Zeal & Ardor—aka Manuel Gagneux—has shared two new songs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
On “Vigil,” Gagneux sings about the tragedies that have spurred on the movement, while “I Can’t Breathe” mixes impassioned recordings from protesters with a brooding vocal choral. The two tracks are cut from the upcoming EP Wake of a Nation, which is due out next month. The last Zeal & Ardor album was 2018’s Stranger Fruit.
“Wake of a Nation’s intent and context should be obvious,” Gagneux shared in a statement. “I like to revel in ambiguity and in room for interpretation. This is not the case here. These six songs are a knee-jerk reaction to what has happened to my fellow people in the last months.
“Originally I was set to record an album scheduled to come out next year. As these songs were written due to the horrendous events that instilled them I decided to release them as soon as possible. Using the rich heritage and culture as a part of my musical identity it felt like cowardice to sit by and continue with my routine as if nothing happened.”
The Swiss-American musician has dedicated the new release to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, George Floyd and others who have lost their lives to police brutality. Gagneux has also committed to donate all revenue from “I Can’t Breathe.”
Wake of a Nation will arrive on October 23. Listen to “Vigil” and “I Can’t Breathe” below: