Tom Waits has returned with his first new song in two years.
The track, titled “Bella Ciao”, is a collaboration with longtime colleague and veteran guitarist/composer Marc Ribot. Said to be an anti-fascist folk ballad, it appears on Ribot’s upcoming album, Songs of Resistance 1948-2018 (September 14th through ANTI-).
“I played Tom a bunch of the tunes and he immediately bonded with that one,” Ribot noted in a press statement. “Of course, he brings a certain gravitas to everything he does — my Italian friends say he sounds exactly like an old ‘partigiano’ (resistance fighter)!”
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Hear “Bella Ciao” below via its accompanying visual helmed by Jem Cohen. It features footage from anti-Trump marches in Washington, DC.
Other Songs of Resistance cuts are inspired by various other protest movements throughout history, such as the US civil rights movement. Ribot discussed the album further:
“There’s a lot of contradiction in doing any kind of political music,” Ribot explained, “how to act against something without becoming it, without resembling what you detest. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to do, and I imagine we’ll make mistakes, and hopefully, learn from them. But I knew this from the moment Donald Trump was elected: I’m not going to play downtown scene Furtwangler to any orange-comb-over dictator wannabe. No way.”
Along with Waits, the LP promises collaborations with Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, and Sam Amidon, among others.
As for Waits, his last official release was a 2016 cover of Blind Willie Johnson. In the years since, he’s dropped reissued his back catalog, unveiled a “new, remixed” version of Real Gone, and curated a 76-song, career-spanning playlist. Waits also recently hung out with Jack White and notched a cameo in the Coen brothers’ upcoming anthology series, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.