ATO Records, an independent record label out of New York City, has been reflecting deeply on the injustices and inequality in our world. We recognize that music is not just an agent for change, but a space of solace. As we approach our 20th anniversary as a label, we remain proud to represent a diverse range of artists whose music imparts messages of inclusivity, justice, and equality.
In that spirit, we’ve assembled an LP that showcases our extraordinary roster of artists and epitomizes ATO’s richness of musical diversity and talent. Silence Is Not An Option is a compilation of powerful anthems from the ATO catalog that explore issues of identity, community, social justice, and resistance. Tracks include Brittany Howard’s “Goat Head,” released in 2019, the explosive song that Howard wrote about growing up in the South with a white mother and a black father; Benjamin Booker’s “Witness,” released in 2017, (“Right now we could use a little pick-me-up / Seems like the whole damn nation’s trying to take us down”), a collaboration with soul music and civil rights icon Mavis Staples; Drive-By Truckers’ “What It Means,” released in 2016, the withering track that Patterson Hood wrote in response to the police shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown; and Chicano Batman’s “Invisible People,” released earlier this year (“Invisible people, we’re tired of living in the dark / Everyone is trying to tear us apart / All we wanna do is heal now”).
The compilation also features “See Me,” a brand-new song from Grammy-nominated R&B artist Emily King. King wrote and recorded the passionate track just days ago in response to the Black Lives Matters protests. “Feeling so moved by this powerful time,” says King. “Everyday watching the world demand justice. I wake up with sadness but also hope. Like people are starting to finally notice how deeply broken things are. Can you hear me now? Can you see me now? I started singing the words and they wouldn’t leave my head.”
Silence Is Not An Option (turn this up) – Vinyl Tracklist
1. “Witness” – Benjamin Booker (featuring Mavis Staples)
2. “Colors” – Black Pumas
3. “Goat Head” – Brittany Howard
4. “See Me” (Exclusive) – Emily King
5. “What It Means” – Drive-By Truckers
6. “Pa’lante” – Hurray for the Riff Raff
7. “When You Come Back” – Vusi Mahlasela
8. “Paralysed” – Nilüfer Yanya
9. “Invisible People” – Chicano Batman
10. “I’m Amazed” – My Morning Jacket
11. “Vincent Tyler (Single Version)” – Nick Hakim
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