With election day just around the corner, Cass McCombs wants to use music as an outlet to encourage fans to vote. The singer tapped Angel Olsen, Bob Weir, and even Noam Chomsky for a folksy tune that emphasizes the importance of looking at bigger issues beyond the ballot.
Over an echoing guitar, McCombs and Olsen trade off verses about not just voting for a presidential candidate, but voting for the environment, wildlife, Black lives, and the future. “I was compelled to write something for the election and I thought of no better way than to troll myself, laying waste to a much-misunderstood song of mine from over a decade ago, ‘Don’t Vote’,” McCombs said about the song. “Most people never made it much further than the title, anyway. For this new song, ‘Don’t (Just) Vote,’ the message is clear: Vote, yes, but when you do, imagine the world you would like to see, beyond what appears on your ballot. Harness your imagination and justice becomes inevitable.”
Along with Olsen and Bob Weir, McCombs was able to secure a feature from acclaimed political thinker Noam Chomsky. Arriving at the song’s close, Chomsky states: “We have to excise a malignant cancer from the body politic. But that’s just the beginning. Real politics is what you do before and after you push the lever. You have to keep your shoulder to the wheel: engagement, activism, organizing — that’s what will make the difference.”
Listen to “Don’t (Just) Vote” above.