In times of the greatest trouble there have risen up mighty protest voices to speak out against injustice. People such as Woody Guthrie and his son Arlo, Bob Dylan, Barry Maguire, Nina Simone, Ani Di Franco, and Joan Baez, to name a few. Folk singer Bosco is clearly influenced by these artists, and with the Russian invasion of Ukraine saw his own opportunity to stand up and be counted, with his own protest song, ‘Brothers’.
Even the least wise among us can surely acknowledge that we are all brothers and sisters under the skin; those things that unite us are far stronger and more important than those that separate us. And the brotherhood of Russians and Ukrainians is immediately clear: the two countries share a border, a common religion, and a similar heritage. While their languages are different, there’s enough similarities for either side to understand the other, and their histories have been intertwined forever, with millions of Russians having friends and relatives in Ukraine, and vice versa. Thankfully this kinship has not been lost by those at the front lines, with many of these ties of affection hampering the Russian attack.
Idaho-based folk and roots artist Bosco focuses on the brutal conflict in Ukraine in music video for his new single, ‘Brothers’. The artist is known for always leading with compassion for humanity, and this is also the case with his latest track. Bosco shows us footage of a nation under siege, and while reeling from the incursion of a much larger army, bloodied, but resolutely unbroken. Bosco’s message is one of peace, togetherness, and perspective, as he sings about the rhythms of life, the trajectories of growth, and the irreducible bonds of family, and he does it with the intelligent and compelling storytelling style he’s become known for.
‘Brothers’ will call to mind the sound of Dylan, especially when accompanied by harmonica, but also we’re drawn to compare him to the likes of John Prine, and Billy Bragg. Nonetheless, Bosco has his own distinctive turns of phrase and flashes of deep insight, that are his, and his alone.
Much of the footage in the video for ‘Brothers’ will be recognisable. Shots of the Ukrainian flag, Kyiv under siege, and the ever resolute Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, steely eyed and yet calm under pressure. There’s plenty still that you won’t have seen, however, including remarkable sequences of Russian aggression and Ukrainian defiance, behind-the-scenes looks at the refugee crisis, and heart-breaking images of lovers and family members parted by the call to arms. Each and every frame stands as a testimony to Bosco’s own emotional investment and his unshakable belief in the power of brotherhood.