Covers For Climate

In honor of International Clash Day 2020, and this year’s theme of #ClashForClimate, KEXP asked numerous bands who passed through our studios to perform a cover song of their choice, one either by the Clash or whose lyrics addressed some aspect of environmentalism.

Below, check out covers from Great Grandpa, The Joy Formidable, Pink Lotion, and Cartalk. Plus, read quotes from the artists on why they chose songs ranging from The Clash to Tina Turner.

The Joy Formidable.jpg
The Joy Formidable // Photo by Amber Knecht

Great Grandpa - "Big Yellow Taxi"

“We decided to play “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell,” said bassist Carrie Goodwin.

“Big Yellow Taxi is the first song that came to mind for me when thinking about the environment. Making sure to protect things, and not take them for granted, until they’re gone.”

The Joy Formidable - "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"

If there's any Clash song that could be considered the band's calling card, it's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go." The Joy Formidable aren't the first band to cover the hit song – which has been reinterpreted by everyone from Weezer and Anti-Flag to Living Colour and Kaiser Chiefs.

In the hands of The Joy Formidable and context of our Clash For Climate event, the song asks an existential questions about the future of our planet. And let us answer that question for you – we should stay and let's fight for a better future together.

Pink Lotion - "We Don't Need Another Hero"

“We chose “We Don't Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner,” said vocalist Rachael Ferguson. “We care so much about the things that are happening regarding climate change, and how that’s affecting the world, at this time, at a dramatic pace”

“The lyrics turn out that it’s kind of a climate change anthem,” said producer Erik Blood.

Cartalk - "Train In Vain"

“We chose "Train in Vain" because that was a song, as a kid, I would run to," said Chuck Moore of Cartalk. "Despite the lyrics being sad, the music is really driving and it kept me going and pushing through whatever I was going through."

To Cartalk, The Clash signify political activism with no apologies. They apply their message to the need for climate action.

"A lot of people think, "oh this [climate change] is never going to happen to me,” said Chuck. “It's not going to happen in Los Angeles, it's not going to happen in New York, it's not going to happen in any of these major cities. Well look at what's going on. We're at the point where enough damage has been done, that it is happening to everybody and we all need to work together to find solutions."