Politics often seem distant, remote, and abstract. This makes it possible to sweep affronts to humanity under the rug and try to keep on keepin' on, with head buried in sand, bolstered and propped up by prescription drugs and constant distraction. This abstract distance makes it possible to create policies in an 'us vs. them' dichotomy with no winners, leaving only death and bloodshed, chaos and discord.

On their newest single, "Hallelujah (So Low)" British indie stalwarts Editors smash that critical distance and show us the sand and tears of refugee camps in Northern Greece. Editors' lead singer Tom Smith visited these camps on vacation with his family. Smith was moved by the helplessness of these refugees, "surviving only on the help of others" as he puts it.



"Hallelujah (So Low)" isn't nearly as condescending as your usual humanitarian anthem. There isn't the smug satisfaction of a "We Are The World" or a Farm Aid. This is not the sound of smirking neoliberals tossing down their pity. Yes, there is tenderness and beauty and a genuine heart of sadness in "Hallelujah (So Low)," mostly in the form of gentle vocals and peaceful picked acoustic guitar chords. These idylls break open like a hurricane on the chorus, however, more Rage Against The Machine than Radiohead. Editors are pissed off about these crimes against humanity, while still sounding down in the dirt and dust with their subjects.

The elevated stages of rock stardom seem to shrink just a little more each year. Apart from a very few uber-elites like Taylor Swift, almost all of us are scratching out a sustenance existence in the dust. While Editors might be doing okay (and that's an assumption) Tom Smith and cohorts know what it's like, at the very least. They can relate and empathize, and make moving, compelling music about it.

"Hallelujah (So Low)" is off of Violence, which will be released March 9 on PIAS Recordings.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.