The Co-Conspirators, The Unreliable Narrators
Released January 5, 2022
In keeping with how the best and most enduring folk songs oblige audiences to take a closer look at history, society, and ourselves, Canadian duo The Co-Conspirators deliver their poignant and riveting new album, The Unreliable Narrators, and its pull-no-punches first single, “The Lonesome Death of Elijah McClain” — available now.
Training a modern-day lens on folk’s deeply rooted tradition of storytelling through song, the Quebec-based band’s sophomore album offers 12 ‘chapters’ of compelling stories — whether fictional or real — that orbit around hardscrabble characters, troubled lives, social injustices, personal struggle, and more.
With 11 of the 12 songs on The Unreliable Narrators written by the duo’s multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and principal songwriter, Will Richards, they are all brought to full fruition with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Katherine Simons’ voice intertwining with Richards’ — like a pilot and copilot deftly navigating over a varied terrain.
The first single, “The Lonesome Death of Elijah McClain”, strikes at the heart of our most sharply drawn social divides along racial lines. McClain was walking home with an iced-tea for his brother, and had committed no crime. Spotted and tackled by police, he was put in a carotid hold cutting off his oxygen, and was injected with ketamine. McClain suffered a heart attack and later died in hospital.
“The tragedy of it is unbearable,” Richards notes. “It took over two years of relentless social pressure to bring charges against the officers — and his is just one of countless stories of police violence against visible minorities.”
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