Extending the due respect that you haven’t been living beneath a rock and you’re aware that the midterm U.S. elections are coming up on Tuesday, November 6, you’re likely equally as up to date on how important your vote is. Your vote, as it’s so simply defined, is adding your voice to the din of our political process, volunteering to help shape the governmental landscape for at least a few years and, perhaps even more importantly, putting the right folks in positions of power to thwart as-yet-unforeseen social maladies.
Whim—the performing moniker of Portland’s Sarah Isabella DiMuzio—didn’t set out to write a “get out and vote” song, necessarily; her single “Mouths” manages to embolden that sentiment while imploring everybody (regardless of voting eligibility) to speak up. The single is being released on November 2, well in advance of the artist’s full-length record but just in time to inspire an ever-disillusioned populace to get vocal about the problems they’re experiencing―or that they see others experiencing―in an effort to foster meaningful conversations and solutions.
“‘Mouths’ is really about an emotional state—how we, as a society, react to the world around us,” DiMuzio says. “It seems to me there’s a magic line I can’t see where we either acknowledge and talk about something, or we don’t. I remember the day I wrote the song I had just read an article about the Syrian refugee crisis and how people were literally jumping into the ocean just for a small chance of surviving. At first I sat in shocked silence, then I burst into tears, and then I wondered why no one was talking about it! And then that thought started applying itself to a host of other societal issues and tragedies, and out of hopeless frustration, ‘Mouths’ was written. Sadly, I’m an optimist, so my intent was to try and unify people with this song, which is why I get everyone to shout the word ‘shout’ with me when I play the song live. It really gets quite an amazing energy going in the room, and some naïve part of me wants to believe affecting change in this fucked-up world might start with a similar determination?
“That being said, I hope ‘Mouths’ isn’t thought of as the ‘register to vote song,’ I think that’s a different song entirely, and an important reminder. But, perhaps if we all voted…?”
Fluff & Gravy Records head honcho John Shepski reports that although the label hasn’t even finished recording the LP, they felt like the message of “Mouths” needed to be heard sooner rather than with the completed record, which is slated for spring/summer 2019.
“‘Mouths’ was the first track that we recorded for the upcoming album, and we pretty much played it exactly like—or close to—the version that Sarah had worked up in Ireland [where she’d lived prior to moving back to Portland]. It didn’t need anything else,” Shepski tells.
“I think we’ve all been in social situations where we hear family/friends/strangers doing or saying something that makes us uncomfortable,” he continues. “We’ve been trained to be polite and nod along, or ignore it, but it never feels right. This song reminds me that we have an obligation to speak up when we should, to use our voice for those who can’t, and to stand for what is right. It’s not about Democrat or Republican; it’s not about left or right. It’s about humanity—the same humanity that underlies all of Sarah’s songs. The upcoming elections are important and I’ll be using this as my own rallying cry. But it’s so much more than that.”