the international voices of the travelogue scamps

our international collaboration began as an artistic experiment in the wake of the 2016 american election. at once amused and disturbed, flabbergasted and appalled, by the apparent breakdown of the american democratic system, we wrote and recorded our songs not just as public acts of social critique but as deeply personal acts of self-examination: what is the artists’ role, we asked ourselves, in a world increasingly polarized (some might say paralyzed) by partisan politics and associated culture wars? is it possible nowadays to write songs of dissent without succumbing to naivety, oversimplifying complex issues, or falling into cliché?

pondering these questions, we began by writing lyrics for a satirical song called “Cancel My Trip to America.” but rather than creating a single definitive recording, we thought it would be fun to see which one of us could write the best music for the lyrics, and as a result we came up with four very different versions of the song. inspired by the results, we used the same approach to create multiple versions of four additional songs, eventually achieving an album’s worth of material written and performed in distinctively different musical styles.

our songs tell a story of political governance destabilized by a populist groundswell of outrage and fear informed by a special loathing of human difference and diversity in a globalizing world. we wrote “Banned at the Border” as a spontaneous response to the american president’s executive order banning immigrants from several muslim-majority countries, lamenting the vast distance separating america’s founding democratic idealism from its present-day turn towards authoritarian cynicism. next came “The Great American Reality Show,” a light-hearted take on the chaos daily emanating from a white house led by an attention-seeking reality tv star increasingly at odds with the first amendment. shortly afterwards, pondering the potential advent of a new global arms race supported by the dangerously bellicose rhetoric of several authoritarian world leaders, we wrote “No More War!,” a song in which we tip our hat to our favourite musical peacenik, the late great John Lennon. finally, we recorded several versions of “Hello Paris” to express our concern about the us government’s withdrawal from the paris climate accord, and to voice our support for a sustainable global order based on dignity, respectful dialogue, and international cooperation.

© 2017 Travelogue Scamps

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listen to all album tracks and buy our album: The Travelogue Scamps website