongside many other campaigns led by young activists –like a lightning bolt, with lyrics that speak directly and blatantly to their urgency. “I’m tired, I’m tired of silence / I’m sick, I’m sick of violence,” Holly sings, before launching into an all-out call to arms in the chorus: “We’re gonna run through the streets tonight / We’re gonna run to the riot”.