Who doesn’t love a good pop song hook? Or a totally danceable bass line? As the Red Hot Chilli Peppers said: Music [is] the great communicator. It brings us together in ways that few other art forms can. Whether we’re dancing in the rain at an outdoor festival, or hanging out with friends and pizza after a long day, or just spending some quality alone time; music is a source of comfort, joy, and hope for many people.
However, musicians, songwriters, and recording artists often have messages in their music, even if those messages get lost on their audience. For example: Australian electronic act, The Presets, had a breakout hit with their single, ‘My People’, in 2008. The song was picked up and given extensive airtime on commercial radio and TV stations, often used as a patriotic anthem – especially during the Australian coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics – despite the song actually being about refugees being locked in an Australian detention centre – a very contentious and divisive issue.
With that in mind, the following songs all discuss the role of news media in today’s (post-industrial, English-speaking) society, calling out or mocking BS journalism, celebrity worship, propaganda, and other forms of dangerous or unhelpful media. You can listen to each song here, or check out the entire, developing, playlist on YouTube. If you know of more songs that talk about fake news, media bias, clickbait, or anything else related to this topic, feel free to add your own entries in the comments below!
Caution: these videos may contain NSFW language and imagery, or could be triggering for some people.
The Living End – ‘Tabloid Magazine’
Lily Allen – ‘The Fear’
Rage Against the Machine – ‘Bullet in the Head’
Skyhooks – ‘Horror Movie’
Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley – ‘Chained to the Rhythm’
Living Color – ‘Cult of Personality’
Nine Inch Nails – ‘Survivalism’
10,000 Maniacs – ‘Please Forgive Us’
Faithless – ‘Mass Destruction’