Earlier this month, members of the creative community announced 7-inches for Planned Parenthood, a curated series of 7-inch vinyl records and digital downloads to benefit Planned Parenthood. The project comprises contributions from acclaimed creative minds who stand with Planned Parenthood and its patients (see below for a full list of participants).
Today, the first single from the box set, a new version of "Down Side of Me (Live)" from acclaimed electro-pop trio CHVRCHES, is available for purchase and stream at Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify. Accompanying the release is a music video for the song directed by Kristen Stewart. Watch the video now below.
Of their contribution to the project, lead singer Lauren Mayberry says, "'Down Side Of Me'' was not written specifically for this project but I really like how the lyrics can be interpreted in a way that supports the goal of the project as a whole. We should all be able to have faith that our governments are working in our best interests - and if they aren't then, they should be challenged and held to account. 'I'll believe that you're all that you said you would be.'"
She continues: "We have always tried to be socially aware and to link in with organisations whose work we support. Planned Parenthood is an incredibly important resource for so many women (and men) in America and the fact that Planned Parenthood has come under so much fire in the current political climate does not sit well with us. Now is not the time to stay quiet, and if artists want to help by raising money or awareness for causes that we believe in, then I think that they should."
The cover artwork for the single is by Brooklyn artist William Villalongo, featuring one of his paintings from a series currently on display at the Susan Inglett art gallery in New York City. On his contribution to 7-inches, he says: "This new series reflects on the Black male presence in American society. Black male prison population statistics and the recent killing of unarmed Black youth, mostly male, such as Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Freddy Gray brought me to the project. The work addresses how society views (sees or can't see) Black men while also making concrete the staggering number of Black men literally absent from society in general. Art is a way to speak of the unspeakable through observation, feeling, metaphor and material. "
The entire 7-inches for Planned Parenthood vinyl boxset is available now for pre-order at 7inchesforplannedparenthood.com with a target of early fall for delivery. Each single will include a unique piece of artwork accompanying two sides of unique music, comedy or spoken word, many of which are given to Planned Parenthood, which provides reproductive health care to 2.5 million women, men, and young people each year.
The creative collective behind 7-inches for Planned Parenthood states:
Lawmakers with extreme views are working hard to shut down Planned Parenthood. If they succeed, millions of Americans will lose access to basic health services, including STD testing and treatment, birth control, and life-saving cancer screenings.
7-inches for Planned Parenthood is a response to this threat. This curated series of 7-inch vinyl records is being made by a group of people who believe that access to health care is a public good that should be fiercely protected. Do we know there's a joke in the name? We do. We hope the title evokes the rich history of 7-inch vinyl records as a medium for protest music and resistance.
Planned Parenthood will receive 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this 7-inch box set and streaming listens. We see this initiative as the start of something bigger, and hope it will inspire both contributors and listeners to continue to seek out ways to stand with Planned Parenthood and other institutions that are so vital to us all.
In addition to supporting 7-inches for Planned Parenthood, people can also visit IStandWithPP.org to find ways to get involved locally, contact their Senator and urge them to stand with Planned Parenthood, show their support for Planned Parenthood on social media using the hashtag #IStandWithPP, and share how Planned Parenthood has helped you.
Contributors to 7-inches for Planned Parenthood include:
CHVRCHES (with film clip directed by Kristen Stewart)
Dr. Willie Parker
Mary J Blige
Sharon Van Etten
Hisham Akira Bharoocha