LA-based songwriter Ethan Gold presents his new single ‘Not Me. Us’, together with an animated video that is an inspiring call for unity in troubled times.
With the slogan ‘Make Sensitivity Cool Again‘, Gold makes lullabies of strength for the quieter half of the human race. This is catchy art rock, for people who still dream. With personable flair and depth, Gold sings about the longing for human connection in the city, and also for the natural world.
“I wrote ‘Not Me. Us’ as an anthem to reflect the times. I started with the then-current Bernie slogan “Not Me Us” – a simple phrase, a moral protest against the lack of compassion, lack of empathy, and narcissism that’s become a point of pride for current political leadership in many countries. As a person who’s primary political motivator is concern for our biosphere, I found this phrase very appealing, as it respects the interconnectedness of all life,” says Ethan Gold.
“Musically I went with a sound that’s more traditionally American. There’s a power in those idioms. I wanted to call out the hard fight everyone is having in the country, while also allowing everyone to feel, in a time where the dominant feelings are factionalism and fear, that the things which unite us could still be greater.”
Raised in San Francisco during the long extended hangover after hippie times, Ethan Gold is son to Beat author Herbert Gold and Melissa Gold, a collaborator and girlfriend of legendary concert promoter Bill Graham – the two died together in a helicopter crash. A childhood of constant change and chaos may have led Ethan to the unique way he approaches music. Today he lives and dreams songs, writing much music while asleep.
“There’s huge economic inequality destroying American life. A country that pioneered the notion of everyone being able to be comfortably middle class is now breaking into bitterness and division as a huge majority of the population is frightened, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and at the risk of bankruptcy from one unexpected illness or job loss. Even people working multiple jobs are having trouble making ends meet,” says Ethan Gold.
“So I put a mosaic of families in the song and video. A father who’s sick but can’t afford treatment. A son falling into hatred. A mother working two jobs but barely surviving. A young daughter hopeful. Proud grandparents who see their life’s work crumbling as their children slide down the economic ladder. We could all be all these people; this is every family. The struggles so many are having aren’t so different from each other.”
In 2013, Gold suffered a serious head injury. After a long recovery, he now credits the temporary dissolution of his cognitive ability with an upgraded inner power, creativity, and clarified mission: in a world that seems more and more combative, bringing sensitive people and quieter things – music and poetry and the living earth – back into their magnificence.
The ‘Not Me. Us’ single follows Gold’s most recent offering – ‘Never Met A World Like You’, an environmental song with highly impactful video, to coincide with the first climate strikes. He also performed, for the first time after his head injury, at three L.A. rallies in late 2019.
Following his acclaimed ‘Songs From A Toxic Apartment’ LP during his recovery, 2018 brought the release of the naive-electronic ‘Expanses (Teenage Synthstrumentals)’ and Gold’s tribute to childhood favorites ‘Live Undead Bedroom Closet Covers’. Gold also handled film scoring for Blumhouse supernatural thriller ‘Don’t Let Go’ and brother Ari Gold‘s feature films ‘Adventures of Power’ and ‘The Song of Sway Lake’, which features John Grant and the Staves singing Gold’s songs.
This track was produced and engineered by Dave Tweedie (So You Think You Can Dance, No Doubt, Flipsyde, Akon). Gold and Jay Ponti produced the video, with editing and effects by Adam Laiben.
Ethan Gold has just finished recording his upcoming double-album ‘Earth City’, which explores themes of longing — for human connection, for romance, for city nightlife, and ultimately for connection to the threatened natural world. Release expected later this year.
Music, lyrics, lead vocals, mixing and mastering by Ethan Gold
Produced and engineered by Dave Tweedie (So You Think You Can Dance, No Doubt, Flipsyde, Akon)
Additional vocals by CJ Emmons, Byrd Ducket, Joe Bagale, Ali Coyle, Matt Baker, Elvis Perkins, Stacy Matulis, and Victoria Theodore
Guitars by Ethan Gold, Jay Ponti, and Dave Tweedie
Drums, percussion and bass by Dave Tweedie
Piano and organ by Victoria Theodore
Directed by Ethan Gold
Produced by Ethan Gold and Jay Ponti
Editing & Effects by Adam Laiben
Ethan standing photos by Leila Fakouri. Piano photo by Andei Keough
“Emotions delivered with an unfiltered, glaring legibility” – Pitchfork
“Unhinged but weirdly compelling” – Uncut
“Wildly diverting… by some wide-eyed, sun and acid-baked LA wunderkind” – Electronic Sound
“Not every song is born of inspiration and not every song is capable of inspiring. It seems that, in the case of this particular song, certainly both of these factors speak to the truth. What we have here is a beautiful cycle of creation rooted in hope, solidarity and, of course, raw talent” – Louder Than War